Every once in a while it is NECESSARY to find a way to unwind. Maybe you’ve had a rough week at work, relationship troubles, or any situation that has stressed you out; more than enough reasons to spend a night in shut-down mode.
I am a fan of going to the spa, getting a facial, massage and just being pampered but, I am sure we can all agree that sometimes it can get quite expensive, and some other things top the list of what to spend our money on. Being the DIY-er that I am, I have spent a long time trying to perfect the most soothing spa experience I can get at home while trying to stay on budget. I have provided you a list of products that work wonders on the skin. It may seem expensive the first time you get these items but in the long run it saves many spa visits and dollars, because most of these items can be used more than once.
First step, put some relaxing music. You can find playlists on Spotify or Amazon Prime with rainfall and soothing, acoustic music. Make sure no one will be bothering you for the next hour : ) If you happen to have an oil diffuser at home, I suggest using lavender essential oils to make the environment even more relaxing. You can also light a few lavender-scented candles if you don’t have an oil diffuser, plus it helps get some mood-lighting.
You should begin your spa day by using the Sephora Collection Almond Foot Mask. The packaging says you should use it for 20 minutes but I’ve noticed that the longer you use it the better the results so I recommend keeping the Foot Mask booties on for the duration of the spa experience.
Now, you will begin the facial by cleansing your face of impurities. I recommend using the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Foaming Cleanser. It has a citrus type of scent and leaves your skin feeling very clean and soft, and it isn’t drying! Next you can use a warm towel, or if you have a facial sauna at home, to open up your pores and get them ready for the next step. After that, you will apply the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. This is a peel-off mask that brings out impurities and cleans out clogged pores. Plus it gives great satisfaction to peel-off this baby haha. You will leave the mask on for about 25 – 30 minutes, making sure that it is dry prior to removing. Following the mask removal, I recommend using the Kate Somerville 2 minute Hollywood Facial. This peel is infused with papaya and pineapple enzymes, as well as Lactic Acid and in 2 minutes it exfoliates and leaves you with a glowing and healthier looking complexion. I do warn you that it might sting a bit but it will be over before you know it. If it seems like too much for your skin, or if your skin is sensitive, just leave it on for 1 minute. The next step involves some vitamin C brought to you by Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum. This little baby is the most expensive of the bunch but it works wonders. This potent serum is packed with antioxidants that help to visibly reduce dark spots and wrinkles for brighter skin. And at last you can’t forget to moisturize! Your face has been through a lot today so it is necessary to keep it moisturized, as well as to use a moisturizer every day. I recommend to finish off this facial with the Sephora Collection Rose Sleeping Mask. It is very moisturizing without leaving a greasy appearance and you can put it in the fridge prior to using so you get an extra cooling sensation at the end of your facial. Once you face is ready, put on the Sephora Collection Avocado Hand Mask to nourish and repair your hands.
Do you have any preferred products for a facial at home? Share in the comments below.
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At the start of every new year almost everyone vows to work out more, drink less, eat more greens and do a 180 on their lives. But let’s be honest, how many times have we set too many resolutions only to come crashing down on them a week later…So in regards to that, it is better to take things slow; remember slow and steady wins the race. Let’s begin by tackling our eating habits. It is very easy to get caught up on all the detox and diet fads that will work for a couple of days but then probably make you overeat and end up with even more pounds to shed. By making simple changes to our eating habits we can start making healthier decisions that will feel less like a hassle and more like a better lifestyle AND they will last a lifetime.
Say YES to water Instead of reaching for the soda or alcohol, choose water. In addition to having no calories, it helps keep a clear complexion and actually refreshes you without causing a sugar rush. Also, water is very filling so you end up eating less when you have a glass of water prior to your meal. Try to buy a water bottle that keeps it cold for 24 hours so that you can have water on the go, whenever you want.
Downsize your portions When eating out it is quite easy to overeat because portions are not small at most restaurants. Aim to eat half of your meal, or just make sure you don’t eat everything and take it slow.
Cut down on carbs Yeah, yeah I know you might be thinking this is impossible, but you will feel SO much better after, trust me. Switch the muffin or bagel breakfast for more protein, like boiled eggs. It will keep you fuller longer and will lead to less of a sugar spike after. Once you start cutting carbs, you stop craving them as much and you’ll see yourself reaching for healthier options at the dinner table.
Hide the sweets The easiest way to not eat unhealthy food is to not bring it home with you but if that’s not possible, try to keep them out of your field of vision. Keep cookies in the pantry and fruits on the table where they are easy to reach. Also, if you buy soda to bring home, keep it out of your field of vision on the fridge and make water the first thing you grab when you open the door.
By following these simple steps you can start making healthier choices that will benefit you forever.
Personally I am always on the lookout for ways to feel less stressed. Medical school is a stress-inducing environment and one should look for healthy ways to cope, otherwise you crash and burn. Food is always a tasty safety net to fall into but not the healthiest one since we tend to reach out for sugary treats that give a nice rush. But this nasty habit comes with extra pounds, a muffin top and self-esteem going down the drain. So along the past 4 years I’ve experimented with various ways to unwind, and so far this is what has worked:
Write notes Making lists is a must if you want to get stuff done efficiently. But what is really important is to prioritize in these lists because there are things that, believe it or not, CAN wait. Not everything must be done in one day, and this is something I’m still working on because us type A’s tend to be very obsessive about certain things. Also, before taking all your worries into bed try making a list of things you are thinking about and stuff you have to do so you avoid a bout of insomnia.
Get an oil diffuser For years and years the benefits of aromatherapy have been discussed. I don’t know if you are a skeptic or a believer but let me tell you, it works wonders. Lavender is one of the most popular oils. I’ve used it to go to tranquil sleep and also to turn down my motors. Peppermint is refreshing; it alleviates congestion and helps improve mood. Chamomile is great to calm you down after a hectic day and it is a well-known mood lifter.
Turn up the volume Most people think that to relax everything has to be calm and silent but that is not true. Music has the ability to change your mood and calm you down, its just a matter of choosing the right kind of music. You can find many playlists on Spotify that provide nature sounds, like rain or the waves at the beach which provide relaxing background music to your day.
Make some cookies This is a personal favorite of mine, and I don’t know if it is relaxing for anyone else, but I love to bake. Baking gives me ME-time and lets me create a delicious treat for me and my friends. You can find 5 ingredients recipes that are easy to make online and on Pinterest. You can also go to the Life-Batter section of the blog and be sure to follow our Life-Batter board on Pinterest for some inspiration : )
Sharpen your coloring pencils Lately there has been a boom in adult coloring books. There are many variations, those with complicated designs and many with mandalas for relaxation. I’ve used Enchanted Forest and it is awesome. Head to Amazon to get a copy.