LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Beauty

Saks Beauty Week Tyson's Galleria

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

This past year I've made beauty regimens a serious priority of mine. While I'm still guilty of "forgetting" to wash my face after a night out from time to time, I'm working on improving my overall skincare and beauty routine.  For me, this was starting with better quality products. Less drugstore, more department store.  Saks Tyson's Galleria truly has it all so when I found out about their beauty week, I was thrilled.  

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If you follow along on my Instagram stories, you saw that I stopped by Saks last week for the dreamist La Prairie facial.  I also had a chance to check out some of their latest and greatest products for beauty week. 

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You can find so many of my favorites from the store in The Spring Beauty Book.  My overall favs would have to be the Estee Lauder Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Creme for Face and Eyes and Hydrating Creme Cleanser. Another goodie was this Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Palette, which I desperately needed for everyday use.  In addition, thenSaks Beauty Dept includes offerings from Kilian, La Prairie, Chanel, La Mer, Dior, YSL, Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Jo Malone, SKII, Cle De Peau, Sisley, Tom Ford and more.


I also love the beauty ritual guides that Saks is offering for Beauty Week.  We have our eyes set on the Trish McEvoy 'Power of Brows' tutorials on Thursday 2/23. 

Make sure to shop soon. Saks is offering this complimentary tote bag (in stores and online) with any $150 or more purchase. Even better, at $300, you'll get an adorable wristlet to match. Say hello to my new beach bag!  Saks Fifth Avenue in the Tysons Galleria is located at 2051 International Drive, McLean, VA 22102.

7 New Nail Colors for Winter

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1. Vintage on Vine

One of Lauren B Beauty's prettiest nail colors of the season, this true, creamy mauve warms up even the palest skin tones and has a lovely, chameleon-like quality: Depending on the light, the effect wavers between dusky purple and a gorgeous, Instagram-vintage-filter taupe.

2. Rose Quartz

Consider this your new favorite neutral. Rose Quartz polish is at once warm, romantic and charming. Make sure to check out some of the other amazing new Kendra Scott nail lacquers

3. Noot

Noot by Zoya can be best described as a very dark grey cream with strong blue-green undertones. Smoky, smoldering dark grey nails with a twist from the addition of green tones.

4. Slate Grey

This is the grey polish you've been looking high and low for. Thanks again Kendra Scott!  A clean, crisp slate hue with eye-catching shine, this gray nail lacquer is anything but neutral.

5. Departing LAX

For those looking for a little bit of fun, Lauren B Beauty has got you. Glints of silver and lavender illuminate this shimmery gray-brown enamel, lending it the shiny iridescence of a jet-plane. It’s an unexpected neutral that soars.

6. Miley

Eeeeee! This is my favorite polish for fall by far!  I discovered this Zoya color when getting a regular mani at my favorite DC nail salon, Varnish Lane. Miley by Zoya can be best described as a pale, delicate lilac creme with light blue undertones. A lovely botanical shade with high-fashion edge.

7. PCH

This Lauren B Beauty polish will take you places this fall. Imagine a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway on a cool, clear fall afternoon. That’s the stunning freshness of this opaque cobalt blue. Tinged with purple undertones, it’s festive and on-trend and instantly lifts your mood. 

How perfect are these shelves at Varnish Lane? If you're in DC, you can find Zoya and Lauren B Beauty polishes there! Also, special shout out to Kendra Scott in Bethesda where you can find the latest nail lacquers at the store! 

Which colors and brands do you prefer for winter?
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I Stopped Using Proactiv and This is Why

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Here's the deal, I started using Proactiv when I was about 14 years old.  Like most teenagers, I had some bumps and blemishes here and there that I wanted to get rid of but overall, nothing too serious.  I swore by this skincare routine well into adulthood, thinking, “if it works, it works.”  While this may be true for some, I found that I was ready to start thinking about my skin in a different way.  What did I want to solve, and what did I want to prevent?  As I’ve mentioned in my 26 Before 26 List, I’ve made it a serious priority of mine to wear sunscreen on a daily basis.  With the exception of getting a little crispy over the 4th of July weekend, I’ve held true to my promise and have made sun protection a daily part of my skincare routine. 

This however, was a step that the Proactiv skincare system was lacking for me.  At 25, I’m thinking less about acne and more about skin protection and rejuvenation.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved using Proactiv, I just needed to switch things up.  Luckily, I didn’t have to stray too far from the brand that I loved and used for so long.  Shortly after making the decision to switch, I was in touch with my friend Mary Utsey, a consultant for Rodan + Fields. Yes, the same dermatologists that developed and created the Proactiv Solution.

I chatted with Mary for a bit on what I was looking for in a skincare line.  I made sure to mention the importance of including a sunscreen in my skincare routine. We also discussed some of my other skin woes; dullness, brown spots, and discoloration.

Mary then suggested the REVERSE regimen to target all of these skin issues.  Essentially, this skincare could help turn back the clock on my younger days of sitting in the sun sans sunscreen, in just 4 easy steps.  Similar to what I did with my Proactiv Solution, using the REVERSE products in the morning and at night, or whenever possible, has helped to brighten my complexion, prevent and repair sun damage, and even restore skin cells for a more youthful look.  Here’s a little more info about each step and what I like about it!

Step 1: Deep Exfoliation – First, I’ll begin by getting my skin wet with lukewarm water.  I’ll take about a dime-size amount onto my entire face and neck and will massage for about 30-60 seconds.  Many times, I think we forget to spend a little extra time in our exfoliation.  Really let the product do the work and keep working it into the skin. Rinse thoroughly pat dry.  I started out using the products every other day per instructions and have worked up to use every morning and night.

Step 2: Intensive Brightening Toner – I think there’s a common misconception that toners aren’t really necessary in a skincare routine.  For me, they’re critical.  Toners help to remove oil and traces of dirt and grime.  Essentially, if you wear sunscreen, or makeup, you should use a toner.  For this brightening toner, I use a gauze pad or cotton ball to apply the toner to my face.

Step 3: Dual Active Brightening Complex – This is quite possibly my favorite step of the process.  The dual process features vitamin C and retinol, to enhance skin brightening while helping to diminish the look of fine lines, along with kojic acid and licorice to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone over time.  After cleansing and toning, I use an equal pea-size amount of each tube next to one another.  Then, I simply blend the two and apply over my entire face until entirely absorbed into my skin.

Step 4: Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen – The final and arguably most important step is the REVERSE set is the sunscreen. Unlike many sunscreens, this product contains Vitamin E and green tea that fight free radicals and prevent future sun damage, while licorice extract and mulberry help to brighten dull skin. 
 

So far I’ve used the REVERSE products for about a month and have already seen fantastic results.  Overall, my skin looks brighter and my skin tone, especially on my forehead and cheeks is far more even than when I started.  Initially, I had a small breakout here and there, but Mary ensured me that it was the change in my skincare routine, and the REVERSE products essentially working up the dirt and oil to the surface of my skin.

I cannot recommend this regimen enough, especially if you are looking for a skincare that targets signs of sun damage and aging, rather than simply acne.  Interested in more? Make sure to check out the other Rodan +Fields skincare lines and talk to my good friend Mary about which one works best for you.  Also, unlike many other skincare treatments I’ve considered in the past, I never once felt pressured to try or purchase something I wasn’t interested in. Added bonus, you can try the products for a full 60 days with the guarantee that they will produce visible results or your money back. I loved this, it really takes away from the pressure of investing in our skin! 

**GIVEAWAY** Anyone who contacts or messages Mary in relation to this blog post will be entered into a drawing to win the latest Rodan + Fields Lash Boost and mini eye cream! 


*The products in this post were provided courtesy of friends at Rodan + Fields. However, I only post and promote products I genuinely use, and more importantly, love. 

Products I love: The Multistick by Bite Beauty

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So truthfully, I didn't really start wearing lipstick until this year.  I always hated the sticky consistency and frankly, the upkeep of reapplication after every hour, or more. Then I received the Multistick from Bite Beauty to test out and now I don't leave the house without it. 

The Multistick is the ideal product for the low (or high) -maintenance gal on the go, who still likes a little cheek contour and lipstick now and then. 

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What it is: 
A multistick that applies like a cream and wears like a powder for weightless color application. Just apply with your finger or a brush on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. 

What it does: 
With 35% powder in each Multistick bullet, this silicone-free formula creates a soft focus finish that's blendable, breathable, and buildable. It features universal shades for the eyes, lips, and cheeks that compliment all skin tones and are formulated to use anywhere on the face. 

What it is formulated WITHOUT: 
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Phthalates

What else you need to know: 
Bite Beauty products are free of petrochemicals and silicones.

In my kit, I was sent three shades: Blondie (nude beige) Macaroon (pink) and Cocoa (deep chocolate brown) 

The Multistick formula comes in 18 shades which can each be used as a lipstick, a blush or contour, or a soft eyeshadow.  They apply like a cream but look like a light powder, keeping you looking light and effortless.  

Everyday, I use the Cocoa shade under my cheekbones and along my forehead for a light contour. While it looks super thick and dark, the stick blends right lightly and evenly when blended with a brush. I use the medium-sized angled brush from my Sonia Kashuk brush kit to blend in the contour. 
On my eyelids, I use the Blondie shade for added color. This is where I love the creamy yet powdery consistency of the Multistick the most.  It's light enough to blend in with my Laura Mercier highlighter on my brow bone, yet creamy enough to stay put. Lastly, or my lips and cheeks, I use the Macaroon shade, which I highly recommend for any skin tone. 

 
 

Still interested? Check out this fun video about how the Multistick works! You can buy the Multistick here, at Sephora

Special thanks to Refine Boutique for my new favorite piece of clothing, this (similar) Rory Beca jumpsuit! Make sure you check out Refine and book your appointment to shop! 

Photography via: Beautezine and Libby Rasmussen

How to Successfully Wear Your Clap Back

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Sometimes you just got to speak your mind via fashion. Thankfully, Jac Vanek does just that.  With hilarious shirts, clutches, and phone covers, there's bound to be something that really speaks to you.  This clutch in particular, said the words loud and clear.  Too often I've had moments of seeing over plucked, or over drawn brows and thought, WHATARETHOOOOSE?! 

Now, I just have a clutch say it for me.  #clapbacksuccess  

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Also, while we're on the subject of brows, I'd like to give a huge shout out to the ladies at Shobha for keeping my brows looking natural and shapely.  At Shobha, I get my brows threaded about every 5 weeks. I also use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and Brow Gel. 

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I'm 25 and I Just Started Wearing Sunscreen

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Okay so maybe I didn't just start wearing sunscreen but 25 is definitely the year I swore I would start taking sun exposure and protection seriously.  We've all read in magazines and have been warned by older girlfriends that 25 is when sh*t starts to hit the fan.  It's more difficult to lose weight, the hangovers get progressively worse, and the fine lines and wrinkles start to rear their ugly heads.  While serums, lotions, and brightening creams are always great anti-aging methods, I've learned just how important it is to start with the source of the wrinkles, which for many women, is sun exposure.  Fact: UV rays account for 80% of skin aging. 

I consider myself pretty lucky to have a great group of girlfriends who are dedicated to their skincare.  A lot of my recent sun care regimens have been inspired by their methods. Whether it's wearing a big beach hat, or swearing off tanning beds and hitting up the spray tan, my old habits are slowly diminishing as their healthy ones are starting to rub off.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm long past the days of fake-baking in high school, and those who know me well know I'm awful at sitting still and frying on the beach.  I am however, guilty of using the occasional "I have naturally tan skin and rarely burn" argument.  Cringe.  

In my attempt to start being better about overall sun protection, I researched a lot of products. What was most important to me was that I found a great every day facial and overall sunscreen, a that the products were organic. 

After doing some more reading on the differences between traditional chemical sunscreen and organic sunscreen, I was surprised by what I found.  Similar to many Chemical Deodorants sold in stores, I discovered that many popular sunscreen brands are packed with less than ideal ingredients like silicone, parabens, and micro plastics. Soon after, I was introduced to BIOSOLIS, an organic, eco-friendly, sun protection line which uses mineral UV filters for sun protection.  Back in the day, mineral UV sunscreen would leave a white layer on the skin surface (think sunscreen on the lifeguard's nose.) BIOSOLIS however, revolutionized these mineral UV filters, making them both invisible, non-toxic, and most importantly, effective for sun protection. I love that this line has sun protection in different stages: before, during, and after.  

While summer might be coming to a close, I need to remember that sun protection needs to happen year round.  Special thanks to BIOSOLIS for sending me these products and educating me on the importance of using organic, chemical-free sunscreens. 

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I Tried 10 Organic Deodorants So You Don't Have To

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A while back, I wrote about natural deodorants and set a goal to try out as many I could. I said I was going to do it, so I did.  What once was eight deodorants turned into ten.  Each week, I tried a new chemical-free deodorant for a week or more. The reason being, I really wanted to actually try these products out. At the gym, at a concert, on dates, and yes, hot yoga, I tried them all to note the differences in each and here's what I liked.

Lavilin 72 HR Roll-On Deodorant  If I had to choose my top three of the 10, this roll-on deodorant would be in it. As a roll-on, it’s probably the most convenient to use. It also happens to be the longest lasting. With just one application, it claims to protect you for 72 hours. While I didn’t wait it out that long, it’s a great deodorant for those who might forget to apply every now and then.  I also liked that it was light on my skin and the fragrance wasn't overpowering. The deodorant cream works fabulously as well. ($16)

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream This deodorant was great for my 4th of July weekend to the lake.  I wore it on some pretty warm days getting some rays on the dock.  Typically the sweat from sunbathing would leave me feeling sticky but even after jumping in the water a few times, this deodorant held up. ($18)

Windecker Farms Deodorant  I wholeheartedly love this product and this brand. Similarly suspicious of the dangerous chemicals in many beauty products, founder and owner, Kimberli Windecker started this line when she lost her dear friend to breast cancer.  She and her friend had grievances with not being able to find a good store-bought natural deodorant that worked, so Kimberli made her own.  I love using a product that actually worked and was made by someone who truly cares. Bonus: it held up incredibly during my 95-minute hot yoga class.  I’m also dying to try the Charcoal Cream Deodorant. ($10) 

Nourish Organic Deodorant Cream Stick  While I found myself naturally drawn to using stick deodorants (old habits) I actually loved this deodorant for its scent and obviously beautiful packaging. This is a great deodorant for those who are average on the sweat or smell scale.  It’s a gentler deodorant and most important, it’s “chemical free, cruelty free, concern free.” The price-point was also one of the best. ($7) 

Truly’s Natural Deodorant  Hi, meet your new favorite smelling product. This coconut-based deodorant smells good enough to eat. While I don’t recommend that, I give this product my full stamp of approval.  Just a small pea-sized amount on my underarms kept me smelling great all day.  Highly recommend trying and seems great for teens. ($9)

Primally Pure Deodorant Stick  Another brand I love is Primally Pure.  Their Neroli + Ylang Ylang Complexion Mist is one of my favorite little luxuries. I used this lemongrass deodorant for a week where I was walking to and from work every day and I stayed smelling great even when I got home. Another benefit, it actually healed some razor burn that I had.  If you are sensitive to baking soda however, make sure to check out the sensitive deodorant formula, which contains less baking soda. ($12)

Erbaviva Lemon Sage Spray Deodorant  This spray deodorant might be on the pricier side, but I can assure you the bottle is huge and will last you a year.  The lemon and sage spray fuses quickly evaporating organic grain alcohol with organic extracts of sage, lemon, patchouli and tea tree oils, that kept me smelling great, even in hot yoga. One warning, make sure to give yourself ample time to apply after shaving.  Due to the organic grain alcohol, the spray can burn just a bit at first. Make sure to check out the adorable minis as well, perfect for the gym or traveling! ($20)

PiperWai Natural Deodorant Easily one of the most popular all natural deodorants on the market due to its debut on Shark Tank and it sells out quickly! This deodorant contains activated charcoal to absorb wetness, something that the other deodorants won’t do as well. Great for sensitive skin and those looking to make a difference. ($12)

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream   With all of the natural ingredients listed, you would think that this deodorant cream would feel thick and cakey, but it just the opposite.  The cream is smooth with just the right amount of grit.  I thought I would be more agitated with the idea of using a cream deodorant instead of a stick, but once I got the hang of it, it never bothered me. A few of my friends have tried this product and loved it just as much as I do. ($19)

Schmidt’s Deodorant Stick  If you’re new to the all-natural deodorant world and want to continue using a stick applicator, I highly recommend Schmidt’s. This was the first deodorant I tried and was incredibly impressed by the branding, the quality of the products, and even the mission of the company. It was really the overall package and I love the Bergamot + Lime stick the best.  ($9)

So, will you make the switch? Which will you pick?
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Current Beauty Obsessions

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

No. One Kari Gran Lip Whip As someone who doesn't love wearing lipstick, I'm drawn to alternatives that are easy, light, and most importantly, pretty.  These Lip Whips from Kari Gran are so easy and actually last longer than most of the tinted chapsticks I typically use.  I love the peppermint in the whips and the colors are fantastic. 

No. Two Charcoal Teeth Whitening and Lemon Charcoal Water Charcoal is one of my top beauty obsessions at the moment.  A few weeks ago I wrote about the products I'm using to help get a whiter smile and charcoal is my #1 at the moment.  Typically every other day I use the Tuxedo charcoal powder when I brush my teeth.  It can get a little messy so I usually brush them in the shower. The raw coconut charcoal is the best for making my morning lemon charcoal water. It's great for teeth whitening and calms my stomach in the morning.  The charcoal fizzes a little, creating an seltzer-like water.  Best part, it's not gritty at all. 

No. Three Primally Pure Complexion Mist Sometimes you just need a pampering, which is exactly why I love using a floral complexion mist. This mist specifically, uses oils of ylang ylang (revitalizes skin and balances sebum secretions) and palmarosa (antibacterial and astringent) leaving my skin feeling really nourished and refreshed. It's really one of those small luxuries that I love having in my beauty routine.  

No. Four Blissoma Solar Repair Serum This year, I made a promise to myself in my 26 Before 26 List, #19 - Start Wearing Sunscreen Daily. In keeping this promise, I've started protecting my skin with sunscreen and repairing it with this facial solar repair serum.  

No. Five Acure Coconut + Argan Face Wipes  Try as I might to wash my entire face every single night, sometimes happy hours get the best of me and I can't possibly be bothered to do my whole nighttime skincare routine.  Which is why I love these Acure towelettes.  I keep them in my side table for those late (and lazy) nights and they smell amazing. I got these from Grove Collaborative and absolutely love them. 

No. Six  Hansderma Ice Roller  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm OBSESSED with ice rolling.  It has easily become my favorite part of my morning routine.  I love taking just 3-5 minutes every morning to relax and roll. Not sure about ice rolling, make sure to check out my post below on what it's all about! 

Make sure to check out my last post about Ice Rolling here. 

What I'm Using to Get a Whiter Smile

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Sheer White! Strips ($24)

Before starting this whitening journey, I went to West End Dental for a routine cleaning. I explained to my dentist that I wanted to get the results of a professional whitening treatment, for obviously, much less $$$.  She immediately recommended these Sheer White! strips.  So far, I've used them twice and have already noticed a difference. What I love most is that the strips are designed for sensitive teeth.  I don't typically have sensitive teeth, but some whitening strips have been known to cause pain and irritation the day after use, not these! 

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The Koffie Straw ($13.97) 

Meet my new favorite item, the Koffie Straw.  These straws make it easy to sip my morning coffee and afternoon tea without staining my teeth. Koffie straws were created by an Aunt and Nephew looking to fill a void in the marketplace. Unlike regular straws, Koffie Straws are made from 100% FDA certified silicone so they’re safe under high temperatures. They’re also reusable, dishwasher safe, and designed to fit perfectly in your to-go cup. Great for Mother's Day too! 

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Baking Soda Paste ($2) 

 Baking soda is a great way to clean stains off your clothes, counter tops, and teeth. How can a simple mixture of baking soda and water whiten your teeth? Well, baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, contains a chemical compound that makes it a great mild abrasive.  This same abrasiveness helps to effectively remove surface stains from your teeth and make them appear whiter.  In all honesty, I've tried this maybe 3-4 times in the past month, and would advise to do so sparingly. 

WooBamboo! Toothbrushes - Set of 4 - ($14)

So, I've been told by my dentist that I'm an aggressive tooth-brusher which made me laugh, but she warned that I was actually causing some damage to my gums. To help with this, she suggested getting a softer bristle toothbrush and using my less dominant hand to brush.  WooBamboo brushes are perfect for this. They have a "super soft brush head" to help ease-up on my gums.  The best part, they are made from organically grown bamboo and are antimicrobial (bamboo is actually naturally antimicrobial (the same reason cutting boards are made from bamboo!) This means that theoretically, you don't have to worry about bacteria growing on the handle (which is also biodegradable.) So many great reasons to use a WooBamboo toothbrush. 

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Crest 3D Whitestrips LUXE TEETH Whitening ($54.95) 

Crest Whitestrips take only 30 minutes to activate and whiten my teeth.  They're really easy to just throw on and do something else.  I slide these puppies on right before my post-workout shower or during an episode of Broad City.  Nothing better than multitasking. 
They do have a tendency to make my teeth a little sensitive, but I just take it as a sign that they're hard at work! 


Rocky Mountain Essentials
Coconut Activated Charcoal ($15.99)

Cleans And Whitens Teeth, Detoxifies the Body. I usually dip my wet toothbrush in the powder and scrub to whiten my teeth.  It's also a great way to detox and calms an upset stomach.  Just mix in a tablespoon into a glass of water with a little lemon and enjoy!

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Rocky Mountain Essentials
TUXEDO NATURAL TEETH WHITENER($16.99) 

 The charcoal whitener binds to tannins, which are elements found in wine, coffee, and green tea that stain your teeth.  I love how this feels, especially after using the whitening strips, which tend to make my teeth feel tender.  I recommend using it in the shower when brushing, as it can get a little messy. 

Wearing Lipstick - Sticking to Cooler Undertones Instead of Coral

According to Elle.com, "Pinks tend to be trickier than reds, since they lack the dark contract that can make teeth pop.  But still, same rule applies: Be wary of orange, and go for softer, berry-hued pinks." Taking this advice, I picked up a tube of MAC Mineralize Rich Lipstick in Elegant Accent for $22.

St. Tropez Facial Tanning Oil ($35) 

Using a similar tactic as the lipstick, by wearing a bottled glow, it gives me a contrast between my skin and teeth, making them look just a tad brighter than usual.  

What are your teeth-whitening tricks? Comment and let me know!
 

*Special thanks to West End Dental, Koffie Straw, WooBamboo, and Rocky Mountain Essentials for sending me these products. All opinions are my own. 

You NEED to Start Ice Rolling Your Skin + Hansderma

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Ice what? If you have a freezer, you can start ice rolling sooner than you think. (Make sure to check out my giveaway at the bottom!)
 
We all know what it's like to wake up in the morning with a puffy, red face.  Regardless of how many hours of sleep or martinis you racked up the night before, there really hasn't been a solution to instantly cool and firm your face after waking up, until now. Like so many women, I am no stranger to the old frozen wet spoons trick for my cheeks and under-eye circles.  Now, the first thing I do after getting out of the shower, is ice roll. 

Still confused? Let me break it down a bit more. 

Ice rollers are incredibly popular abroad and have only recently started to gain notoriety in the states.  Often found behind-the-scenes at photo shoots and runway shows, many make-up artists swear by ice rollers to calm the skin. Everything about ice rolling ice simple, right down to the actual roller.  The Hansderma SkinCool Ice Roller I love and use daily is an easy handheld device filled with water and gel.  All I do is take it out of the freezer, and gently roll and massage across my face.  Within seconds of using the ice roller, yes seconds, I can feel my skin tighten and the see the puffiness and redness dissipate. I especially love using it on my under eye circles. I've also started to apply a few drops of my favorite nutrient-rich Glossier serum, on my skin before ice rolling.  The ice roller then evenly spreads the serum on my face and feels absolutely amazing

Men have also found ice rolling beneficial, especially after a close shave to help eliminate razor burn and redness. I've also used my ice roller for the countless times I've bumped my knees on anything and everything in my apartment.  Bye bye bruising.   

I know what you're thinking, this seems completely unnecessary and a bit of a production. I can assure you, that once you try it, it will seem as crucial as brushing your teeth. If you're still skeptical, make sure to check out this article (number 3 could not be more true.) This YouTube Tutorial is also great! 

If you're ready to start your soon-to-be new favorite routine, make sure to snag an Hansderma Ice Roller, for only $30, also sold on Amazon
 

This post was done in collaboration with Hansderma. It should be noted that I only review products I love and use regularly. My blue off-the-shoulder top is from Whistles

 

6 Ways to Get Stronger Healthier Hair

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So I'll admit, I'm not the best at practicing what I preach when it comes to hair.  I know I shouldn't over-brush or over-shampoo. I know I shouldn't blow out my hair every day, or avoid monthly trims, yet I do it.  And worst of all, I sleep with it in a ponytail every. single. night. Yikes. So I've made it a personal challenge lately to gradually start changing my ways and here's what has been working.

Vitamins - I've started eating Biotin Chews every day. Usually around 3pm when I need a little sugar rush (they taste just like Starbursts).  A Harvard study established biotin as one of the essential nutrients for preserving hair strength, texture and appearance. Fish oil is another great option as well. Can't hurt right? 

Shampoo - So I've really tried not to, but not washing my hair isn't an option.  It's too fine and when I wake up in the morning my hair is completely tossed to one side à la Donald Trump.  I have however started to use Sulfate-Free shampoos to protect my natural oils.  Sulfates are meant to cleanse hair and get rid of dirt and oil.  This cleansing can often strip fragile hair of the oils and proteins needed to keep it strong.  The fact is, sulfates are not a must-have ingredient for taking care of your hair.  So why bother right? My absolute favorite Sulfate-Free products are the Hair Expertise: EverPure Repair & Defend line from Loreal Paris. It keeps the good oils in my hair and smells amazing. 

Wet Brush - After countless recommendations from friends, I finally got a Wet Brush and will never look back.  As someone who is pretty rough when brushing my hair, the Wet Brush has more give and helps getting out the knots without tugging at the hair. When I misplaced my Wet Brush the other day, I used my old brush and it actually hurt my scalp. I've also noticed a difference in how often I need to "empty" my Wet Brush.  Before using it, I had to empty my brush once a week because it was pulling out so much hair.  With my Wet Brush, it's more like every 2 weeks. 

Turn Down the Heat - For years I would blow out my hair with high heat.  It was quick and easy, and gave my hair the volume I thought I needed. It might seem like a small step, but it's made a difference - I simply use medium heat now.  Sure it takes a bit longer, but I've noticed a huge difference in the way my hair looks and feels when I use a lower heat setting.

Argan Oil - If you have dry, brittle hair like me, once a week do an overnight deep conditioning treatment with Moroccan argan oil. I'll warm about 4-6 drops in my hands before massaging into my scalp. I usually apply it all the way to the ends, twist, and place in a sleep bun before bed.  This is probably my favorite product/scent ever. Don't settle for the other brands, please.

Sleeping Bun -  So I haven't been doing this long, but Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential swears by it and even posted a fun tutorial on how it she does her sleep bun. All you need are these fun Crocodile Clips which you can find at your local Drybar or Sephora.  For someone like me, who cannot sleep with their hair down, this is a great alternative to a ponytail.

 
 
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**Special thanks to Influenster and L'Oréal Paris for sending me the EverPure Repair & Defend hair line. All opinions are my own. 

Favorites Lately - Korres Skincare

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
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Pomegranate Cleansing Scrub ($21) - I love nothing more than a good facial scrub.  Typically I use the ProActive cleansing scrub, but use it less and less, especially when my acne/redness is at bay. I love the gentle yet effective grains in this scrub and that it doesn't leaving my skin feeling stripped of it natural oils, which is very important. 

Pomegranate Toner ($22) - I used to think that I really didn't need a toner, but in reality, it was only because I didn't know what toners actually do. I use this after washing my face with the Pomegranate Cleansing Scrub and it manages to get all of the make-up that didn't wash off.  Not only that, the pomegranate water and natural astringents have actually made my pores look and feel smaller, almost like a tightening effect, without drying my skin out. 

Wild Rose Brightening and Tone Corrector ($43) - I've always had an issue with skin tone and discoloration so serums and corrector have been a god-sent. This uses pure vitamin C and Wild rose oil to reduce the size and intensity of skin pigmentation and improves radiance. As I've mentioned in previous posts about Facial Serums 101, with continued use, serums can truly transform your skin over time. 

Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturizing & Brightening Cream ($38) - This is easily one of the best face creams I've used in a while.  It's packed with vitamin C and hydrated my skin, leaving it so incredibly smooth then next morning without feeling greasy or sticky. I also love the Wild Rose scent. 

*Special thanks to Korres for sending me these products. All opinions are my own. 

I'm Trying 8 Different Natural Deodorants So You Don't Have To

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment
Source:  Amy Lombard

Source: Amy Lombard

I've had a love/hate relationship with deodorant for quite some time now.  Admittedly, I knew nothing about it and often "forget" to wear it (& so does Kortney Kardashian) Ick and ew all you want, but other than during serious workouts, I'm not one to break a sweat. Frankly, when I do, I enjoy it - in the right setting of course.  Preventing my body from doing something that is natural and in some ways, gratifying, just feels wrong.  So with a bit of research and some amazing companies, I'm diving in, pits first, into a paraben and aluminum-free pool of organic deodorants.  

Curious to learn more about deodorants? Here are some fun facts courtesy of The Huffington Post.

  1. Deodorant Kills Bacteria - Sweat isn't inherently stinky. In fact, it's nearly odorless.  The smells come from bacteria that break down one of two types of sweat on your skin.  Deodorants contains antibacterial power to stop the smell before it starts, while antiperspirants deal with sweat directly.
     
  2. You Can Become Immune to Your Deodorant - It seems that our bodies do adapt to the sweat-thwarting ways of antiperspirants, but no one really knows why, HuffPost Style reported. The body may adapt and find a way to unplug the glands, or simply produce more sweat in the body’s other glands.
     
  3. Gender Doesn't Matter - Fun fact: While women have more sweat glands than men, men’s sweat glands produce more sweat. But deodorant for men or for women is most likely little more than a marketing ploy. In at least one brand, the same active ingredient is present in the same amounts in the sticks for men and women, Discovery Health reported. It’s only packaging and fragrance that differs. Ladies, beware of getting charged more for women's products. It's real
     

  4. Earwax Indicator - Our earwax can actually tell us if you really need deodorant or not.  Here's the hint, if your earwax is white and flaky, pass on the Speed Stick,  But, if it's dark and sticky, you should likely use deodorant.  
     

  5. No One Knows Where the Yellow Stains Come From - Most theorize that the aluminum-based ingredients somehow react with sweat/skin/shirts/laundry detergent/you name it, and create this obnoxious stain.  My advice, just ditch the aluminum-based products all together.  Problem solved. 


Make sure to stay tuned for my reviews of the best organic deodorants and antiperspirants.
Until then, I'm tossing this bad boy in the trash.