HOW TO SAVE WHEN YOU HAVE A BEAUTY ADDICITON

I’m a beauty junkie! Have you noticed? I won’t bore you with the super long list of products that have now made an organized space in my linen closet. And I won’t try to stop you from investing in what you love. What I will do is give you tips on how you can admire all things beauty and still be financially responsible about it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, overspending, but you don’t have to!

1. LEARN WHAT INGREDIENTS WORK BEST FOR YOU
First and foremost, know your skin! Oily, dry, combination, ALL THAT! This is a huge factor in making the best decisions for your beauty purchases. There’s no reason to by a cleanser for acne prone skin if you don’t get acne. Following beauty trends always seem fun but try to be more conscience of purchasing what’s truly best for you!

2. RETURN WHAT YOU’VE TRIED THAT DOESN’T WORK
This is something I wish I did more of. Many stores allow you to bring back products that were not to your satisfaction. I’m guilty of quickly picking up the wrong shade. Or purchasing a hot item that I end up hating. Stores like Sephora, major department stores, and even your local drug stores like Duane Read or CVS will allow you to bring beauty products back as long as you have the receipt. No need to add it to the closet of products that you probably won’t touch for years to come.

3. MAKE A NEED VS. WANT LIST
OK, so yea, I want the Urban Decay Naked2 palette. And yes I can just run to Sephora and buy it. No biggie right? Wrong! For a fact, I don’t need it! I have enough eye shadow to make it to the next century. This is what I mean. List out what you really need. Things that are useful to you regularly. If you have a specific moisturizer that you love, continue buying it when you run out of it, because it works. Hey on your birthday, get yourself a WANT. But this doesn’t have to be a habit. It feels so much better when you treat yourself once in a blue.

Simple right? Those three tips could save you a good penny! You don’t have to break the bank to have a killer beauty stash. I’m here so you don’t make my mistakes. I got nothing but LOVE for ya! What are some of your beauty money saving secrets? I’d love to know.

xo IKA

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MARCH 2017 OBSESSION

March Obsession Time, friends! My choice is a no-brainier this month. I tried a makeup product that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

M.A.C Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick is not a game. What a formula! It glides on like butter. It lasts all day. It doesn’t dry out. What else do you want? Listen, I’m a huge fan of Colour Pop Ultra Matte Lips and the $6 price! But they have nothing on the M.A.C formula, it’s true.

Currently obsessed with the shade Ladybegood. It’s an everyday shade for me. Luckily for you, there are 33 shades to choose from. Enjoy!

xo IKA

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REACHING FOR A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE – CAN IT BE DONE?

Minimalism! I need to get my thoughts out. I’ve been battling with this for a few years now. Yes, years! I can’t grasp the minimalist lifestyle in my own life. But I’m a minimalist enthusiast to the bone. I want it, and perhaps speaking it to existence is what I need!

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” Theminimalists.com

Wait, what!?! Is it just me or does that sound like where we should all be? I want freedom! I want real freedom. And it’s not easy. I mean, the concept of being free; a piece of cake right? No, it’s not a piece of cake. It’s scary at first. It’s work. It’s consistency. It’s a lifestyle. And one day I want to get there.

My interest in living a minimal life started when I moved into my current apartment. I developed a somewhat obsessive need to keep everything in order. This is different from minimalism when you think about it. It’s a need for control. Every dish matches and belongs in a specific place. Pillows are fluffed to perfection. The bedding has to be white. The bathroom towels are not for my “use”. Saying this out loud even to myself makes me think I’m crazy lol. I’m not crazy, I’m particular lol. ANYWAY enough about my need for order! Have you ever desired to live with less material possessions? That’s where I am. I give too much meaning to “things”. If I could have less “things”, I could give more meaning to people, relationships and my health! Doesn’t that sound like a life you would want to live? To live a life that is driven by purpose? Then why is it so hard to let go of items that mean nothing in the grand scheme of things? I struggle with this. Not the concept, but how to apply it to my own life.

I started my career in fashion. Right after college I was a merchandising assistant in the buying office at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was exposed to luxury designer merchandise; the ins and outs of fashion. A real eye opener for me although I’ve always had a love for fashion prior to my first real job. I remember getting a Saks credit card as an employee and thinking LIFE COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT BUYING EVERYTHING! What it has left me with, 12 years later, is possession of the most amazing, beautiful, luxury meaningless merchandise that I don’t use and can’t let go of. It’s also left me with working really hard every day, and getting paid to buy more; more “things”. That’s just one piece of the puzzle; having a ton of “stuff”. There is so much more that we consume excess of. But my main point is to say, my dream is to have less, to make more room, not for more meaningless “things” but for more experience, love, growth, travel, etc. Ridding myself of the clutter, I believe will help me consume more of those meaningful truths. It may take another 12 years before this becomes my reality. Yet I’m hopeful and I’m keeping educated on the process of clearing my home and my mind of clutter and inviting freedom in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. How much meaning do you give to “things”?

xo IKA

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UPDATED NIGHTTIME SKINCARE ROUTINE

It’s true. I normally like to try different products and routines for my skin. I get too fascinated by new things and I love to explore. But I’ve been thinking; maybe the best thing for my skin, specifically my face and neck, is to simplify and be consistent. For the past couple of months I’ve tried to lessen the product usage at night and make it a simple yet strong routine without change. I think it’s been working and I want to share the love.

1. CLEANSE: Did you think I was going to mention something complicated? Of course we must cleanse! But there’s an order. Take the cleanser of choice (At the moment I’m consistently using Cetaphil which is gentle yet effective). Wash your face with warm water. Not hot, but warm enough. Warm water opens up your pores and allows you to get all of the dirt and grime out. So many environmental factors find their way to our skin on a daily basis. It’s important to remove it all thoroughly.

2. RINSE: This is my favorite part. For me it’s such an important step and I think it gets missed in many people’s regime. Every evening after cleansing, I rinse my face and neck with cold water. What the cold water does is close the pores and it creates this “firmness” that is oh so good! I honestly feel like I’m doing wonders for my skin when I rinse.

3. MOISTURIZE WITH NATURAL OIL: Yea I said it, OIL! I’ll give you three oils to choose from. Argan, Almond, or Jojoba. Those are my top three but please do your research and choose what’s right for you. We’re not just rubbing oil on our face. We’re moisturizing with love. Smooth your oil of choice in upward circular motions. In my opinion I’m fighting gravity by using this technique.

OPTIONAL YET EFFECTIVE ADDITIONAL STEPS:
1. FACE MAKEUP AND EYE MAKEUP REMOVAL: So we all do it right? Remove makeup with a makeup wipe. This is a totally optional step. It really depends on the amount of makeup/coverage you use daily. It varies for me but a pack of wipes needs to be in the bathroom at all times. For the eye: Smokey eye, winged liner, heavy mascara wearers beware! If you’re in one of the mentioned categories, do yourself a favor and get those lids clean.

2. EXFOLIATE: Exfoliating is great! Every now and then you need to give the face and neck a scrub. It doesn’t have to be every day; you can aim for once a week. If you’d like to include it as a daily routine, there are exfoliators and scrubs out there that are gentle enough for every day use.

3. CLAY AND SHEET MASKS: I LOVE MASKSSSSSSSSSSS! The only reason I didn’t put it on the above list is because it’s not a daily step for me. I usually tap into a good mask before an event, date, or when my skin is feeling thirsty. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

So there you have it. Super easy. Super effective. Super clean. Your skin will thank you and so will I. Remember, be consistent and be patient. Figure out what cleanser and what oil is right for you. Everyone’s skin behaves differently and it’s your responsibility to learn what’s best for your type and treat yourself with care.

xo IKA

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