product whore
january, 2021

this is the diary of a skin care junkie!

chances are, if you’ve been to my house, i’ve given you a facial! 😊

i am the ultimate unapologetic product junkie. i love reading about them, knowing about them and doing them... all of them, alllll the time.  i’m crazy about skin!  like seriously. it is my ultimate lifelong love/hate, maybe even more than clothing.  it’s just something that i love learning about, talking about, and sharing with everyone around me.  and why? many of you can probably relate.  i had bad acne in my younger years and being the sensitive cancer that i am, some of those old wounds remained within me long after the scars were gone. so many of us have our own personal wounds, some we continue to shoulder well past their expiration point.  i’ve always been on my personal quest for the perfect skin.  how lost i’ve been.  

if 2020 has taught me anything (and so many!), it’s this. there comes a time when we all connect with our wounds, with our shadow... to face these experiences and see them in a new light.  they are the cards that life dealt us but they don’t define who we are.  they can free us to grow, to feel even more compassion and self love.   and as i face them (and share), i hope to transform each into strengths to help anyone else i can.  (more to come in later posts...)

i’m a bit afraid to admit it today, but my skin obsession really made me miss out on a lot in life.  probably not very important things, but more important was how much i held myself back because of it and how i felt about myself, my self-confidence and lack of self-esteem.  i perceived every small flaw as really becoming the biggest part of me.  and for most of the people in my life that knew about my skin insecurity, they just couldn’t understand it.  i always thought that they were just trying to make me feel better.  but the truth is, i couldn’t even see myself.  i find that many of my clients have their own misconceptions about their perceived flaws.  what i try and tell each and everyone of them is what i was taught myself.  when people see us they see us as a 3d being.  we are living and breathing and moving and talking.  we have a heart and we have a soul and it is these things that we lead with.  people are not breaking you down into one tiny box.  and least not the people that are meant to be in our lives.  but it’s really hard to see it that way. 

after my mother passed away, my personal obsession became a whole lot worse.  when she was alive, i had her to weigh in on every detail of my being.  this was not a healthy relationship... my mom could only see me as extension of herself.  i belive that i’ll speak more in detail about our relationhip in the future but i’m not quite ready yet.  what i do know is that once she was gone, my equillibrium was lost.  i didn’t have my mirror (her!) so my mirror became my own warped vision.  it’s sometime after she passed that the obsession became an illness and i was officially diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder.  i’ve had to undergo a lot of specialized therapy for this issue and i’m happy to say that with the patience of a great therapist, i was able to overcome it some years ago.  even though i’m not in therapy anymore, that doesn’t mean that i avoided the requirement for perfectionism.  

to top it off, just as i got a hang of my skin misconceptions, the fine lines and wrinkles started to set in.  aging is NOT easy and i think our own personal path is exactly where we each should be.  we just have to find what works best for us as individuals. there is no wrong way!  i have tried it ALL but part of my journey back to self requires a whole lot of surrender and peace w where i’m at today.  it had become harder and harder for me to encourage my clients in this ideology without fully embracing it myself. 

i always put it like this.  the first thing i do each morning is to look in the mirror and jump in the shower.  i’ve found it increasingly impossible to start my day on the positive, inspired foot that i need to unless i am fully aligned with my values, inside and out.  and that means doing everything that i can to be the healthiest i can be mentally, physically, and spiritually. it’s hard work as you know.  i have good days and also very bad days.  this is just how it manifested in my life and i’m going to be exploring that idea with you later on down the road.   but it’s through this journey (and the experience of many women that i work with, regardless of age) that i’ve arrived at this seemingly most basic fact. we are all perfectly imperfect each day just as we are!  and for me personally, fighting it was just an exercise is chasing my own tail.  so i’ve had no choice but to surrender and embrace myself just where i am for my own peace.   that doesn’t mean i will go down without a fight.  it actually helped me fight harder! however, this is simply my personal experience but i share it now just in case others might be feeling the same.  

that being said… here is my biggest skin secret. i’m a huge fan of vivace micro skin wounding so that your cells can repair themselves, produce collagen, and turn back time.  i’ve seen a huge difference not only in my own skin but also for several friends i’ve recommended it to. this repair produces lasting results that don’t fade in 3-6 months and it works with your own skin naturally.  the results get comprehensively better each and every time.  and the best part, micro-needling is natural and delivers that lit-from-within mojo .  i’ve had a lot of health issues in the past few years and i’ve had to be a lot more cognisant of what i’m putting into my body, not only through what i eat but also through my skin. it’s our largest organ and absorbs a lot more than i ever realized.   i have also tried the fraxel laser and this did significantly help the scars on my cheeks.  i’m not doing it anymore because i did have some residual hypo-pigmentation because of this treatment.  so be sure to talk to a doctor about fraxel if you have medium to darker skin tones.  

so here we go.  these are all my beauty secrets from top to bottom.  hope you enjoy them and i’d love to hear your comments and feedback.  also, if you have any questions, please reach out!  i LOVE sharing about all of this so come at me.  i’ll be waiting. 🤗💗

with lots of love,



derma-e anti wrinkle cleanser - i absolutely love this cleanser for a deep clean at the end of the day.  it really helps slough off the dead skin cells and smooth skin with vitamin a and glycolic acid.  i use it each night w my clarisonic face brush, which is another tool i cannot live without.  i also feel like this keeps oil at bay but does not dry out my skin.  this cleanser is suitable for aging skin and also those that are oily or acne prone.
neogen real fresh foam green tea cleanser - my morning staple.  this korean cleanser is amazing and everything from the neogen line is inexpensive and top notch.  there are actual green tea leaves fermented in the cleanser bottle itself which really helps to reduce inflammation plus hydrate the skin.  i really think that it even helps w my chronic morning puffiness.  


acure brightening facial scrub - an allure beauty winner!  once you find this scrub, chances are you’ll never use another for the rest of your life.  this brightens naturally w sea kelp and lemon peel and pulls out impurities with french clay.  i’ve really noticed a difference in my skin since using it.  i love to bring it down over my neck and chest for added scrub benefit.  it’s also super affordable which is so key these days.  


acwell licorice ph balancing cleansing toner-  i think toner is the unsung hero of any daily skin routine.  i absolutely LOVE following @joannaczechoffical on instagram because of her detailed videos and tutorials.  something really stood out for me.  toner is the first step of your treatment.  it isn’t for cleansing off dirt and residue.  this one reduces inflammation with green tea but the licorice is the part that i like best.  this really increases the luminosity of my skin.

the ordinary glycolic 7% toning solution- my night-time toner to refine wrinkles and firm skin.  absolutely every product that the ordinary makes is top notch and uber affordable.  these products have transformed my skin.  

vitamin c 

neogen real vita c powder lemon- absolutely my favorite product hands down, no contest, and probably the most important step in any skincare regime.  in its powder form, vitamin c is the most stable application as it will not oxidize.  i add a heaping spoon or two to my cotton pad every morning and then douse it with the acwell licorice toner.  this really works to brighten skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.

french girl rose lip scrub - i use this one a couple of times a week, especially during the winter.  i’ll apply it on my lip and then scrub them with a soft toothbrush.  i really think this helps to keep my lips plumped naturally.


the ordinary hyaluranic acid 2% + B5 - i use this serum day and night as the last step before my moisurizer to really lock it all in.  it’s not oily but it really helps to plump up your fine lines and wrinkles.  i follow it immediately with...

natural moisturizing factors + ha lotion -  this lotion is light enough to wear day or night and can be used alone or with the serum layered underneath.  again, great for smooth lines and reducing dryness,.

the ordinary 100% organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil - for those summer or winter days when you’re feeling extra dry, i absolutely love this oil.  i put it under my eyes, on my laugh lines, on my lips.  i definitely believe in the plumping and toning properties of rose hip oil.  

weleda skin food - another cult favorite.  i slather this all over my face, feet, hand and body.  it’s definitely the most moisturizing cream that i’ve ever used.  


the ordinary niacinamide 10% + zinc 1% - probably the most important treatment that i’m using today.  if you’ve been on any beauty blog in the last year, you’ve read about this product and the imporance of including it in your daily routine.  not only does it keep breakouts at bay by controlling sebum production, but it really reduces the size of your pores as a result.  because of this, it increases brightness and luminosity.  i even use this on my lids and under eyes.  that’s just how gentle this product is.  i use it morning and night.  

the ordinary matriyl 10% + ha - another one of my daily morning treatments.  matryxl is the heaviest hitter of the peptide world and many of us already know that peptides help to reduce environmental damage to the skin.  i think this produt has signficantly improved my wrinkles and really toned and firmed my skin.  i would not be without this product ever again.  when i stopped using it for a time, i really noticed!

the ordinary alpha lipoic acid 5% - i’m not sure if this product is sold out across the internet because it’s just that good or what.  this product is definitely no joke.  i only use it ever other day, it’s just that strong.  this potent antioxidant really improved the texture of my skin so i’d definitely keep it on your radar if you can’t find it but this is not for those with super sensitive skin.  


the ordinary lactic acid 10% + ha - i use this serum every other night.  i find this form of alpha hydroxy acid adds a mild exfoliation of dead skin cells and reduces the size of my pours.  it includes hyaluranic acid to calm and moisturize skin.

the ordinary aha 30% + bha 2% peeling solution - an extra special mask i use about once a week.  it’s a chemical exfoliator that helps reduce pour congestion and keep dead skin pile up and breakouts at bay.  this is one of the holy grail the ordinary products that i can’t live without.  it burns a little the first few times you use it, but don’t give up.  this peel is a miracle worker.

neogen bio-peel + gauze peeling wine - absolutely obsessed with these resverotrol peeling pads.  i use them on my face, neck, chest and hands, too.  i like them to get in a deeper peel once a month for a couple of days in a row. don’t forget to use them on your eylids and under the eyes.  this one is gentle enough to do that just remember to follow it with a good moisturizer once the peel has had a bit of time to settle in.  everytime i use these pads, someone will make a comment about my skin days later.  really brings on an instant glow.


ole henriksen banana bright eye creme - if you read as many beauty blogs as i do, you’ll find a certain number of products that come up time and time again.  this product is one of those cult classics.  i’ve never found an eye cream to brighten my eyes better or help moisturize my fine lines.  it also really helps with puffiness.  it’s great to use under concealer or just alone.  it contains special pigments to brighten the area and reflect the light.

the ordinary caffeine solution 5% + egcg - i wake up every morning with *really* puff eyes.  chalk it up to heredity and also my crazy seasonal allergies.  they’ve been a lot worse this year, being stuck inside all day.  i use a neti pot multiple times a week but nothing seems to help.  i like to this that this serum helps a lot with the puffiness.  i use it day and night under my eye cream and i swear it helps my puffy lids.  

t shaped face massager - i couldn’t live without my face massagers.  this is another one of those cult things that i read about everywhere so i just had to buy it.  yes, i found it on amazon, but this 2-1 kit is all you’ll ever need.  if my eyes are puffy in the am or super dry before bed, i’ll put on a cream or an oil and i’ll use this massager to stimulate my lymphs and push the product in.  one of my favorite things to use.  


loops hydrogel masks - yes, i did get influenced by instagram.  but honestly,  i’ve used a lot of moisturizing face masks and these are some of the best that i’ve used and affordable.  any and all of them.  i love the korean technology 2-piece masks that really apply a smooth finish to the skin and they don’t slip.  i my massager while i’m using them to really seal in the serum and reduce puffiness.  

gold & snail hydrogel eye patch - another score from one of my many expeditions into the joys of korean skincare.  at $11.99 for 60 patches, i’m not sure that you’ll find a better deal anywhere.  these undereye gel patches significantly reduce inflammation and moisturize fine lines and wrinkles.  they’re perfect prep for a party or a fun night on town... just as soon as we get back to those.  


3d roller electric sonic energy face roller - the 2nd amazing vibrating skin roller in the 2-1 kit that i purchased from amazon.  i use this one specifically over the loops face masks to help push in the product and for an added lymphatic drainage.  this roller is my absolute favorite!  i use it on the mornings that my face feels puffy or sluggish over any one of my favorite moisturizing serums or oils.

rose gold gua sha - another tool uncovered with one of my many online explorations.  this tool is the bomb and with the endless amount of time at home lately, i’ve had a chance to look at enough tutorials to know just how important and valuable it is.  put on your favorite serum and use the stone to tone skin and reduce puffiness.  

beautybio glo pro microneedling tool - between vivace appointments, this is my go-to home treatment.  i have all the different tips that i’ve bought slowly over the years.  one for my eyes, one for my body.  i really do think that this tool helps your products absorb better, if nothing else.  they say that these needles aren’t long enough to micro-wound the skin but i’ve honestly seen really big improvement on the lines under my eyes and also on my knees.  (i hate those!)

pure nuderma natural derma cell energy system - also known as the high-frequency machine, i suspect most of us have probably experienced this tool during a facial.  if i ever have a break-out, i’ll use this super affordable tool to zap it and it’s gone by morning.  i’ve been reading a lot about high-frequency and i also really love using it all around my eyes to reduce puffiness and tighten the skin.