The 12 Best Citrus Perfumes to Try This Summer Posted on 11 Jun 00:00

Fresh and floral fragrances might get all the attention, come summertime, but I am particularly enamored with perfumes that have notes of citrus. They bring a clean feeling to all other scent profiles—from delicate florals to peppery spices, and even earthy musks. No matter what scent you normally prefer, I am making a case that everyone could use some sparkling citrus notes of lemon, grapefruit, and orange in their fragrance wardrobe.

Keep reading to see the fresh citrus perfumes you need this summer!
Be instantly transported to the shores of the Amalfi Coast by spritzing on this fresh scent. Notes of brown sugar, peonies, and water jasmine temper bright Primofiore lemon.
This gelato-inspired fragrance is just as delicious as the summertime treat—it’s crisp, clean, and a little bit indulgent, thanks to top notes of mandarin, grapefruit, and clementine paired with a musky base note.
Chanel No. 5 might be the fashion house’s most famous fragrance, but I love this light, fresh scent for summer. It reimagines the scent of classic, floral magnolia by adding in notes of citrus and Neroli.
Vetiver is an earthy, citrusy scent commonly used in unisex fragrances. Here, the intensity is tempered by the spiciness of pink pepper and the freshness of grapefruit.
This sparkling perfume was inspired by the Champagne region of France—so it’s no surprise that it manages to be both playful and sophisticated. Citrus-y top notes of Neroli, bitter orange and grapefruit are balanced by earthy bergamot, dark almond, and white sandalwood.
I love anything that reminds me of sipping cocktails on the beach, and this caipirinha-inspired perfume is just the thing to take me to my happy place. The lemon and orange pair exceptionally well with the jasmine and white lilac.
Jo Malone’s signature unisex scent starts off with zesty, tropical lime and mandarin. The addition of basil and white thyme is unexpected but invigorating.
The crispness of grapefruit and woodiness of musk keep the floral tones of this bubbly iteration of  Marc Jacobs' original Daisy fragrance from being too cloying—perfect for a summertime pick-me-up.
Infused with the tangy essence of bergamot and Amalfi lemon, floral notes of jasmine and rose, and a base of wood and musk, this citrus perfume strikes the perfect balance of fruity, floral, and earthy scents.
Just like the name says, this fresh and summery perfume will lift your spirits after a brutal winter season. Mandarin orange and pink grapefruit blend with crisp floral notes for an airy, feminine fragrance.
Like Burberry’s iconic trench coat, this citrus scent goes with everything. Sparkling nectarine and green sap are layered over floral notes for a fragrance that’s fun, modern and youthful.
One of the first successful unisex fragrances, CK One awakens the senses with notes of papaya, pineapple, lemon, and florals, over a base accord of green tea. A refreshing, clean scent that’s light enough to wear to breakfast but invigorating enough to give you a burst of energy when you need it.

Have You Heard of UOMA Beauty Products? Posted on 4 Jun 00:00

The rise in beauty brands’ extensive shade ranges has shown that inclusive product launches aren’t a trend, but crucially important for validating a person's identity. While there's still room to improve shade and undertone selection, more companies are taking matters into their own hands to help POC feel represented. Take UOMA Beauty, which launched at Ulta, as an example. UOMA is a newly released brand offering makeup to include people of color in a way that brings African culture to the forefront.

Chuter says UOMA as an "Afropolitan" makeup brand, which she explains is the culture that connects people with Afro roots. "The first thing to understand about the ‘Afro’ is that Africa is the most racially diverse continent on the planet. You go all the way to South Africa where you have people of every color who are Caucasian, in Egypt you have beautiful Arabs, go into West Africa you’ll find brown people, and go to South Sudan, you’ll find people who are of the deep dark shades."

"Afropolitan is like this merge, this celebration of everything that’s ‘Afro’ all the way from the bottom of Africa to America to Haiti to Jamaica to Cuba to even the UK," Chuter says. "UOMA’s place is where you’ll find a lot of ‘Afro’ origins."

To ensure her brand was inclusive of all those Afro identities, the total lineup of products includes 51 shades of its hydrating Say What?! foundation, 17 shades of “Stay Woke” concealer 16 colorful hues of the Badass Icon matte lipstick, eight shades of Boss Gloss, the "Blackety Black" water resistant Afro.Dis.iac liquid eyeliner, five shades of its Double Take highlighter and contour stick, and three Black Magic eyeshadow palettes with 10 shades in each.

I can't wait to try this cosmetic collection. UOMA Beauty is available at and I love that Chuter celebrates African culture and authentic inclusive products into the hands of beauty lovers in all shades and undertones. Simply Beautiful

Take Your Bath To The Next Level With Tips From Luxury Spas Posted on 28 May 00:00

There's just something about kicking up your feet in the tub that immediately signals release and reprieve. Mindful bathing is a huge part of my self-care routine.

According to Simon Marxer, the director of spas at Arizona-based Miraval Resort, it's not hard to recreate a spa-inspired bathing experience in your own bathroom. It all starts with your state of mind. "The most important element of a relaxing, restorative bath is setting the intention to let go of all else and committing to care for yourself."

Stephanie Ludwig, M.Div., M.A., Ph.D., the director of spiritual wellness over at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, adds that once your intention is there, you should set aside a good amount of time to fully commit to your wind-down routine. "A relaxing, restorative bath requires a commitment of at least 30 minutes so that you can slow down and become still, engage all of your senses in the experience of bathing, and revel in the quiet pleasure of caring for your whole being in such a deliciously simple way." Here is a routine she recommends to achieve this stillness:

A mindful bathing ritual for relaxation.

First, turn your bathing area into a personalized sacred space that feels tranquil to you. Remove any clutter from the area (like laundry or children’s toys), dim or turn off the lights, and light candles with a scent you enjoy. Add essential oils, aromatic dried flowers or herbs, or salts to the water that feel comfortably deep and warm to you. (My favorite combination is Epsom salt with dried lavender and rosemary. I rub the herbs in my hands to release their oils and then gently toss into the water.)

Lay out a robe or plush towel in your favorite color. Soothing music, especially nature sounds like flowing water or birds chirping, can be a lovely addition, although silence is a rare luxury I encourage people to indulge while bathing.

Once immersed in the tub, close your eyes; focus your attention on breathing gently in and out through your nose to activate the relaxation response. Settle into the rhythm of breathing, allowing the stresses and strains of the day to release into the water with each exhale. Invite each sense to awaken. This is the time in my own bathing ritual when I speak aloud a prayer of gratitude for sacred water—the water I drink, cook with, bathe and swim in, the water I am dependent upon for survival. This restores a sense of spiritual connection to an element I can easily take for granted when it flows clearly, cleanly, and abundantly from my faucet whenever I want it.

Slowly apply a body oil from your feet upward, pausing at each part of your body to express appreciation and gratitude for how well that part of your body is functioning. When you are ready to emerge from the bath, give yourself ample time to pat dry slowly, dress slowly, and move slowly into whatever activity follows.

Easy ways to make your bath even more indulgent.

To transform your bath routine into a spa-worthy experience, Marxer says to keep accessible luxuries like a favorite snack, a glass of cool lemon or cucumber water, or a chilled towel sprayed with essential oils within reach. You can place these on your face and neck during your time in the water. His top aromatic picks include chamomile, sandalwood, and lavender for relaxation, and ginger, black pepper, rosemary, and chamomile for stress relief. If you're looking for a more energizing bath, he points to patchouli, rosemary, grapefruit, and juniper berry. And before you hop in the water, his pro tip is to gather some fluffy towels, slippers, and a robe that can greet you when you get out of the water to keep the relaxation going a little longer.

What if you don't have a bath?

"You can carry out much of the ritual I have described, with the exception of immersion, in a shower or in a bathroom with a sink," says Ludwig. "It is taking the time, creating your sacred space, restoring peace through the breath, engaging the senses, expressing gratitude for water and your functioning body that provide the self-nurturance that you long for."

Simon adds that a warm shower can be just as pampering, especially if you go with a luscious scrub or exfoliator. For an aromatic element, place a bundle of eucalyptus over your shower head and breathe in the steam deeply.

These 6 Gentle, Mood-Boosting Bubble Baths Won't Mess With Your Vagina's pH Posted on 21 May 00:00

There's nothing I enjoy more than getting into a nice warm bath after a long day. Stress seems to melt away, and I can enjoy at least a few minutes of uninterrupted bliss with my favorite book (and hey, maybe even a cocktail) before I have to get back to reality. And what better way to up the relaxation factor even further than with some bubbles?

But not just any bubbles, it turns out. "Traditional bubble bath, like soap, is an alkaline substance, with a pH around 9.5, while normal skin has an acidic pH, around 5," says Lauren E. Adams, M.D., a dermatologist with White Plains Hospital Physician Associates who's board-certified in lifestyle medicine. "Elevation of the skin's pH can lead to disruption of the microbiome, dry skin, eczema, inflammation, and even fine lines and wrinkles."

Plus, if you're prone to yeast infections, or if you're a woman in general, many bubble baths can be particularly problematic. "The vagina also normally has an acidic pH, around 4, and disruption of this balance with alkaline soaps, bubble baths, or douching can lead to infections like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and urinary tract infections." None of which sound relaxing.

"Looking for 'pH balanced' products is a good idea for bubble baths and all cleansers," says Adams. Also consider products with ingredients that can help hydrate and soothe the skin, such as oatmeal and skin-friendly oils, she adds. Additionally, bubble bath products scented with natural essential oils can up the therapeutic factor (promoting relaxation, soothing muscles, boosting mood) while helping you avoid harsh artificial fragrances, which might actually mess with your hormones.  

Happily, several companies are now creating bubble baths with gentle, natural ingredients that keep your skin (and vagina) top of mind. Here, we've rounded up six of the best natural bubble baths that will leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and certainly not itchy.

(Pro tip: Whenever you take a bath, don't stay in the tub much longer than 15 to 30 minutes, otherwise you'll dry out your skin.)

Queen V Pop the Bubbly Bubble Bath

Every single product from Queen V was created to support a healthy, balanced vagina or alleviate female-specific conditions like menstrual cramps. And we're all about it. Their Pop the Bubbly Bubble Bath is pH-balanced, hydrates and soothes skin with green tea and chamomile, and is naturally scented with mango extract and essential oils. 

Buy online at Queen V

Alaffia Everyday Shea Fair Trade Shea Butter Bubble Bath

If you're sensitive to all fragrance (even natural fragrances from essential oils), this unscented bubble bath is your best bet. And even if you're not, you can add a couple of drops of your own  essential oils to create a custom aromatherapy blend. Made with unrefined shea butter, this bubble bath will leave your skin feeling soft and supple, not stripped of moisture.

Buy online at Alaffia

EO Serenity Bubble Bath, Eucalyptus Arnica

Sore muscles? Low energy? We've got the pH-balanced bubble bath for you. Invigorating eucalyptus and arnica put the pep back in your step while soothing sore muscles after a tough workout or long day on your feet. Plus, EO's signature herbal blend of aloe, calendula, chamomile, and white tea botanicals supports healthy skin. Want something more relaxing? EO also makes a  French Lavender scent.

Buy online at EO Products

Origins Ginger Float Cream Bubble Bath

For anyone who's wondered what it's like to immerse your entire body in a chai latte, this is probably the closest you'll get. A potent combination of warming ginger, clove, cardamom, and citrus tantalizes the senses as it relaxes your muscles and boosts mood. This foamy, not overly bubbly bath is free of all synthetic fragrances.

Buy online at Origins

The Honest Company Sweet Almond Bubble Bath

This pH-balanced bubble bath is free of synthetic fragrances and packs an extra-moisturizing punch thanks to jojoba and sweet almond oil, both of which contain skin-nourishing  vitamin E. Aloe and chamomile help further calm and hydrate skin. Bonus: This one's tear-free and good enough for babies.

Buy online at Honest

3 Skin-Saving Supplements That Complete Your Daily Routine Posted on 14 May 00:00

5 Simple Tips on How To Exude Confidence Posted on 7 May 00:00

Confidence begins with being comfortable with yourself. It is rooted in self-love, self-assurance, and intention behind every action. Confidence is expressed through how we present ourselves and what we put forth. The right clothing and the right mentality will not only provide you with physical comfort but also make you feel great in your own skin, helping you own your personal style, and improve your own self-esteem. Here are some of my favorite tips that will put a little “pop” in your step!

Tip #1: Put In Some Effort

If you look put together, you will feel put together. It’s that simple. Instead of rolling out of bed in your sweatpants and moving on with your day, wear actual clothing that make you feel beautiful and empowered. Even a tiny bit of effort, like throwing on a dress or a coordinated set, will not only make you look like you gorgeous but will also motivate you to be productive.

Tip #2: Spoil Yourself

Knowing your self-worth is so important and add tax to it! You want to be spoiled? That's fine! So, who better to spoil you than…well, you. Wake up early and make yourself a real breakfast instead of running out the door with an untoasted Poptart. Or, buy yourself a new outfit for a special event. Get your nails done. Go do things that you love, by yourself. A lot of times we will look for external factors to make us happy. But you don’t always need others to make you feel special when you can do that for yourself.

Tip #3: Disconnect

How many times a day do you sit scrolling through your Instagram feed, sifting through pictures of picture perfect models? If you are me, a lot. But, living on social media will leave you constantly comparing yourself to people who are paid to look that good. So, turn off that phone, STOP TORTURING YOURSELF, and show yourself some self-love. Give yourself permission to be beautiful, to feel beautiful, to act beautiful, and to radiate your natural beauty to the world. To do so it will be somewhat vulnerable, and it may be a little scared to allowing that to happen. But remember to really be able to recognize and appreciate beauty outside of yourself, you must first learn to see and appreciate it inside of yourself.

Tip #4: Accomplish Something

Sitting at home, scarfing down (not-actually-healthy) “healthy” snacks, and watching hours of mindless TV is not quite the epitome of productivity. Set a goal, simple or complicated, and accomplish it. There is no better feeling than getting something done because then your day and your time spent has a purpose.

Tip #5: Show Off What You Love

Maybe you love your arms, or your waist, or your booty. So, wear clothing that shows those things off! Be confident in the things that you love about yourself because that self-love is contagious. Whatever your shape and size, love your body for the gift it is. Body confidence comes from embracing who you are, it's perfectly imperfect flaws and all. 

As my grandmother used to say, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, so don’t hide it! Show yourself and shine Girl!

Show These Sweet Lips A little Love Girl With Sara Happ's Clay Lip Mask! Posted on 30 Apr 00:00

You treat your body and face to facials, massages, and masks galore, but what about your lips? Your pout works hard for you, so why not treat your lips to a spa-like facial with Sara Happ's new clay lip mask?

If you haven't tried a lip mask, don't be intimidated — they are exactly like face masks that give your skin or lips an extra boost of exfoliation. Happ's clay lip mask is a lip treatment that uses a clay sourced from the Himalayas.

It's a treatment that will make your lips immediately feel baby-smooth while also helping reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time. Not only does the clay lip mask help purify and balance your skin, it also will moisturize your lips to make them feel softer and firmer on contact.

All you have to do in order to use the lip mask is slather on about a dollap onto your lips, leave on for two to 20 minutes, and use a warm washcloth to remove and reveal your new silky smooth lips.

Not only does Happ offer the clay lip mask, her lip line also includes other lip scrubs and luxe lip balms that you can apply after you use the mask or the scrub in order to lock in your lips' new softness.

I promise you, you and your lips won't regret this (and neither will the person who's on the receiving end of your kisses!)

Where To Buy The Sara Happ Lip Illuminator Because It Was Made Especially For Your Cupid's Bow Posted on 23 Apr 00:00

When makeup users say glow is the highlight of their life, they mean it. A little glimmer on the outside can do wonders to spark radiance within a beauty lover. Sara Happ’s newly released Lip Illuminator can do just that for a luminous pout. It's the beauty product you never knew you needed.

Sara Happ, also known as The Lip Expert, has developed a plethora of lip products from scrubs and exfoliants to hydration and treatments so lip lovers can achieve a smooth set of smackers. The brand has offered lip makeup to fans in its popular One Luxe Gloss in several bright, but subtle shades. Sara Happ is now offering its latest lip makeup product to fans in the form of its Let’s Glow Lip Illuminator, making this an ideal product to highlight any cupid’s bow with ease.

According to a press release from the Sara Happ brand, the Lip Illuminator is infused with reflective, ultra-filling light spheres, but it also keeps lips nourished and moisturized with almond oil. Anyone who enjoys a shiny cupid's bow can apply the Lip Illuminator by adding a couple of dots of product above the lips and pat it out with two fingers to blend. Users can also apply it like a liquid lipstick and rock it on its own for a glossy shimmer or wear it underneath a matte lipstick for the highlight to shine through any color.

The Lip Illuminator retails for $24, and thankfully, the highlight of your lips is already available on the Sara Happ website to shop. Here’s what fans can look forward to in this lit “lippie.”

Let’s Glow Lip Illuminator in Golden

While this golden shade is perfect for deeper skin tones, both shades of the Let’s Glow™ Lip Illuminator can be used interchangeably with each look. The golden Lip Illuminator brings bronze to the forefront of a pout. For makeup lovers who live for dewy looks, this shade pairs well with Sara Happ's recommended Lip Slip Balm or the brand's One Luxe Glosses in shades Nude Slip and Rose Gold Slip.

Let’s Glow Lip Illuminator in Pearl

Sara Happ's Lip Illuminator also comes in the shade Pearl, made for fairer skin tones. The Pearl shade has a more majestic glow than the Golden shade, radiating a more pinkish hue of light. The lip expert also encourages lip lovers to sport this Pearl shade with One Luxe Gloss in shades Ballet Slip, Pink Slip, and also Nude Slip.

For extra nourishment, lipstick lovers can also delve into Happ's famed lip scrub to ensure smooth lips before applying products and after a skin care routine.

The Lip Scrub

The Lip Scrub happens to be the first product Happ ever made in her kitchen according to the brand's history online. The easy application calls for rubbing the scrub around the lips for 30 seconds to a minute and then wipe it off with a tissue to reveal fresh lips and lick the rest away. Plus, this delicious lip scrub comes in flavors Vanilla Bean (shown in the above), Coconut, Brown Sugar, Pink Grapefruit, Sparkling Peach, and Sprinkles Red Velvet. Fans can even take the scrub to go in the brand's tube versions in flavors Confetti Cake and Lemonade.

Skin care and makeup lovers can appreciate an exfoliating lip scrub. After all, once skin on the lips is healthy and smooth, a sickening cupid's bow highlight can sit pretty with the rest of your makeup.

The 20 Best Drugstore Face Mists To Keep You Dewy & Refreshed, No Matter The Weather Posted on 15 Apr 14:35

Facial mist is kind of like lip balm — it's one of those skincare products that people often debate whether it's actually needed, but once you start using it regularly, you can't live without it (especially when those summer temperatures hit record highs). But, like with any habit, it can get expensive, especially considering the price tags of some of the more luxurious face sprays, which can run pretty steep. If you're fully obsessed with this particular product, though, there are plenty of options out there that are, thankfully, very affordable. In fact, some of the best drugstore face mists actually fall under $10.

Ahead you'll find 20 of the best drugstore facial sprays out there, as told by their glowing reviews and often perfect ratings. Now all that's left is for you to choose the one that works best for your skin, and you'll be on your way to misting all day long, completely guilt-free.

1. A Facial Mist That's Perfect For Even The Most Sensitive Skin

Garnier's facial mist uses aloe juice to instantly hydrate and refresh skin. It can be used as a primer, to help set makeup, or just to keep your skin looking dewy throughout the day. And with nearly 1,000 ratings and a near perfect five-star review, it's safe to say that it lives up to its claims.

All skin types can use this mist, which multi-tasks to cleanse, hydrate, and refresh throughout the day. And its near perfect rating (and glowing reviews) proves it lives up to its claims: Users say it's calming, soothing, and perfect for sensitive skin.

3. This Vegan Mist Is Best For Stressed-Out Skin

Reviewers especially love this spray for hydrating dry, dull skin throughout the day. Its fresh coconut scent is just an added bonus.

Neutrogena's City Shield mist uses hyaluronic acid, a popular hydrating ingredient, to moisturize and refresh skin. Many reviewers said it helped their dry flaky skin, and left their face feeling soft.

5. This Antioxidant-Rich Spray Helps Tone & Soothe

This spray has a 4.6 rating on CVS, with many users saying it helped soothe their sensitive skin.

Though this one's under-the-radar, it's still managed to gain a perfect five-star rating from its first reviewers. It's made with witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, which users say leaves them with a beautiful glow.

7. This Hydrating Mist Comes With Brightening Powers

With brightening and moisturizing ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin B3, and bergamot, this mist is designed to leave you with a dewy glow every time. Users have given it a 4.5 rating, with many saying that it lives up to its promises: It leaves skin radiant and fresh.

Avene is known for making gentle skin care that really works, and according to reviewers, this spray is no exception. Many users say they love it for a refreshing pick-me-up during the day, while others say it helps soften and soothe their skin.

9. A Hydrating Mist That Also Helps Brighten Dull, Tired Skin

This mist can be used at any point in your skincare routine to help hydrate and brighten skin thanks to the vitamin C included in its formula. And users love it: It has a perfect five-star review and 31 ratings, with reviewers praising it for both its makeup-priming abilities and how good it makes their skin feel throughout the day.

10. The Hydrating Mist That Keeps Your Makeup In Place

For a spray that locks in your makeup and simultaneously hydrates your skin, look to this $8 multi-tasker, which has just under four stars and 39 reviews.

11. This Facial Mist Gives Your Skin An Ultra-Hydrating Boost

This facial mist has gained a nearly perfect rating thanks to its ultra-hydrating properties — users say they carry it everywhere so they're able to easily moisturize on the go.

Many of Pixi's products have a cult-following, so it's no surprise that this one has garnered some serious fans, too. It's designed to both hydrate and strengthen skin while also reducing inflammation through ingredients like hyaluronic acid, black oat extract, and B vitamin complex. Reviewers frequently describe it as a must-have in their skincare routine, and it's gained a near-perfect rating out of 167 reviews.

13. The Classic Mist Users Love As A Refresher

This mist is one of the most classic — and there's clearly a reason why. More than 400 reviewers rated it five stars on Amazon, with users frequently citing its refreshing qualities and its ability to keep skin feeling dewy and moisturized in dry climates.

Users praise this hyaluronic acid-filled spray for its ability to keep skin moisturized in dry conditions. And at 4.4 stars on Walgreen, you can trust that it's worth adding to your routine.

15. This Facial Mist Is Perfect For Those Hot Summer Days

Whether you just finished a workout or are in need of a quick refresh after a long day, this spray could be the solution. At Target, it's garnered a near-perfect rating with more than 30 reviews, with many users saying it smells good and leaves them feeling totally refreshed.

Leave it to this cult-favorite drugstore brand to create a double-duty facial mist that customers love. This one's created with a calming lavender scent that'll instantly leave you feeling soothed, while also giving your skin a dewy glow. It has a 4.4 rating at Walmart with 117 reviews, with users raving about its relaxing smell.

17. The Gentle Toner In Facial Mist Form

You've probably heard of Thayers' witch hazel products by now, but if you weren't also aware that the brand had a facial mist, it's time to get on board. This one has gained a 5.0 rating on Target, and users rave over its toning abilities.

Though yes, it does have an incredibly simple formula, users say this one is still effective (just look at its perfect five-star rating). It can also be used in many different ways: One reviewer said it was great at a toner, another used it as a treatment for their scalp, and one said it simply kept them hydrated throughout the day.

19. The Face Mist That Always Leaves You Feeling Super Fresh

This product lives up to its name: It's a mist that truly moisturizes. Users love it for its smell and the fact that it can be used over or under makeup (though some do mention that the mist is too fine — so you may have to spray it a little bit more to get the full effect).

20. The Mist That Smells Super Clean

While reviewers rave about this mist's hydrating properties, they especially love its scent, saying it smells clean but isn't overpowering.

5 Steps to Enjoy a Spa Facial at Home Posted on 9 Apr 13:24

There’s just something about a spa that I love – the relaxing ambiance, the music that puts you at ease, and the treatments that leave you feeling refreshed and revived. As much as I like going to the spa to unwind and enjoy a monthly facial, it’s not always feasible, especially budget-wise.

Living in a busy and fast-paced place like Chicago makes you want to get away from the hustle and bustle for a little R&R. If you’re low on budget or you can’t seem to squeeze extra time into your schedule to go to the spa, you can always bring the spa to your home. Indulge in a spa-level facial in the comfort of your own home with these five simple steps:

Spas offer you tea before your treatment and the reason is simple: to relax you.  So make a pot of tea and have a few sips before you start your facial. Set the mood by lighting some candles or bring out your diffuser and mix it with essential oils that relax you. Finally, pick a playlist of soothing tunes.

Step 1: Cleansing

Start your treatment by cleansing with a gentle face wash. If you have makeup on, do a double cleanse. My personal favorite facial cleanser is Honest Beauty Purify + Refresh Gentle Gel Cleanser. It's day-and-night skincare staple for an honestly refreshing clean, this gentle facial cleanser removes makeup and impurities in one step with a gel formula that doesn’t over dry skin. Made with a botanical blend of soothing chamomile and calendula, it helps calm skin as it cleanses any skin type. To mimic the cleansing method you’d get from the spa, massage your face with the cleanser a little longer than you normally would before washing it off. Towels can be harsh when rubbed against skin so opt for a facial tissue or a soft washcloth instead to wipe your face.

Step 2: Steaming

Once you have a clean and fresh face, the next step is to steam your face. Doing this opens up and unclogs your pores, making it easier for your skin to absorb products. Plus it enhances blood flow and circulation. If you don’t own a facial steamer, you can always create a DIY steamer. All you need is a bowl, towel, hairband and some hot water. Pour some boiling water into a large bowl, hold your face close enough to the steam (but not too close), and drape a towel over your head so the steam doesn’t escape. Aim to do this for about 10 minutes.

Post-steaming, a spa therapist usually proceeds with extraction. Even if you can see blackheads, I’d skip this step if I were you and leave it to professionals. Poor extraction can lead to possible scarring. However, if you’re knowledgeable enough to do it yourself, then kudos to you! DO NOT squeeze any active or inflamed blemishes as this will only spread bacteria to the surrounding skin, and before you know it, you’ll scar your skin and might even wake up to more pimples.

Step 3: Exfoliating

Rather than extracting, a painless option to get rid of blackheads is to exfoliate. Post-steaming, your pores are open, making it the perfect time to exfoliate and slough off dead skin cells. Go for a gentle scrub, such as Mizon Honey Black Sugar Scruband apply it using upwards, circular motions. Remember, rubbing the scrub hard against your skin won’t make it more effective! Be kind to your skin by massaging the exfoliate with light, gentle pressure.

I’m a sucker for facial masks so I look forward to this part of the facial the most. Experimenting with different types of masks is like a hobby to me, so over the years I’ve purchased and tried plenty of masks. My current collection consists of various clay masks, eye gel patches, sheet masks and exfoliating face masks.

Feel free to play around with this step and pick a mask that suits your skin’s needs. If your skin is feeling dry, go for a more moisturizing mask like Skinfood's Rice Mask Wash Off. For a deep cleanse, Skin&Lab's Glacial Clay Facial Mask will give you the desired results. The Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask from Dear, Klairs is ideal for sensitive skin types, while those with mature or aging skin should go for the Mario Badescu Super Collagen MaskYou can also multi-mask if you have combination skin or wish to tackle more than one skin concern at a time.

Remember the old days when girls would apply a face mask and add two slices of cucumber on each eye? You can still do that but instead of freshly sliced cucumbers, add soothing, hydrating and brightening hydrogel eye patches for some extra pampering.

Step 5: Complete with your skin care routine

Cleanse: check. Steaming: check. Exfoliating: check. Masking: check! A facial wouldn’t be complete without applying your skin care products so bring out your favorites for the final steps.

For a simple routine, start with a toner to instantly hydrate and soothe your skin, followed by a serum. Seal everything in with a moisturizer and finish with your daily sunscreen (for day time) or add a sleeping mask (for night time).


And there you have it, a simple yet effective spa-level facial that you can do right at home! Normally, a facial lasts for 60 minutes but one of the advantages of an at-home facial is that you have control over how long it lasts. Pressed for time? No problem, bring it down to a 45 or even 30-minute facial.




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