follow me on

Instagram

subscribe to my

Youtube

Beauty

Venice, CA

My Holiday Beauty Must Have

If I had to choose 1 thing to focus on beauty wise for the holiday season it would be white teeth.  Your smile gives off such a strong impression when you first meet someone or walk into a room of people.  I always want my teeth and smile to look good, but especially when I have a jam packed social calendar! Crest 3D WhitestripsI’ve been using Crest 3D Whitestrips for over a decade – since I was a junior in high school!  I first started when I got asked to prom, and noticed my teeth were looking less than pearly white 2 weeks prior.  I stole my mom’s Whitestrips and they worked like a charm.  Honestly, I felt confident and beautiful and had the best time (despite my date being a total dud…lol.)  I’ve been using Whitestrips regularly ever since (they’re my secret weapon for white teeth!!!!) For the holiday season, I always like to amp up my whitening regimen and I just finished a “14 Day Challenge” of sorts using the Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips.  They’re so easy to use – I literally put them on first thing in the morning before I brush my teeth, and wear them for 30 minutes.  Within 3 days you start seeing results which is exciting and by Day 14 your results are amazing – trust me – and last up to 6 months.   They don’t slip and you can wear them while you’re talking on the phone, doing your makeup, dashing out to a holiday party – and you can even drink water in them. The first set of pictures is from when I started and was heading to a meeting, and the second set of pictures were pre-date night with Derek.  My teeth feel sparkly white and holiday ready :)  Amazon is including the Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips in their Cyber Monday sale so it’s the perfect excuse to snap them up and start your own 14 Day Challenge.  You can shop them here!
Read More
Venice, CA

Fall Beauty Must Haves

I’ve been on a huge beauty testing kick and tried SO many amazing products this past month.  I wanted to share which ones I loved and have been consistently using in my beauty routine. I plan on doing another beauty giveaway this week so be sure to check my Stories to see how to enter! Fall Beauty Must Haves R+Co Dry Shampoo I used to wash my hair every.single.day.  I know, I know – so bad right?!  Thankfully my hairdresser educated me and told me to STOP washing it everyday and START using dry shampoo.  I have to be strategic about this, but it’s definitely made my hair healthier and grow even faster than usual.  I tested a bunch of dry shampoos and was pretty disappointed.  I need something strong since I get oily roots after only a day.  I loved the smell of Playa and the quality – but it wasn’t strong enough for me.  The one that really hit it out of the park was R+Co.  The smell is heavenly and a little goes a long way.  I am also OBSESSED with this Miriam Quevedo dry shampoo + volumizing spray.  I have super flat hair so this gives me the “oomph” I need! Gisou Heat Protectant Spray I had never used a heat protectant spray before blow drying or curling my hair until a few weeks ago…oops.  Once I started reading more about heat damage I realized I should absolutely be protecting my locks!  I had heard so many great things about Gisou; which is fashion and beauty blogger Negin Mirasalehi’s hair line.  When I got it, I first fell in love with the smell, and then I just loved how light and easy it was to use.  I simply spray it all over my hair, brush it out to distribute it, and then style it! Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask Wow.  This mask works.  You simply apply a light layer onto your face and wash it off 15 minutes later.  It completely gets rid of dead layers of skin and renews/rejuvenates your entire complexion.  If I don’t have time for a facial, or if I’m in between facials, I love using this about once a month.  Bonus it’s all natural! Lawless Brightening Translucent Powder and Foundation Speaking of all natural – I am so happy to have found a translucent setting powder that is TALC FREE.  Most setting powders have talc in them which some studies have shown to cause cancer – no thanks.  This powder works just as good and creates a beautiful softness in photos.  I’ve talked about this foundation before, but mentioning it here again because I love that it’s free of parabens, sulfates, and anything toxic!  It has a very thick coverage, so I dilute the mixture by adding my Sisley moisturizer in and using a beauty blender to dab it all over my face for a beautiful tan, glow.  FYI I wear shade Arizona which is equivalent to Armani shade 6.5. Cle de Peau Beauté SPF concealer I rarely used a concealer throughout my 20’s but now that I am almost 30 and my under eye tissue is more delicate, I like using one regularly.  This one has an SPF in it which protects that fragile area and hides any dark circles.  After polling many of you on Stories, you said your favorite concealers were this one and Nars.  I still haven’t tried the Nars one because I am so happy with this one – totally worth the $. Hourglass Bronzer/Highlighter This is a gorgeous highlighter!  I still love my Charlotte Tilbury highlighter, but this is perfect when you want a sun kissed glow and serious highlight.  It really makes your cheekbones pop. Chanel Paris-Venise Perfume This is one of Chanel’s newest fragrances and my favorite out of all of them.  Chanel perfume tends to remind me of my grandma – it’s a little too strong and floral, but this one is light, fresh, and perfect for day or night.  It’s not crazy overpowering and the ideal balance between vanilla and a faint floral! Sisley Volumizing Mascara When I first opened this mascara I was taken aback by the skinny wand and brush.  I thought no way this can be any good!  Welp, that was not the case.  It is freakishly good at lengthening lashes.  I use two swipes of this, let it dry for at least 5 minutes, and then apply a 3rd coat with my favorite Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes. Have you tried any of these beauty products?  Which ones do you love?  Do you like buying more all natural products or are hesitant to try them?  Do tell!
Read More
Venice, CA

My Favorite Face Oils

I’ve been testing face oils for the last 3 months and am SO excited to share my favorites with you!  I had never even heard of face oil until about 8 months ago (clearly I was living under a rock!)  Thankfully my beauty junkie girlfriend was kind enough to inform me.  Once I started incorporating face oil into my skincare routine I was HOOKED. Face oil is basically an extra layer of moisturizer that you can use alone or underneath your sunscreen, eye cream, and/or moisturizer during the day or at night.  I LOVE using mine with my Clarisonic and doing lymph drainage every morning.  *Note you should always use a generous amount of oil with this device otherwise you’re stretching your skin and creating wrinkles! I wanted to debunk a few face oil myths or preconceived notions you may have about them.  Face oils do not cause breakouts, clog pores, or make your face MORE oily.  The right oils actually balance your skin and help prevent/clear up breakouts!  It’s the fatty acids in face oils that stop your skin from producing too much of the bad kind of oil which leads to blemishes. I tested a wide variety of oils from all different brands and price points.  Some are drugstore brands and some are high end luxury skincare lines – all ranging from $12 to $180.  I went into this whole face oil testing completely unbiased and clueless. Also, I ordered 10+ oils and rotated new ones every week.  Honestly, I was really surprised at what I found!  Some of the fancy brands with the pretty packaging (I’m a sucker for packaging) that I totally THOUGHT would be my favorite actually weren’t – and some of the drugstore/inexpensive oils that I assumed wouldn’t work actually DID.  So read on to see what the verdict on all of these is! Face OilsIndie Lee face oilThis is the first face oil I tried.  I love the price point ($30!) and the texture.  It’s completely all natural and cruelty free.  The smell isn’t the greatest but it’s not terrible – it just smells exactly like what it is – squalane oil.  Added perfume scent typically has harsh chemicals in it, so I’d rather have no added scent than a fake floral scent! Mara Beauty face oilThis is one of my favorite face oils.  My friend Allison created it after working in the beauty industry for years.  The packaging is SO chic and I love the texture.  It makes my skin glow!  It ties for my #1 favorite face oil next to Drunk Elephant which I’ll talk about next! Drunk Elephant face oil I had heard so many amazing things about Drunk Elephant before trying it.  It was the most popular face oil on my Instastories poll so I knew I had to include it here!  I’m so glad I did because it ended up being my #1 FAVORITE face oil!  The texture is perfect (not too thick, not too thin), it’s 100% natural and it WORKS.  My skin feels hydrated and silky smooth after using it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE. Vintner’s Daughter serum/face oilThis face oil is a celebrity cult favorite for a reason.  I was SO excited to try this, and even more excited to be able to speak with the founder herself on the phone a few months ago.  She is incredibly genuine and I am so impressed with what she has built.  She really took the time and effort to create this product and it shows – it is extremely powerful, effective, and worth every penny (yes it’s a pricier one.)  I loved the soothing essential oil smell, the fact that it is all natural/organic, and the way it evened out the texture of my skin.  It soaked right in and was perfect to put on before my moisturizer.  I prefer using this at night, and the Drunk Elephant oil in the morning with my Clarisonic since its thicker. Cocokind face oilThis paraben, all natural, cruelty free face oil was another popular oil in my Instastories poll.   I was pleasantly surprised with it considering it’s only $12!  It wasn’t as thick or moisturizing as the other oils, but definitely a great option if you don’t have dry skin and want something to absorb super fast when you’re on the go. Herbivore face oilI had high hopes for this face oil because I love the brand and the packaging is GORG!  I didn’t LOVE the strong floral/orchid scent and felt like it didn’t really improve the texture of my skin or soak in like some of the other oils.  It still moisturized my skin and I could tell it’s good quality, but for whatever reason it just didn’t wow me! Rodin Olio Lusso face oilOk this face oil was PRICEY – we are talking $170 for 1 oz.  BUT it totally changed the texture of my skin.  It evened it out, made it so silky smooth and I was obsessed with the super luxe/rich geranium and orange blossom scent.  I had never smelled anything like that combo before.  In terms of rebuying it/splurging on it again… I am still up in the air.  Even though it works wonders, it’s hard to justify spending that much when I have found other oils that are much cheaper that I love.  All I know is that I will be using this oil sparingly for special occasions so it lasts longer! Honest Beauty face oilI was so impressed with this oil.  The scent is so pleasant – it’s sweet, but not overwhelming (I am soooo sensitive to scents.)  The texture was perfect, it went on smooth, and really moisturized my skin.  It also won an Allure beauty award!  Overall this is a GREAT drugstore buy (it’s available at Target) with an ideal price point at $28.  Out of all of the oils, this was my 3rd favorite (after Drunk Elephant and Mara Beauty.) True Botanicals face oilThis was a lighter texture face oil compared to the others.  I didn’t love the super earthy scent and just wanted it to be thicker so I could use it with my Clarisonic.  I’ve heard wonderful things about this company and will absolutely keep testing their other products, but their face oil just wasn’t my fave. RMS Beauty face oilI love RMS as a company, but the scent of this face oil was so strong I couldn’t continue using it after the second time. The Buff face oilMy friend Jasmine started this company after trying a zillion different face oils and beauty products as an editor in NYC.  I love that you can customize the oil for your skin needs and add your initials to the packaging.  It makes it a fabulous gift for the beauty junkie friend in your life.  I always smile when I see it sitting on my makeup counter – it just looks CHIC! Sunday Riley face oilThis face oil is my secret weapon for acne.  If I am ever getting a breakout or pimple I put this on and it instantly dries it up and my skin is CLEAR the next morning.  Seriously this is LIFE CHANGING!!!!!  You need this in your cabinet for emergency blemishes! GiveawayI’m giving away $1000 of skincare products split amongst 10 lucky readers.  To enter, leave me a comment below telling me what oil you’re most excited to try/or already use, then like my latest IG photo and tag a friend in the comments who isn’t already following me on IG – and tell them why they should be.  Winners will be announced on Thursday – good luck!
Read More
Venice, CA

All Natural Deodorant Roundup

After months and months of testing all natural deodorants I am so excited to finally report my findings with you!  I really wanted to approach this almost like a scientist. Totally unbiased and clinical. So I had my girlfriend test deodorant after deodorant with me for over 3 months.  We wore each deodorant for at least 1 week in an assortment of conditions from everyday temperatures and activities, to hot summer days, stressful situations, and intense workouts.  Before I get into my favorites though, I will give you a brief background on my deodorant history which may be very similar to yours! Personally, I did not wear deodorant consistently until about 5 years ago. I was never a huge sweater growing up and also didn’t do a ton of intense workouts/activities so I just didn’t really need to wear it!  (I feel like some people have a more intense sweat gland situation and smell than others and I was fortunate in that it just was never an issue for me!) Honestly, I only started wearing deodorant when I began doing more physically intense workouts like Soul Cycle and boxing and felt self conscious that I would start smelling since I was working out so much!  So, I picked up a generic deodorant at the drugstore that everyone seemed to have in their cabinet and used it for 2 years thereafter. Everything was fine with it… (I honestly didn’t really notice a difference one way or another. And I was wearing it more for mental clarity/security) but when a guy I had been dating opened up my medicine cabinet and literally gasped at the deodorant I had and said, “You use this stuff?!  You know this is terrible for you and has aluminum in it which causes breast cancer.  You shouldn’t use this. Seriously Kat.”  I was SO shocked and taken aback by his reaction and had NO idea it was bad so I immediately started researching it myself.  He was a jerk. But I can thank him for opening my eyes to the aluminum in deodorant haha! Anyways…  I was stunned to find article after article talking about how many of the ingredients in generic deodorant, primarily aluminum, were linked to breast cancer!  And yet government articles I was finding insisted aluminum was NOT linked to cancer… Very conflicting!  Either way, I knew that I didn’t want to even risk the small chance of aluminum causing cancer. So I threw it out and began looking into all natural deodorants. For months, I tested all natural deodorant after all natural deodorant and was very sad to find that they made me smell TERRIBLE!  I was mortified at my new body odor. And literally started canceling workouts and friend dates because of it.  My body felt out of whack and I almost felt like I was producing MORE sweat during this phase!  Probably from the stress and fear of smelling bad LOL!  I decided to do some more research on why this could be/what was happening/if I even should continue wearing deodorant.  It was a super embarrassing time. Thank goodness I’ve now figured out what works for me! First and foremost…I will never wear a deodorant with aluminum again.  Second, if you are thinking of making the switch from regular deodorant to all natural, give your body at least 2 weeks of not wearing ANYTHING to adjust before trying a new deodorant.  I know, I know, this seems scary especially if you are a sweater… But trust me your ph levels and smell will even itself out and then you’ll have a neutral base to incorporate/test out an all natural deodorant into your routine.  Third, when choosing an all natural deodorant remember that everyone has different ph levels and takes to chemicals and scents differently. So what may work for one person, may not work for you (which is what I found in this testing process that my girlfriend and I did together.). Fourth, what you EAT and your overall health does have a huge impact on your body odor.  You could have body odor regardless of what deodorant you use because of something being imbalanced internally.  This is why I am such a stickler about what I put into my body. Because I have found that it directly impacts my scent!  If I eat spicy, greasy food or something that doesn’t sit well with my system, I notice I have more of a BO scent than if I’m eating fresh, healthy, organic food. FinallyI don’t think anyone really NEEDS deodorant.  I think it’s a great safety, precaution tool to smell more fresh. But if you’re balanced internally/healthy and sweat out the toxins/go through the elimination phase I truly believe your body will even itself out and that you will sweat AND smell less.  Nowadays, I wear deodorant maybe twice a week max, I rarely sweat, and hopefully I don’t smell (and if I ever do – I hope my friends would tell me!!!) After talking with my girlfriends about what deodorant they use/what works for them – I was surprised to learn many of them, especially the ones in LA, now don’t wear deodorant either!  They have let their bodies even out naturally and if anything, they use this cool crystal deodorant stick.  Here’s a roundup of all of the deodorants I tried and which ones I liked/disliked + why! All Natural DeodorantsScully deodorantI was turned off at first that this was a liquid spray, but I have to say after wearing it for weeks, I became super impressed with it!  My girlfriend Jesse who did the testing with me was equally as impressed.  This has a minty scent and tingles for the first few seconds you spray it, but that quickly goes away.  What we both loved about this is that the ingredients (which I found out have been used for over 100 years in their family’s secret recipe) completely neutralize all body odor and the spray has no scent (after those first few seconds) so it doesn’t compete with any perfume you want to wear!  Neither of us had any residue, BO problems, or stains.  This was definitely one of my favorite deodorants that we tested. Curie deodorantThis deodorant is my #1 favorite.  I LOVE the white tea scent which is not overly strong, floral, or “earthy” smelling – it’s just a pretty and subtle smell.  I also love the texture – it is exactly how you’d want a deodorant to feel.  It goes on smooth but isn’t too sticky and isn’t too dry – it’s the perfect in between.  And most importantly it worked and I did not have to reapply it during the day! Schmidt’s deodorantMy girlfriend Jesse and actually another close friend of mine both love Schmidt’s and say this is their go-to deodorant. *Jesse does say that she can’t wear it with black workout clothes during hot yoga because it does stain them white.  I on the other hand tried this deodorant and hated it!  It totally stained my clothes and I had white streaks running down my arms during yoga – not cute.  Another reader who saw me doing the deodorant round up on Instastory a few months ago – messaged me saying this gave her a rash.  So this is a perfect example of how everyone’s ph levels and bodies react differently! Kopari deodorantThis coconut oil based deodorant just won Allure’s Beauty award.  I trust Allure’s Beauty roundups, but I have to disagree with their findings here!  I really like Kopari as a brand and LOVED the scent of this product, but the texture was too gel-like and made my armpits feel damp for most of the day.  It just didn’t seep into my skin/absorb at all for me, and my girlfriend said the same thing. Native deodorantI bought the mini travel pack of Native deodorants so that I could test 6 of their scents.  The coconut vanilla scent was my favorite and I wore it throughout my Italy trip in August.  It was a really hot summer as many of you know and this definitely worked.  I had no body odor or stains.  I was happy with this deodorant, BUT the only thing I will say is that I felt like it was a bit too dry texture wise and was kind of chalky going on + didn’t glide/absorb like I’d have preferred. Malin + Goetz deodorantThis gave me BO at two different points in my life (I tried it back in 2016 and again this past summer in 2018) and it just smelled WAY too earthy for me.  It’s like pure eucalyptus so you smell like a sweaty Equinox gym sauna. NOPE not for me! Crystal deodorantI haven’t tried this but wanted to include it after several friends recently told me they have been using it for years and love it.  Note – they said you need to apply it right after you shower or else it doesn’t work.  I’m intrigued now and am going to try it and will report back! PiperWai deodorantThis was a thick black sticky paste that you roll under your arms and smelled super earthy… It was a no immediately for Jesse and I. Also, I didn’t block out any odor whatsoever. AER deodorantI tried this deodorant back in 2016 and was obsessed with the Palo Santo scent.  A ton of bloggers I love use it and rave about it.  The texture was a bit too gel-like for me, and it didn’t mask my BO (but this was when I was first transitioning out of regular deodorant and I haven’t re-tested it since.).  I wanted to include it here because again, everyone is different and I did really enjoy the scent and so many others seem to really like it! Overall, my two favorite deodorants were from Scully and Curie.  If I had to choose a third it would be Native.  I hope you enjoyed this roundup and would love to hear what your deodorant experiences have been and which ones are your personal favorites!!!
Read More