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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HER OWN SKIN’S TOP 5 BEAUTY TRENDS FOR 2017

I can hardly believe that we’ve entered into the year 2017. 2016 sped by in a flash and I’m not sure that I can say last year was completely amazing. There were some rough periods; celebrity deaths and a tumultuous election. Here’s what I kept consistent: An optimistic outlook on it all and a ton of favorite beauty practices. With that said, I’m projecting my beauty trends for 2017. I think you’ll like them and I hope you’ll join me…

1. MOISTURIZING WITH OIL: Listen! I’ve been saying this over and over again. The health of my skin has never been better than when I started using argon oil on my face and neck at night. In fact click on my November Obsession for a favorite of mine. For a little guidance, check out my current night routine where I show you step-by-step, how to incorporate an oil into your skin love at night!

2. NAIL DESIGNS: A few coats of one color on your nails is so 2016! This year, go for something fun. Lines, dots, squares painted on your nails give you the perfect manicure with a twist. I’m not talking about the flower that you put on your 5-year-old nieces pointer finger when you drag her with you to the salon. Think minimal and chic. In fact, for a little inspo, take a look at my NAIL OBSESSION board on pinterest to grab some sure to please ideas.


3. BUSHY BROWS: Am I the only one into the bushy brow? I haven’t tweezed, waxed or threaded my brows in over 2 years. They’re not entirely bushy, but they are full. I can dig it. I encourage you to be a less concerned about having the absolute perfect arched brow. At the most, give them a good brow brush and call it a day. 2017 is about low maintenance beauty. We can do it!

4. LITTLE-TO-NO MAKEUP: This one might be a challenge. It is for me at least. I’m normally a full face everyday. I don’t wear a lot, but I do WEAR! Yet still, there have been days when my eyelash extensions and a lip are enough. Something about glowing in your natural beauty is amazing. A really nice touch is just using your favorite tinted moisturizer. Take a look at mine here. 2017 is a year where I plan to do more with less.

5. NO-HEAT HAIRSTYLES: I’ve been rocking a perm rod set for about a week now. I’m so in love with this look. To think that you can make bouncy beautiful curls without a curling iron gives me life. A non-damaging look is always a win.

That didn’t hurt, right? You have 5 beauty trends that I’m raving about to tap into this year. You don’t have to take my word for it, but when you come across a stunning, bushy-browed, curly flawless-skinned gem walking down your street, come back and tell me that you love me.

xo IKA

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NOVEMBER 2016 OBSESSION

I’ve rediscovered a love of mine in November. Truly obsessed! My most recent post goes into my latest nighttime skincare routine. A simple and easy regimen that I believe is changing the life of my skin. There’s one piece of the puzzle that I’m becoming obsessed with. It’s the key ingredient and I don’t see it going away any time soon.

Argan Oil is such a special oil. It’s light enough to use everyday and effective enough to heal your skin. I’m convinced that it is improving the look of my face and neck and I wish I had been more consistent over the last year with it. I specifically use the Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. There are several brands to choose from. Give it a go. Check out my current nighttime routine to see how I use it. You may fall in love too!

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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