What I Do When I’m Breaking Out

It’s been really fun posting my makeup tutorials on my Instagram and Youtube channel. Surprisingly, one of the DM’s I’ve been getting a lot as a result of the videos is about my skin. People are commenting or sending me messages about how clear my skin looks. Since we all know Instagram is simply a highlight reel, my goal is to be as truthful as possible with you. My skin goes through good weeks and BAD weeks (which feel like months). You could read about my skincare story here. I still use all of the products I mentioned in that post religiously. However, when I feel like I’m about to break out (usually during that time of the month), I go right into emergency mode. I thought I would share exactly what I do to try and minimize the damage, if you know what I mean.

1.    Clean your Face EXTRA well- This may be obvious but when I feel like I’m breaking out, I’m extra good about cleaning my face. I love using the Neutrogena face wipes and then one of my normal cleansers.

2.    Exfoliate- I use my Dr. Dennis Gross peel pads. Normally I use these 1-2 times a week. When I feel like I’m breaking out I’ll use it that night. I use the regular strength and it’s sensitive enough for my skin (although if you have really sensitive skin, there is a sensitive version). It helps to exfoliate and get rid of the impurities. Your skin feels so clean afterward.

3.    Face Mask- I then apply the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask. It’s this blue gel that has a cooling effect. The blue tansy oil is an anti-inflammatory and it soothes irritated skin and reduces redness. It also has natural beta hydroxyl that is high in salicylic acid, which is key when you feel acne coming.

4.    IS Clinical Active Serum- I raved about this in my blog post on my skincare routine and I still cannot say enough good things about it.  I apply this to my clean, exfoliated face and it always makes a difference.

5.    Apply Night Cream- At night I dab one of the following products right on the problem area….sexy, I know. But it’s necessary. If it’s a pimple I use a clay mask. Right now I’ve been using the Kiehl’s one. If it’s cystic acne that feels like it’s going to get huge, I apply cortisone (but don’t wait too long, it’s better to go to the dermo and get a cortisone shot).

Daytime Glam Makeup Routine

Hey loves! Today I'm sharing my daytime glam makeup routine. It's also my first video where I talk throughout (eeee...super nerve-wracking to post). I hope you guys like it! xox

2018 Intentions

This year, like a lot of people, I decided to set out intentions rather than resolutions for the new year. Halfway through December I was feeling pretty down on myself. As a Type A perfectionist, I can't help but feel overwhelmed by all of the resolutions I didn't achieve that year. That feeling overshadows the progress I made. It's not healthy. So I decided to move on from 2017 and start focusing on 2018. I drafted a post on my 2018 resolutions and it didn't sit well with me (hence why I am posting in the new year). I started doing some research and came across articles about setting intentions rather than resolutions. That's exactly what I was looking for. 

An intention is a guiding principle to manifest what you want. The best part of an intention is there's no expectation attached to it (and therefore, less chance of disappointment by the end of the year). I firmly believe in the power of positive thinking and constantly remind myself to set my intentions for the day, week, month, or year. To be honest, it is difficult to step away from the notion that with the new year comes goals and resolutions (not just intentions). But overall, I think it will be healthier and lead to a more productive year. 

1. Live in the Present (and ignore baby fever) 

I thought I would start with this one since we get asked all of the time. I guess it comes with our age (I’m 29 and Ray is 32) and the fact that we’ve been married for 3 ½ years. I won’t lie, when I was in Montreal I was pretty surprised to see that so many people I know were pregnant, trying to get pregnant or already had children. Even my Instagram feed is filled with baby announcements. It made me think for a few seconds “should I be pregnant right now?”

We’ve been talking about when we’re going to have kids more often lately. But we’re not ready yet. Moving to LA definitely took a lot out of us (emotionally and financially). We want to take some time to enjoy LA (now that we no longer have to worry about visas etc.) and save money before we have kids.

So my intention for 2018 is to live in the present instead of worrying about the future. It's easy to obsess over when we'll start trying, whether it will be a challenge etc. But I don't want to have kids and think to myself I didn't take full advantage of enjoying the time with just Ray and I (and Luca, of course). 

2.     Spend Time Making Our Condo Feel Like Home

This may seem like a random one but if you have moved around a lot and haven't purchased your first home, you probably understand. Ray and I have moved four times over the past 8 years. While we are actually homeowners (we own a condo in Montreal that we rent out), all of the places we have lived in have felt temporary. I think this has to do with the fact that I knew we wouldn't be in the places long-term and therefore never invested in making them feel like home. I spent the past year making changes to the condo we rent now in LA that has really made a difference. For one, my personal style has evolved a lot and I wanted that reflected in our home decor. Secondly, I realized it was important to spend some money investing in pieces that would make our condo really feel like home. 

The first room we updated was our bedroom (see pics here and here). We then redecorated our guest room (see pics here and here). I’m currently working on my office (it’s not finished but you can see a pic here). My last project is our kitchen nook. 

My intention for this year is to invest in the present and not just wait for things in the future. I want to continue making our house feel like a home, and make it feel less temporary. The problem with thinking that a home is temporary is that you are continuously focusing on what is the next step, rather than appreciating the present circumstance. I'm obsessed with our current place and want to really enjoy it and take full advantage. 

3. Create more YouTube Content

Last month I posted my first two makeup tutorials. I’ve wanted to do them for a while but I was always too scared to. Finally, I invested in the necessary equipment and took a stab at it. I had NO clue what I was doing (aka didn’t know how to put together a tripod or even open iMovie). I somehow figured it out, got through my fear of posting them and just did it. I've received such a wonderful response from them. I intend to continue creating new video content, even when it feels scary and requires me to get out of my comfort zone (because once I do, I'm always happy I did). 

4.     Slow Down

Normally I run 5 times a week and do Pilates, spin or hot yoga once a week. The mornings I run are so rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But I think it’s equally important to spend some mornings waking up slowly, taking your time and setting a good tone for the day. I intend to spend more time nourishing my mental (as opposed to physical) health. 

5.     Spending More Time Doing LA Things

Walks on the beach, drives to Malibu, different hikes etc. It’s easy to get comfortable in your routine but I want to spend more time this year exploring LA. I intend to plan fun activities, switch things up and get out of our routine (sometimes). This weekend I've already planned a walk on the beach in Malibu and dinner at Taverna Tony. 

What's your thoughts on intentions versus resolutions? xox

My NYE Makeup Routine

I hope you all had a wonderful NYE! Here is my NYE makeup look, which is also perfect for a night out xoxo

My 5 Minute Makeup Routine (In 1 Minute)

I finally did it- I posted my first makeup tutorial! When I first started my Instagram I would do makeup tutorials on Insta Stories and would receive such a postive response. I figured it was time to take it to the next level. I got a camera, tripod, ring light etc. And then this past weekend I filmed this tutorial. I had NO idea what I was doing (from connecting the camera to the tripd, to editing on imovie). Somehow, I figured it out. I know there is a lot I need to improve on (like seeing the ring light in the back..ugh), but I wanted to post this anyways. This is my every day, 5 minute makeup routine. It's so easy and simple to do. For a list of products used check out my YouTube channel. Let me know what other tutorials you'd like to see!


My Stay At The Fairmont Grand Del Mar

The past few months seem like a blur. Both Ray and I have been swamped with work and haven’t really stopped to relax, breathe and enjoy our surroundings. Not to mention that I went to London for 9 days without him. So we decided that a romantic getaway was necessary, stat. It's kind of strange but sometimes you need to force yourself to take a getaway. I can imagine that when you have kids this is particularly difficult.  However, even when you don't, it can sometimes be a challenge. I won't lie...Ray and I considered just staying home, snuggling in bed and catching up on shows (I mean, how bad can that be?!). But truth be told there is something important about getting out of your usual setting and getting into the mindset of a vacation. You focus on the two of you, limit your time on the phone/social media, try and limit work, get dressed up and just have fun. Do you guys know what I mean? I can’t stress enough the importance of prioritizing your relationship, getting away (even if it’s for a day), and reconnecting.

People ask us all the time if we travel around California. I hate to admit it but we don’t do it nearly enough. We’ve been to Palm Springs a handful of times and have made it to Santa Barbara, Ojai and Napa Valley. San Diego was on our list for a while so we decided to head there for our romantic weekend.

Saturday morning we packed up the car, grabbed a Starbucks and made our way there. We stayed at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and wow! The service was incredible and the hotel was upscale and charming. Since we knew we were going to arrive by noon, we requested an early check-in. Our room was ready when we got there.

We had the most luxurious and spacious room. I should preface this by saying that I have been known to play musical rooms (cue Ray’s eye roll). Generally, I’m not pleased with the first room I’m given and politely request to change rooms until I’m satisfied. I won’t lie, I was ready to do it as per usual…until I walked into our room. The bathroom had a long double sink (with ample room for all my makeup and hair products…as if it was designed for me). Not to mention the most beautiful marble (yes, I took a million Instagram pics in there). There was a huge tub with Le Labo rose bath salts on the side (I mean…dreams).  There was a large king bed, sitting area and office space, which was perfect for Ray since he had to work. Our room opened up to a large terrace overlooking the adult pool. All of that is impressive but what really got to me was the dog bed and bowls they had ready for Luca (they really know the way to my heart).

Once we were settled in we made our way to Amaya for a late lunch. I had a glass of champagne while Ray chose a bloody maria (bloody mary made with tequila) and we shared something to eat. We then walked around the grounds, which are so picturesque. In the late afternoon, I got a therapeutic massage and Ray used the spa facilities. My massage was amazing, obviously. I love when spas pay attention to the little details, like heating your robe during the massage so that it’s warm and cozy when you’re done.  It takes the massage from great to unforgettable, if you know what I mean.

Saturday night we had a few cocktails at the bar before heading to town for dinner and a walk on the beach.  On Sunday we slept in (until 8…yup, we’re that old). We ordered room service, tried (but failed) to get Ray to take cute Instagram pics of me (it’s not easy to be an Instagram Hubby), and just stayed in our robes until we were ready to venture out. I won’t lie, I was mega sad to check out. While it was a short trip, I left feeling relaxed and recharged. Can’t wait to go back.  

Where I Ate in London

I had the best time in London. As I’ve mentioned, I went to visit my brother who has lived there for over 15 years. It’s always special to spend time with him but this time was even more special because I went for a full week (normally my trips are so rushed)! While he worked every day I would wander the streets, visit the shops and take in all of the sights and incredible Christmas lights. We had some really delicious meals so I thought I would share. It’s always fun to see where the locals go rather than just the tourist hotspots.

Bella Vita- Homey and hearty Italian in a cute setting. This was my first meal in London and couldn’t be more perfect. The restaurant was packed but we got a nice table in the corner, enjoyed an amazing bottle of red and ate some classic Italien dishes with a modern twist.

Shoreditch House- Part of Soho House, Shoreditch House has a similar menu to all the others. Scene is always bustling and the menu is great for sharing.

The Ned- It’s a member’s club but you don’t need to be a member to dine there.  It's located in an exquisite old bank. When you walk in you feel like you're walking into a scene from Great Gatsby.  There are nine restaurants in the space all serving different kinds of food. We had a late reservation but were starving so we decided to have appetizers at Zobler’s (an upscale deli- champagne and latkas) and then we had dinner at Millie’s (cutest pink sofas!). I would go there every week if I lived in London. Make sure to reserve since it’s always packed.

Shackfuyu- Asian fusion, tapas style. Need I say more?

Duke of Cambridge- We went here for lunch one day and I loved my meal. The food is all organic and there are tons of healthy options (which, in comparison to LA, isn’t that easy to find).

Sketch- A few of you had messaged me on Instagram suggesting Sketch. I went for drinks and the atmosphere is amazing! But be ready to spend a lot on drinks (like 50 pounds for 2 martinis…yikes!) It's definitely a tourist hot spot but worth it to see! 

The Ivy- I had a work brunch here and loved the menu. I have to say I'm not a huge fan of traditional english breakfasts (particularly since I don't eat a lot of carbs and I don't eat meat). The Ivy had tons of healthy options, like eggs and avocado toast. 

Photography by Lydia Collins