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Dahvi Shira

Music

Provocative FLETCHER Lyrics to Use as Instagram Captions for All Your Thirst Traps

February 16, 2021

If your goal is to get a reaction out of people on Instagram, the best FLETCHER lyrics are a great place to start. And by best, we mean most provocative.

The NYU grad-turned-singer-songwriter doesn’t hold back when it comes to dishing on her exes, her sex life and everything in between. Because her self-written raw lyrics come from the heart, they definitely make for the best Instagram captions. Surely whatever you’re doing can resonate in some way with what she has to say.

Whether you’re a huge fan of the “Undrunk” singer, or you’re only here for some quality content for social media, keep reading for the best FLETCHER lyrics to use as Instagram captions.

For the seductive shot of you sucking on a lollipop:

I know you think about me when you kiss her. I left a taste in your mouth, can she taste me now?

-“Bitter”

For the shot of you dripping wet fresh out of the shower:

You dream of me, dressed in white; I dream of you, dressed up in nothin.’

-“Shh…Don’t Say It”

For your next scantily clad bikini shot:

I wanna be young and party; be dumb and never feel sorry; become a freak with my body

-“Forever”

For the pic of you under the covers, revealing your bare shoulders:

If you’re gonna lie, at least do it in my bed.

-“If You’re Gonna Lie”

For your next mirror selfie:

I’ma have the last laugh, ah ’cause the second you forget me is the second that I come right back.

-“Last Laugh”

For the sultry headshot of you looking straight into the camera:

Say that you crave me, will you fixate me?

-“Over My Head”

Need more Instagram caption inspo? Look no further than THESE witty one-liners perfect for your next margarita photo!

Lifestyle

5 Things You Should Buy Your Boyfriend—Just So You Can Steal From Their Closet

February 15, 2021

Nothing’s worse than feeling like your S.O.’s garb is cramping your style (no pun intended). Whether you cohabitate or simply spend a lot of time together, your overlap of clothing is bound to get in the way. That’s why, if you’re dating a dude, make your life easier by figuring out what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet.

While gender norms have greatly gone out the window (at least in L.A.), plenty of clothing articles are obviously still designated for men. Therefore, we’re here to help you keep your man’s wardrobe growing, while benefitting in the process. Especially with holiday season around the corner, why not swoop up something that will (secretly) appease both of you?

(Instagram via @deepikaa_malikk)

To break down the best items to buy for your BF (only to steal them from their closet), we reached out to BJ Panda Bear. BJ is the cofounder of fashion and lifestyle e-commerce space, QooA—keep reading for his 5 musts!

1. Oversized Sweater

An oversized sweater on him is an oversized sweater for you waiting to happen. If you’re lucky enough, it’ll be so oversized that it fits you both.

(via Dries Van Noten)

2. Eyewear

Eyewear is always a shoo-in when you’re fake shopping for the boo. Edgy on him is bound to be fashion on you. Try unconventional shapes and colors.

(via Loewe)

3. Mini Bag

The democratic experience of the mini bag is something anyone can enjoy and embrace. It’s a statement of love if you really know the persons taste, or rather the value of neutral colors to steal into your own selection.

(via Issey Miyake)

4. Hoodie

When you think about what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet, the classic hoodie’s the most natural first thought. The ’50s-era equivalent of wearing of your BF’s letterman jacket in today’s TikTok times is surely the worn-in hoodie, is it not?

(via Reese Cooper)

5. Bold Printed Button-Down

Versace Versace Versace/Gucci Gucci Gucci… We kid… sorta. But really, any brand with the most boisterous prints will do. Play with the XXL size. It might be a luxuriant and playful gift for him, but it will soon be a wrap dress belted for you.

(via Versace)

Now that you know what to steal from your boyfriend’s closet, be grateful because you also get to avoid THESE obnoxious dating profiles.

Food

Whipped Drinks Is a User-Friendly Kit That Makes Delicious, Frothy Coffee in 60 Seconds

February 12, 2021

I’m obsessed with coffee, so any innovative development in the space immediately piques my interest. Therefore, when I was informed of a whipped coffee kit launching this month, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on it first.

Ahead of Whipped Drinks‘ official release, I was invited to the Zoom launch, where the brand’s husband-and-wife founders, Katie and Taylor Angel, gave attendees a demonstration of how to use their DIY froth kit. But everything looks better on camera. Would I be able to figure it out myself, I wondered.

Well, below is everything you need to know about Whipped Drinks’ whipped coffee kit.

The Product

The brand was conceptualized amid the pandemic, when not only was there plenty of extra time on everyone’s hands, but Katie was inspired by the sudden frothy coffee trend on where else—TikTok. Within months, Katie, with the help of her hubby, did her fair share of research and trial and error, and birthed this impressively packaged product.

The $49 kit comes with the following:

  • High-speed frother, batteries included
  • Gilded frothing jug
  • Carton Whip Sticks (contains 10 packets)
  • Recipe book
  • Beautifully wrapped box

Noted by the pair on the Zoom call, the packets are instant coffee (but with a much-elevated kick). The website describes the contents as “premium coffee refined to the perfect texture for whipping.” The 100% Columbian blend is infused with natural cane sugar, luxurious cocoa and a dash of sea salt. The product is gluten-free.

Aside from the kit’s contents, all you need to make your whipped coffee is a spoon, choice of milk, a glass, ice and a tablespoon of water.

The Experience

To be completely honest—I’m terrible at assembling things. And when I saw this called for batteries, I was even more concerned. That said, it’s a convenient touch that batteries are included. Things already started off on the right foot.

While the duo’s demonstration looked simple enough, who knew if I’d be able to tackle this solo. But one quick read-through of the user-friendly instructions, and it appeared to be easy as advertised.

I simply emptied one Whip Sticks packet into the frothing jug, added a tablespoon of H20, and applied the frother for 60 seconds. My result? A delightfully whipped concoction, ready to be devoured. Ah, but first—TikTok! I poured my frothy coffee on top of my iced almond milk, and took to cyberspace to capture the magic (see below!).

@dgidahvz

guess what launches on vday? this 60-second frothy coffee kit. delish! 💁🏻‍♀️☕️ ##coffeeaddict ##diycoffee ##covidcoffee

♬ Fake – The Tech Thieves

Bottom Line

In addition to the fancy factor of these whipped indulgences, the coffee itself is truly delicious. I don’t typically react well to anything made with sugar, but the amount is just enough to heighten the flavor without making it an overly sweet treat. I also wondered if I’d actually experience a much-desired caffeine jolt from one of these bad boys, or if they just tasted good. Thankfully, I got my energy boost!

Depending on how much coffee you drink (I drink a ton), you may go through the packets quickly. But if such is the case, you can purchase 10-pack refills for $24. Perfect for posting on IG, impressing a guest, or simply for the sake of enjoying solo, I highly recommend this impressive kit to any coffee-lover.

My only important note is the frothing can get messy, so be sure to do it over the sink or a towel, and avoid wearing light clothing in the process. Happy whipping!

whipped drinks frothy coffee kit review

Coffee is great during the day, but wine tickles our fancy at night. Click HERE for the best Instagram captions to capture pics of you and your grape-filled goodness!

Beauty

Kakadu Plum Is a Buzzy Skincare Ingredient With an Insanely High Vitamin C Concentration—Here’s Everything to Know

February 10, 2021

When I read the packaging of various skincare products, it’s easy to gloss over hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, for example. This isn’t because they’re not powerful or sought after in the formulas I use—it’s because they’re so common that they no longer jump out at me. Kakadu plum in skincare, however, is a different story.

To be honest, three weeks ago, the ingredient was foreign to me. But during a recent PR mailer unboxing, I came across two products at the same time that boasted what I’ve learned is an incredibly powerful antioxidant. COOLA’s Moon Silk Moisture Recharging Mask and Elevé Cosmetics’ Organic Golden Beauty Oil both list kakadu plum as a hero ingredient in their formulas. A quick Google search informed me that kakadu plum in skincare has been (quietly) growing in popularity for a few years, and high-end products by Dr. Barbara Sturm and DERMAdoctor contain the game-changing component. It’s found in Australia and known for its wildly high concentration of Vitamin C.

Whether it’s been a name in the game for years or not, it isn’t something I’ve been familiarized with until now. Eager to learn more, I reached out to Ginger Averitt, co-owner of Elevé Cosmetics. Keep reading for everything you need to know about kakadu plum in skincare!

skyelyfe: First and foremost, what is kakadu plum?

Ginger Averitt: Kakadu Plum is a fruit found in Australia which contains the highest amount of Vitamin C of any natural food source in the world. In fact, it contains 100 times more Vitamin C than an orange! 

SL: What are its skincare benefits?

GA: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which reduces oxidative stress, neutralizes free radicals and helps protect our skin from environmental stress. Bonus:  It’s naturally antibacterial, which helps fight acne.

SL: What caused the decision to include it in your beauty oil, and how is it formulated in the product?

GA: Our beauty oil contains 15 different wildcrafted and organic ingredients that are combined to nourish, protect and stimulate collagen production. Kakadu plum is an amazing addition because of the high concentration of Vitamin C, which we all know is a huge bonus for healthy skin! 

SL: It’s said to be the most concentrated form of Vitamin C on earth. If such is the case, why doesn’t it pop up more frequently in skincare products?

GA: I think it’s a relatively new discovery, and most people haven’t become aware of what a powerful ingredient it is for repairing our skin. 

SL: Is there anything else you’d like to add about kakadu plum in skincare?

GA: We see it popping up in more skincare products across major brands now. We can attest to its effectiveness—our beauty oil has a cult following and has transformed our own skin. It’s our holy grail!

SL: Tell me about your background in skincare and how Elevé came to be.

GA: Elevé Cosmetics launched in 2015 with our Bombshell Beauty Balm. We believe that makeup should be stylish and long-wearing while it also heals, repairs and protects your skin. Packed full of antioxidants, peptides and active anti-aging ingredients, our products are designed to enhance your natural beauty while improving the way your skin looks and feels. Our philosophy of using natural, organic ingredients simply makes sense. It’s less about promising you a miracle and more about pampering your skin.

To learn about other rare skincare ingredients found in different parts of the world, click HERE for the hydrating benefits of chaga mushroom!

Lifestyle

The $25-and-Under Galentine’s Day Gift Guide That’ll Earn You Major Brownie Points—Without Breaking the Bank

February 3, 2021

Luckily, with everything that’s evolved over the last few years, embracing Galentine’s Day as its own special holiday has become one of them. What used to simply be a way for single girls not to feel left out on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) has transitioned into its very own date on the calendar (Feb. 13). Which means, of course, that a Galentine’s Day gift guide is totally in order (just like the rest of the totally serious holidays), amirite?

No two girls are exactly the same, so there’s got to be some variety in this list. I looked far and wide to dig up not only a unique array of giftable goodies, but also items that don’t break the bank. After all, you still have their birthday and the holidays ahead of you.

Keep it classy yet cost-effective with gifts they’re sure to love, at $25 and under. From the beauty babes to the foodies, to the wellness junkies and more, keep reading for the ultimate Galentine’s Day gift guide that’ll earn you major brownie points—on a budget!

For the Lipstick Lover

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Lip Lounge Mini Lip Set: $24

If there’s one day to embrace your girlie side, Galentine’s Day is it. This collection of 10 mini lipsticks will ensure your pal’s lips never go nude again (unless in the form of one of these highly pigmented hues). While complete with a semi-matte finish, each lipstick is enriched with Vitamin E to ensure the lips stay hydrated. With varying shades of aforementioned nude, along with some reds and purples, she’ll surely feel festive primping her puckers with one of these shades!

(via Manna Kadar Beauty)

For the Eyebrow Junkie

Ziba Beauty Brow@Home Signature Kit: $25

A girl who couldn’t care less about her brows? I don’t think she exists. I’d gone through all my various eyebrow pencils and was in desperation mode, when coincidentally, I received this game-changing kit in a Pro Safety Beauty Summit gift bag. I ripped it open, and it’s been my go-to ever since. The set comes with 16 eyebrow wax strips, a trio of different brow gel shades, a multitask brow brush and antibacterial sanitizing wipes. I promise this will appease.

(via Ziba Beauty)

For the Self-Proclaimed Wino

Argaux Discovery Bottle Gift Box: $25

Argaux is a BFF-owned business based in Costa Mesa, CA, that represents wine from all over the world at various price points. For $25, you can order-up a bottle in a fancy little box, complete with decorative crinkle paper. Leave impressing your pal to the experts. You choose between red or white—they take care of the rest!

For the Obnoxious Keto Devotee

Good Dee’s Low-Carb Baking Mix Bundle: $19.98

We all have that friend who won’t stop talking about her diet (namely, the friend who’s doing keto). Adhere to her restrictions (and sweet tooth!) by swooping up a brownie and blondie bundle that’s A-OK for her eating plan. Each of the two gluten-free baking mixes are free of dairy, preservatives, sugar, soy and grain. Ok, but they have flavor, too—promise!

For the Friend Who Swears She’s a Real Housewife

Best of Housewives Coloring Book: $16

Your pal may not have The Real Housewives in the flesh, but she can still bring them to life! This coloring book not only highlights the Bravo stars’ most outlandish escapades, but they can be plastered all over your friend’s fridge, given out as greeting cards—you name it. Your pal can color to her heart’s content, putting her best work into these decorative pieces of art.

(via Always Fits)

For the Sophisticated Young Lady

Best of Sips by Tea Box: $15

If coffee is beneath her, snag your pal this adorably designed gift box full of various teas. Each package comes with four tea flavors, including lemon and lavender—along with disposable tea filters, a reusable muslin cloth tea filter to steep loose leaf tea, and a printed insert with steeping tips and exclusive discounts to each tea brand.

(via Sips By)

For the Self-Help Queen

ban.do Wellness Workbook: $18

For the buddy who’s always trying to better herself, help her get into high-gear with this pretty-in-pink, 100+-page compilation of personal exercises and motivation relating to goals, exploration, action and relaxation. It includes artwork, tips, tear-away cards, balance charts and check-ins.

For the Face Mask Aficionado

Yellow Beauty Red Erase Facial Scrub: $20

Name a girl who doesn’t love a good face scrub? I’ll wait… Packed with turmeric, chickpea flour and coconut oil, Yellow Beauty’s brand new Red Erase facial scrub aims to shrink breakouts and reduce redness after just one use. Its hero ingredient turmeric is known to brighten dull skin, supply micronutrients, lighten facial hair, fade dark spots, heal acne and diminish acne scars. Suitable for all types, your pal won’t fault by using this if she has sensitive skin.

For the Skincare Obsessed

Pixi Beauty’s Let’s Glow Gift Set: $12

What Galentine’s Day gift guide would be complete without the ultimate love-yourself gift—a skincare trio! Pixi’s Let’s Glow Gift Set is not only on sale for a whopping $12, but its cute carrying pouch comes with a package of travel-sized products: Glow Mud Cleanser, Glow Tonic, Glow Mud Mask—and a bonus mini-pack of limited edition Glow Tonic Cleansing Cloths for removing makeup. Whether she’s on-the-go or staying put, she’ll have plenty of ways to get her glow on during her next self-care Sunday (or any day!).

(via Pixi Beauty)

For the Firecracker

LULUSIMONSTUDIO Keepin’ It Sassy Mug: $7

For the friend who doesn’t hold back, encourage her to embrace her attitude in style with this decorative coffee mug that says it all. Not only do we all love a good tongue print, but this bad boy is on sale for under $10, and the founder is Paul Simon’s daughter—which makes it all the more fun!

For the Artiste

Mini-Canvas and Easel Painting Set: $23.99

I recently attended a virtual listening party for musician Gilli Moon. Ahead of the event, I was sent a tiny kit allowing me and other guests to paint to the sound of Gilli’s music. It inspired this next Galentine’s Day gift idea. For the friend who can actually color between the lines, this exploratory painting set will allow her to play around to her heart’s content, while showing off her fine works in every room of the house. This incredible (and affordable!) set comes with 10 4×4 mini canvases with easels, a 12-piece acrylic paint set, 10 paint brushes and five palettes. She’ll never be bored again!

(via Amazon)

For the Girly-Girl

Rainbow Shops Faux Leather Heart Detail Crossbody Bag: $6.99

Let your gal pal know she’ll always have your heart by gifting her this adorable crossbody bag. Perfect for running errands or going on a walk, she can flaunt her femininity in this small yet oh-so-stylish must-have that’ll fit all the necessities.

(via Rainbow Shops)

For the Lotion Lover

Superzero Relaxing Lavender & Chamomile Hand Balm Bar: $22

We all have that friend who’s constantly asking to borrow lotion. You’ve probably wondered why they never have their own, and now you can wonder no more by purchasing them this brand new launch from Superzero. The innovative hand balm comes in the form of a bar, and is packed with hydrating antioxidants and calming aromas. It’s 100% clean, plant-based, vegan, silicone-free and plastic-free. So if your pal is big on the environment, consider that an added bonus!

If you’re looking for something to do with your best Galentine this year, try a Dragon’s Breath facial. HERE‘s what you need to know about the at-home process.

Beauty

COOLA Just Launched a Skincare Line—and My Dry, Winter Skin Finally Feels Refreshed

January 28, 2021

COOLA is a standout I see every time I roam the aisles at Sephora. That said, because their products previously focused primarily on suncare, I hadn’t used them up to this point. I have an array of SPF lying around, so I use whatever’s in front of me. That said, when COOLA’s skincare line launched this month, it would acquaint me with the brand in a whole new way.

I was fortunate to receive an invite to the Zoom meet-and-greet with the company’s CEO and founder, Chris Birchby, and its Vice President of Innovation, Christina Peng. Ahead of the call, I received a full shipment of its oceanic-designed packaging that Chris and Christina would introduce us to at greater length during the chat.

I was immediately drawn to the Moon Silk Moisture Recharging Mask. More on that below, but it can be used as both a rinse-off or overnight mask, and I’m in desperate need of a fresh leave-on. The collection contains six products total, checking the boxes for all the necessities in a standard skincare regimen. The collection as a whole was formulated to combat blue light/digital stress, pollution, UV rays and more. All in all, the products collectively aim to hydrate, refresh and renew, and they do not contain SPF.

Keep reading for my breakdown of each product in COOLA’s skincare line:

1. Glowing Greens Detoxifying Facial Cleansing Gel: $28

This cleanser is described by the brand as “a detoxifying juice cleanse for the face.” I will say, upon personal use, my skin feels completely refreshed after rinsing. Packed with nutrient-rich seaweed extract, organic aloe juice, celery leaf and cucumber extracts, this product aims to gently cleanse away dirt, makeup and impurities.

(via COOLA)

2. Pacific Polish Gentle Sea Salt Facial Exfoliator: $32

You can’t go wrong with a solid exfoliant! I was told this is gentle enough for everyday use (obviously depending on your skin type), but that using approximately three times a week is best to stay on the safe side. Made up of ultra-fine mineral sea salt, papaya extract, Ayurvedic oil, coconut oil and sunflower oil, this product helps smooth away dull, dry skin cells, while drawing out toxins. The end result should be decongested-looking pores and a refined, clarified complexion. I felt a difference immediately, and the mild-as-advertised scrub did not irritate my skin.

(via COOLA)

3. Vital Rush Skin Renewal Serum: $52

This nutrient and vitamin-packed product is made for wake-up and renew morning application. The combination of camu camu extract, goji berry and moringa oil aim to revive the skin’s appearance, while keeping it hydrated and nourished.

4. The Great Barrier Cream Fortifying Moisturizer: $48

Most definitely the personal standout on this list so far, COOLA’s moisturizer is accurately described as a “lightweight yet powerful organic cream.” A little goes a long way with this concentrated formula. I’ve had issues with moisturizers lately, but within just one use of this product, I definitely noticed a difference. My skin looked significantly dewier throughout the day. The formula was made as a resilient barrier to the everyday stressors of the environment. So, in addition to providing a little glow with the help of sea kelp and blue algae extract, the product’s Full Spectrum 360° complex fights the effects from blue light, stress and fatigue. And who can leave out its sleek glass packaging?

5. Rewakening Rosewater Mist Face Spray: $36

Also complete with the brand’s Full Spectrum 360° complex, this midday skin booster is a nourishing refresh, packed with ginseng and green tea extract to help de-puff, brighten and rebalance skin. It also contains cucumber extract, which helps calm and soothe. The vitamin-rich hero ingredient, Damask rosewater, hydrates and refreshes.

coola's rewakening rosewater mist skincare product
(via COOLA)

6. Moon Silk Moisture Recharging Mask: $48

Saving the best of COOLA’s skincare line for last, we’ve got this innovative ultra-hydrating luxury mask. Packed with Snow Mushroom extract for hydration, Kakadu Plum for Vitamin C-rich skin protection—and, once again, COOLA’s signature Full Spectrum 360° complex, this product fights the effects of blue light, pollutants and other skin stressors. Much like the aforementioned moisturizer, a little goes a long way here, so no need to over-apply.

In addition to its skincare benefits, the mask provides a whole experience upon application and wear. A facial mask brush is sold separately ($18) to help apply the formula evenly and sanitarily. Once the consistency is spread, you feel a cooling sensation on your face and see a holographic shimmer. Hello, Instagram! The mask can be rinsed off after 20 minutes or worn overnight for deeper hydration. You can apply as frequently as needed—I’ve used it every night so far! And its sleek glass tub looks dashing, adorning your beauty counter.

coola's moon silk moisture recharging mask
(via COOLA)

Are you on a beauty budget? Click HERE for the best and worst affordable skincare brands, according to TikTok.

Angelenos

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Is More Prevalent in L.A. This Year—A Mental Health Expert Explains How to Deal

January 19, 2021

Traditionally, winter months have been joyous for me. Growing up in Southern California, a rare rainy-day was a welcome reprieve from the blistering heat we experienced on the reg. All I have are fond memories of not leaving the classroom all day, or bundling up under the covers after school. Seasonal Affective Disorder in LA (OC) wasn’t a thing for me—not in the slightest. In fact, I’d never even heard the term.

Well, fast-forward to college and I learned its meaning within weeks. Upon embarking on a four-year experience at the University of Oregon, everyone warned me that it would rain more than I could probably handle. I laughed, adamantly believing it would be great. I was sorely mistaken. It rained almost every day, and it was dark and dreary—not fun and carefree. The air smelled like white bread and body odor—not campfires and bliss. This was definitely no singing in the rain-type experience. Days were o-k, but the moment the invisible sun set, I fell into a deep depression. It was a foreign feeling, and I couldn’t imagine where this was all stemming from. To make it worse, the waiting list for on-campus therapy was months long.

(via Unsplash)

After plowing through four dreadful winters, I made my way back to California, where I relocated to Los Angeles. Much like many residents of the sparkly city, weather-induced depression is masked by gifting suites and red carpet events at the hands of Awards Season. My career for as long as I can remember has had me wrapped up in endless events (whether big or small)—all of which keeping me busy and unaffected by the dreary outdoors that take a toll on so many people.

Well, as we approach almost a full year of coronavirus restrictions, Seasonal Affective Disorder in LA is hitting people a lot differently than in years past. Being stuck indoors without the distractions of typical LA events and other celebratory gatherings makes the realities of short days and extremely dark nights more prevalent.

If you struggle with this issue like so many people do, LA-based counselor and on-air expert, Sarah Michael Novia, is here to help. Keep reading for Sarah’s further explanation of the common disorder, and what may ease its negative impact.

(via Unsplash)

skyelyfe: What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and where is it most commonly experienced?

Sarah Michael Novia: SAD is a recurring form of depression caused by lack of light, and it’s mostly experienced in geographic areas where it gets (and stays) cold and dark for long periods of time. Oversleeping, weight gain, lack of energy, loss of interest in activities, and increased sadness are pretty common symptoms.

SL: Why does it tend to be less common in LA?

SMN: In LA, we have fun in the sun year ’round, so we’re less likely to be seasonally affected. 

los angeles
(via Unsplash)

SL: Do you expect this to rise in LA this year, given lockdown circumstances?

SMN: Yes! COVID is keeping many more people indoors, mostly due to fear of catching and spreading the coronavirus. We’re lucky that the sun still shines, but it’s so important to get it on your face!

SL: What are the best ways to combat feeling low this time of year?

SMN: Exercise, exercise, exercise! There are thousands of free HIIT videos on the internet that are under 20 minutes. I love Joe Wicks (The Body Coach TV on YouTube). All you need is a yoga mat and yourself. Get that body moving every day, no matter what. Also, the healthier you eat—greens!—the better you’ll feel. Great sleep is essential as well. And get out in the sun, whenever you safely can. 

(via Unsplash)

SL: Does SAD typically require therapy or medication?

SMN: SAD can require therapy and/or medication. The first step is usually light therapy. You can purchase a lamp online—it works best when you use it right when you wake up. And medication may be necessary, but that’s something to discuss with your personal doctor. It can help you get back to functioning, in order to help you make positive changes in your life. It’s time to let go of the stigma and do what’s right for you. 

SL: Is there anything else you want people to know about this issue?

SMN: Talk therapy is always essential. Even if you aren’t currently experiencing SAD or any other mental health issues, working with a mental health professional can help you set goals and work your way through them. In my experience, therapy can be the most helpful when we aren’t bogged down with other concerns. Most people wait until their situation is untenable. And this makes the therapeutic process more difficult because you have to deal with the presenting issue before you can get to the core of what’s really happening.

If you struggle with your mental health, you’re not alone. HERE are six habits that help clear my head when I’m feeling low.

Music

Best Lyrics From Olivia Rodrigo’s ‘Drivers License’ to Use as Instagram Captions

January 16, 2021

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, your eyes have surely been reddened by now after listening to the instant sensation that is “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo. The song, believed to be based on a real-life love triangle between Olivia, her on-screen High School Musical: The Musical: The Series boyfriend Joshua Basset, and fellow Disney darling, (aka “that blonde girl”) Sabrina Carpenter. Since no one can get the song out of their head, “Drivers License” Instagram captions are the best way to use those profound lyrics to your benefit.

The tearjerker tune, which features storytelling that’s been compared to Taylor Swift’s, has been praised by the pop star herself. To top it off, Olivia beat Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” record for most single-day Spotify streams of a non-holiday song. So yeah, this song is a smash. Whether you’re in a relationship, heartbroken or have never been in love, this beautiful ballad will tug at the heartstrings.

Take one look at its heart-wrenching music video below, and then keep scrolling for the best lyrics from “Drivers License” to use as Instagram captions.

For the pic of you proudly flashing your fresh set of keys:

I got my driver’s license last week, just like we always talked about.

For the shot of you leaving the city and heading back home:

Today I drove through the suburbs…

For the aww-worthy pic of you and an older female you look up to:

She’s so much older than me. She’s everything I’m insecure about.

For the cuddly pic of you and your pup:

I know we weren’t perfect, but I’ve never felt this way for no one.

For the pic of you pulling up next to your favorite place that went out of business:

You said forever, now I drive alone past your street.

For the pensive image of you unabashedly heartbroken:

Red lights, stop signs—I still see your face in the white cars, front yards.

For the shot of you ridding your kitchen from booze or junk food:

God, I’m so blue, know we’re through. But I still fucking love you.

If you still need more inspo after browsing through these “Drivers License” Instagram captions, read THESE incredible quotes to accompany pics of you drinking wine!

Beauty

I Tried an At-Home ‘Dragon’s Breath’ Facial—Its Founder Breaks Down Everything You Need to Know

January 14, 2021

One of the obvious perks of the pandemic is being at home to slather my skin in face masks each day. And what an especially good thing because it’s made way for me to try a new 50-minute facial from Nourishe Organics.

Where most face masks can be applied and rinsed in 20 minutes tops, this two-part, at-home process takes a wee bit longer. But it’s also no ordinary formula. To begin, it’s a Dragon’s Breath facial ($121). I mean the name alone had me instantly intrigued. Secondly, it has a very distinct, dominant scent (more so than any product I’ve ever used). But hey, the worse (ahem, earthier) the aroma, the better the results, amirite? Lastly, Nourishe Organics as a whole contains no water, preservatives or fillers in any of its products, and it’s completely vegan.

I joined the brand’s founder Kristin Bauer during her digital demonstration of the facial a month ago. After connecting more with the Florida-based beauty line, I couldn’t wait to get my hands (face) on the products she kindly sent my way (which also included a Shungite and Diamond Beautifying Daily Face Wash – $63).

After seeing immediate results from each of my four uses thus far of the facial, I had many questions for Kristin. One of the main topics she emphasized during her demonstration was the lack of H20 in any of her products, and why water in skincare can actually be a bad thing. She also discussed how she got to a place where she feels totally comfortable without a stitch of makeup and why she swears solely by plants. She elaborates on all of that and a whole lot more in her Q + A with skyelyfe below!

skyelyfe: How did Nourishe come to be, and what did you do professionally before launching this brand? Where do you currently reside?

Kristin Bauer: I’ve been in the skincare industry for 21 years already! Immediately after completing my training, I began working with plastic and reconstructive surgeons. I was originally interested in working with burn victims as I’d spent time in a pre-med magnet program throughout high school, volunteering in the physical therapy department at a hospital. I saw plastic surgeons burning people on purpose for beauty, so my interest in studying DNA repair and telomere extension drove me to want to understand skincare and burns within the beauty industry.  

Nourishe was born in 2004 after working with a fantastic plastic surgeon doing pre- and post-op skincare. I began doing healing work for medical issues I’d struggled with since I was a child. Through strong plant therapies with indigenous healers in Peru, I found that plants were much more powerful than I had ever understood. 

I was also cured of infertility with the plants, and when I got pregnant I had a big wakeup call in regards to how to give my baby the healthiest start in life. It was at this time that I really began to read labels of all my personal care products, and I had counted over 383 chemicals in my shampoo, conditioner, body wash, perfume, deodorant, face products, and now the belly cream I was slathering on every day. This was all before 9 a.m. I had the best bathroom purge ever and began my investigation into organic skincare. 

I went to work on my clients and realized I didn’t want to use chemical peels and synthetic products on them. I wanted to use plants that had high nutrition and power as I had seen utilized in the jungle! I began research and development in my kitchen, and started formulating with what I like to call Indigenous Herbalism, which are techniques deeply connected to old practices of medicine people that studied from the earth.

I currently reside in a small town just North of Palm Beach, Florida called Hobe Sound. I simplified my life four years ago when I moved out of a bigger town. I now live in a tiny home with my daughter that we decorated with tons of color, decoupage and chandeliers we made from flowers. It’s very fun and vibrant, which is inspires me on a daily basis. I’m definitely inspired by beauty and love to create from a space of unique and individual beauty, not defined by trends, but inspired by heart and soul.

SL: What exactly is Dragon’s Breath in skincare, and how did it get its name?

KB: In many ancient cultures, dragons are a symbol of power, wisdom and vitality. On one of my trips into the jungle, I was studying a resin called Sangra de Drago (dragon’s blood) and learning about the ancient culture around animals actually guiding humans within the indigenous healing world. When I came back into the country I told my daughter what I learned, while giving her an at-home facial. She looked at my face covered in the greenish-black product, blew on my face and then proceeded to tell me she was a dragon blowing on me so that I could be a strong dragon like her. It was so cute, so I had to name the product after her playtime with me.  

I consider aging to be a combination of a lack of repair and a lack of energy. So, Dragon’s Breath helps solve the first problem by supporting the repair mechanism of the skin. Daily, we’re around toxins that affect the health of the skin. Herbs and coconut charcoal in the Dragon’s Breath bind to positively charged particles in the skin, drawing them out before they can cause damage. At the same time, they leave minerals in the place of the toxins to prevent further oxidative stress. 

SL: What are the benefits of using Nourishe’s Dragon’s Breath at-home facial, and how does it work? How often do you recommend using it for best results?

KB: Dragon’s Breath and O22—pronounced O 2 squared—make up the At-Home Facial Kit. Essentially the first part of the process, Dragon’s Breath, is going to detox the skin. O22 solves the second aspect of aging, being a lack of energy, by using an active combination of herbs, roots, mushrooms and fatty acids that harmonize to mimic energy in skin cells. We combine this with berries, seeds and flowers, known as S.A.O. or super antioxidants. And it’s through this combination that we effectively create oxygenation or energizing of the skin. This experience creates valuable energy for the skin to keep it healthy, glowing and full of vitality.  

I recommend using the Dragon’s Breath and the O22 approximately twice a week when you first start your at-home facial process. Once you feel like your skin is about 50% improved, then I recommend focusing on once a week. I also recommend using this kit specifically when you’re doing a lot of traveling or if you’ve been eating a lot of foods that might be stressful on your liver, or you’re not getting enough hydration.

The benefits of this kit are obviously going to be detoxing and regenerating the skin with the oxygenation phase. This benefits the skin by detoxing pores (which allows them to tighten), reducing pigmentation and brown spots, balancing oil production, smoothing fine lines and improving skin color and circulation. It takes about five weeks of use to really see the skin healing, but often I have clients tell me that they see a difference after the first time they use this kit.  

I recommend that if you have acne, first you balance the acne on your skin before using this kit because the detox phase can be very strong. And you want to make sure you have normalized how the skin functions before you start the detox phase. I also recommend you’re at least two weeks into an organic skincare process before you add the at-home facial kit to your routine so that your skin is ready to receive this high-level nutrition. 

SL: You’ve mentioned the downsides of water in skincare. Can you explain why a high concentration of water in skincare is actually a bad thing? And also, why shouldn’t people get water anywhere near the at-home facial kit?

KB: Water is commonly used as a filler in skincare formulas. It’s cheap as an ingredient, and when it’s whipped or blended with oils, it makes it look like you’re receiving a lot more product. Also, adding water allows for mold and bacteria to form, which means there need to be more preservatives added to counter this effect. I prefer focusing on only what the skin needs to be the highest nutritional quality, instead of adding fillers. One of our philosophies in our formulations is that we don’t add any fillers to any of our products—just pure, potent raw materials.  

Also, the skin is an oily organ that requires oil to lubricate the cellular function of taking in nutrients, detoxing waste and creating its own natural and soft oils for protection. Water in products and over-washing skin creates an imbalance in the necessary oily mechanisms of the skin. This doesn’t apply to handmade soap though, because water is mixed with oil to make soap and this is how it lathers and cleans the skin. 

So, being water-free is recommended for your serums, moisturizers, creams, and balms. And just following this one tip for your skin will actually start making a big difference in your skincare goals. Especially for oily, acneic and greasy skin, despite what most people assume, proper oils are needed to heal.

SL: What are your best winter skincare tips?

KB: Internal circulation is definitely my No. 1. By getting more blood-flow to your face, you reverse the aging process. With this practice, you get all that deep, nutritious blood circulation all the way to your scalp and back towards your heart in a reverse direction.

Then we want to talk about external strength. A lot of old skincare philosophies suggest using scrubs, acids, exfoliants, washcloths, brushes and other tools to take off your outer layer of skin. I definitely do not agree! I teach that you want to make the outer layer of your skin stronger and healthier by using products that encourage the skin to build up its own natural oils for protection. Make sure all of your products are sans acids or chemicals that destroy or break down the outer layer of the skin, and don’t use any brushes or washcloths. 

Next is deep hydration, which is making sure you’re getting a lot of oils on your skin and that you’re massing them in. Make sure your serums, creams and balms don’t have any water in them. Massaging them in allows your products to go a lot deeper and create better absorption of nutrients.

You want to get more nutrition in your skin, and this is by making sure you use products packed with plants and super nutritious ingredients. For Nourishe, one of our philosophies in our formulas is we use whole plant complexes—so we don’t extract different parts of the plant to give you vitamin C or vitamin A. We actually use the whole plant and we don’t waste any part in the formulation because there are aspects of the plant that allow your skin to use the nutrients much more powerfully.

Next, I suggest adaptive skincare, which is really fun because this is basically taking plants that naturally can withstand very cold temperatures, and using these plants as part of your routine. Peony, catmint, arctic rose, pansy, calendula and geranium are some of my favorite flowers for winter, and we put those in a lot of our products. Also, our Earthy Balm is really a must-have for winter, as it’s an outdoor extreme cream that creates a beautiful seal of hydration because we use waxes from different leaves to create a barrier of protection on your skin all day.

SL: You’ve mentioned you don’t wear any makeup. What are some practices that have led you to go makeup-free? And why have you chosen to go that route?

KB: Being makeup-free is a fun practice that I teach. I’m a single mompreneur, and keeping my time focused on what’s most important is a daily practice of mine. Also, I think it’s great to feel so confident in my own skin that even at an event, my skin is perfect on it’s own! I do sometimes wear eye makeup (eyeliner, shadow and/or mascara) for events or photoshoots, but I haven’t owned a spec of foundation, concealer, powder or anything that covers my face in over a decade. 

My tricks for radiant skin without face makeup are: I use the Kakao Hydra Mask and Mid-Day Floral Spray a few hours before a big event, I use Earthy Balm (which is an outdoor balm designed to protect your skin) as my moisturizer because it has a lot of plant wax in it that seals in moisture and reflecting light so I look extra dewy. Also, using the Voluminishe regularly for a few months will give more color to the skin because some of the roots in it create the look of permanent suntan effect on the outer layer of skin.  And lastly, but most importantly, I always do a deep tissue massage on my skin to release any tension or stress, and to deliver deep hydration.  

SL: Is there anything else you want to share about Dragon’s Breath, Nourishe or skincare in general?

KB: Remember that divine beauty is a life force that shines from within. It’s developed and found through the love that we have for ourselves, and these magnificent bodies we’ve been gifted. I’d love for us to pass on to our children the knowing that a blemish or line can never take away from our beauty. Finding our beauty is a process of learning that these marks are messages from our bodies, and thus responding to our bodies in a healing or nurturing way, allowing for remarkable consciousness to begin to blossom.  

My favorite active practice to do to support my own skin health is the At-Home Facial Massage, which doesn’t have to be done just with the At-Home Facial Kit, but any organic skincare product that can be rubbed in.

Full At-Home Facial Video:

For more of my recent skincare faves, click HERE for my beauty and wellness 2020 holiday gift guide!

Beauty Featured

Heather Rainbow Is the Face of Anti-MLM TikTok—She Talks to Skyelyfe About the Dangerous Business Models of Arbonne, Monat and More

January 12, 2021

MLMs are much of a foreign concept here in L.A., but chances are you’ve encountered a “Boss Babe” (as their team members call themselves) on Facebook at some point, likely in the form of a former classmate or religious peer—claiming to own a “small business.” The worst MLMs are many of the ones you’re most familiar with (namely in the beauty industry). But you probably don’t realize they actually operate through a pyramid scheme business model that scams anyone who isn’t at the very top.

Before we get into the depths of multi-level marketing, let’s talk first about what drew me to this phony albeit fascinating facet of work. Growing up, I think we can all say we’ve been subjected at one time or anther to a Tupperware, makeup or sex toy party. The host boasts a night of wine and champagne, mingling, hors d’oeuvres and even free gifts! Sure, you feel slightly obligated to buy something, but it’s usually something you can use, so why not? Never did I realize the darkness and destruction associated with these seemingly harmless gatherings.

Years following one of those parties, I was actually approached by none other than Ian Ziering, who attempted to recruit me to Team 90210, his own group that falls under the much larger umbrella of Nu Skin, a luxury MLM that sells skincare and devices. His team is chockfull of—you guessed it—naïve Beverly Hills, 90210 devotees swayed to join out of pure fandom. He pegged me as potentially one of them.

I met Ian briefly at an event in 2017. He was there with his then-wife and none other than Tori Spelling and her entire brood. Being the self-proclaimed biggest 90210 fan who ever lived, it was exciting seeing the two former stars not only still pals, but also just casually chatting it up with attendees at this low-key Sunday event on the rooftop of a Miracle Mile apartment complex. No one (including the girl who invited me) had any real clue what this event set out to do. There were signs that seemingly promoted “Tori’s Beauty Box,” but there were no such boxes or details in sight. Oh well, there was wine and some snacking, so what did I care?

I snapped my obligatory shot sandwiched between Tori and Ian (see embarrassing grin below), told them I was a fan and didn’t think much else of it. Ian suggested I give his wife my info so we could connect about me reviewing “Tori’s Beauty Box” for the website I wrote for at the time. We exchanged emails and I went on my merry way.

The next day, I shot Ian’s wife a note—and to my surprise, she replied immediately: “What’s your phone number? Ian wants to give you a call about something. He’ll explain.” I didn’t realize we needed a full-blown phone call to discuss the contents of “Tori’s Beauty Box,” but alas I obliged. Who was I to turn down Steve Sanders, amirite?

What followed was an hour-long sales pitch—all while I was in the middle of my work day. Ian tried to convince me how easy it would be to sell an everyday necessity like toothpaste, and how I could join his exclusive Team 90210, and have access to him directly at all times. I could recruit my friends and “make money!” I was shook. So… guess there’s no “Tori’s Beauty Box” after all! When I finally got off the call and said “I’d consider it” (syke), I walked out of the conference room at my office, looking like I’d just seen a ghost. My coworkers were shocked by everything that transpired.

With the exception of telling my closest friends about my bizarre experience, I largely put the encounter out of my mind. Needless to say, I never joined Ian’s coveted Team 90210 clique, but I’m sure it’s a swingin’ time. It wasn’t until two years later, after watching Vice‘s detailed documentary on LuLaRoe leggings, that I really got invested in MLM culture. It’s an extremely fascinating world, and this doc is a must-watch.

Fast-forward to fall 2020, and I stumbled upon the TikTok account of college student, Heather Rainbow (yes, that’s her real last name). As the unofficial face of Anti-MLM TikTok, Heather breaks down every MLM’s business model, debunks all of their so-called perks and takes a stand against anyone who tries to counter her well-researched facts. Raised in an evangelical household, Heather regularly explains to her 100k followers why religion and MLMs go hand-in-hand.

@heather.elise.rainbow

Comment the other bossbabe phrases that you see on social media! ##antimlm ##pyramidscheme

♬ original sound – heather elise

Since liberating herself from her mother’s conservative practices, Heather has gone on to educate people so they don’t fall into the same traps as many of her peers growing up. Heather’s wealth of research and knowledge is so astounding that she even caught The Atlantic and Newsweek‘s attention. She was quoted in both, once TikTok announced a policy in December banning content that “depicts or promotes Ponzi, multi-level marketing, or pyramid schemes.”

I reached out to Heather, curious to learn more about how she got this deep into studying MLMs. She dished to skyelyfe on literally everything you need to know about this toxic culture, how to avoid being a victim and the worst MLMs out there. Keep reading for what she has to say!

skyelyfe: For those who don’t know, what’s an MLM, why are they so commonly joined, and what’s the issue with them? 

Heather Rainbow: An MLM, or a multi-level marketing company, is a company which uses a business model involving three key things: A product to sell, an incentive to recruit, and a multi-tiered compensation plan. Every single MLM out there has these basic features. They are so commonly joined because of No. 2: an incentive to recruit.

Every MLM compensation plan factors in some kind of incentive, usually monetary, to add new people into the company. This is often framed as an “opportunity” on social media posts trying to rope people in. Of course, this leads to the question, what’s wrong with that? Well, of course selling for commission is totally fine, but the recruitment aspect is what makes these companies so comparable to pyramid schemes.

A pyramid scheme is a model in which no product is sold (but as shown in legal proceedings with MLMs, the line is more blurred than just the presence of a physical product). Recruitment would be the sole money-making opportunity in this scenario. Unfortunately, MLMs are extremely comparable to this model, making them, in my opinion, unethical.

It is essentially impossible to make a living wage in an MLM without recruiting and adding new people into the company, so the selling aspect is much less important than the recruitment aspect. If an individual makes more money by recruiting than by selling, there is a significant issue in the business model. 

SL: Known as a “scam” by many outsiders, what keeps people invested in these so-called “businesses”—especially if they’re not making money?

HR: A couple key things go into this. First of all, the life portrayed on social media by MLM participants. Monat, Itworks, Arbonne, all these distributors and many more are known for displaying a lavish lifestyle in their posts to make the “opportunity” seem legit. Ultimately people believe what they want to be true, so an old friend sliding in your DMs because they want to help you make money when you’re in a tight spot can seem like an amazing opportunity, when in reality they have ulterior motives.

Another key factor in keeping people invested in MLMs is the sunk cost fallacy. Once you’ve sunk money into something, it’s only human to do absolutely anything to get that money back, especially if you have an upline telling you it’s possible if you only try hard enough. This fallacy essentially creates a bias toward the opportunity, telling you that you have to continue this MLM since you already threw money in. 

SL: Tell us about your educational and professional background. And how did you transition into becoming the face of anti-MLM culture on TikTok?

HR: I’m a junior in college right now, and I’m a pre-med student studying chemistry and math. This of course is totally unrelated to the legal and ethical aspects of MLMs, which are kind of a separate interest of mine that I started researching around the beginning of the pandemic. I’d always sensed something off about these companies, and growing up in a small town in a religious circle, they were extremely prevalent and normalized.

After seeing the companies spike in popularity and use the pandemic to their advantage via social media, I fell into a massive research rabbit hole where I uncovered the truth about this business model and the real ways it’s hurt people. I started making TikToks, and I was shocked by the positive feedback I got and how interested people were in knowing more. And the rest is history! 

SL: Do you feel like you’ve helped anyone through your platform? Or do you feel like none of the people deep in MLM culture are able to see your point of view?

HR: I’m so honored every time I receive a comment or a DM saying I helped someone get out of their MLM. I’ve had people in various MLMs—Monat, Arbonne, Younique, tell me they started rethinking their practices after seeing my videos break down the compensation plans and legal problems. It really is my greatest accomplishment to know I helped someone out there. Of course, there are people who’ll never understand what I’m trying to do, and will always see me as a negative hater, but such is life. I wish them the best, although sometimes it’s hard not to get sassy with them. I try to see them as a victim of the company they’re participating in. 

SL: Moving on from the business aspect, let’s get into the majority of products sold by MLM distributors—or what do they call themselves? Are these products ever high-quality? Or are they actually a scam, too? 

HR: Distributors, consultants, market partners—these are all words they use to describe themselves, although I, of course, think salespeople is the most accurate. Quality of product often comes down to a matter of opinion. Some products I feel very strongly negatively about, like the Kangen water filter that costs thousands of dollars, as well as ketones from Pruvit, and shakes from Beachbody.

Personally, with my knowledge of science and the human body, I think all these things are a massive waste of money. But of course, some people swear by them. I do think some sellers are genuine with their love for the product, and I wouldn’t want to call them all liars. But I do think they’re extremely biased and the placebo effect is extremely real. I know some people that genuinely enjoy Senegence lipstick or Monat hairspray, and I don’t fault them for that, although I wish they would support a more ethical business model with their purchases. 

SL: What are some of the most commonly known MLMs that people in L.A., for example, probably don’t realize are such?

HR: Being from a small town, I see a lot of smaller MLMs that maybe aren’t as pervasive in larger cities. These could include Zyia, Senegence, Paparazzi, Vantel pearls, et cetera. And even larger MLMs like Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and LulaRoe are way more prevalent here, from what I have observed. Everyone knowns someone in an MLM. 

SL: Going off of that, why are MLMs far less common in metropolitan cities like L.A.? Generally, who is your typical MLM salesperson, and why?

HR: There are many answers to this question, and it’s really an interesting one to think about. MLMs are often joined by stay-at-home moms wanting to make an extra income while spending time with their kids. This type of family, with a father working and a mom staying at home with the kids, is extremely common where I grew up. The conservative, “traditional” family is so often the target of these companies, because the “mom guilt” card is incredibly effective. Don’t you want more time with your kids? Don’t you want to provide for your family? These are all sentiments expressed by MLM recruiters. These families definitely exist in cities too, but being from a small town, I know just how important that structure can be to many people here.

Unfortunately, MLM money is thrown at the republican party as well, and the link between republicans, conservative evangelicals and MLMs is undeniable. As I like to say, spreading the gospel is remarkably like spreading the “good news” of an MLM. All these factors contribute to MLMs spreading like wildfire in small-town churches and families. 

SL: When celebrities (like Ian Ziering, for example) join MLMs, how does his “business” experience differ from that of a regular person? 

HR: Ah, celebrities in MLMs. These figures are often touted as success stories by MLMers, and they add credibility to the company’s name. For example, Blac Chyna joined Monat this year, and the distributors screamed it from the rooftops. Jenna Boyd from Atypical is near the top of Rodan + Fields. One of the major contributing factors to being successful in an MLM is a social media following, or better yet, a fan base. This makes it incredibly easy to skyrocket up the ranks, generating huge profit. People will do anything to talk to their favorite celebrity, or even any celebrity, and that includes joining a multi-level marketing company.

These opportunities can be hugely profitable for anyone with a built-in following, as recruiting will be laughably easy. This is unfair and unethical to say the least. People do enjoy Nu Skin products, although personally I see them as incredibly overpriced, and I find it hard to believe these products are the source of Ian Ziering’s good skin.   

SL: Are any MLMs better or worse than others? Or are they all pretty much the same?

HR: Even those within the Anti-MLM community have varying opinions on this. Some MLMs like Tupperware or Pampered Chef have extremely loyal customers who genuinely love the product, and these are seen as less predatory than other such companies. Unfortunately, I still see these companies as unethical due to the recruiting nature of the business model, although I’m not judging anyone for purchasing. Because the three key things that make up an MLM, as I mentioned earlier, include an inherently unethical recruiting model, I do not support or buy from any of them. 

SL: Is there anything else you want to share on this matter? And what else can you tell us about your life outside of TikTok? 

HR: Thank you so much for asking me to share! I’m always happy to talk about the ethics around MLMs and how we as consumers should be aware of what’s going on in the background. My goal is to educate those who vaguely know what MLMs are and maybe sense that something is off, but aren’t armed with the specific information to understand why. Remember that when someone is asking you to join, they are likely going to make money directly from your buy-in purchase.

On my platform, I also like to discuss my experience leaving evangelical Christianity and being homeschooled almost my entire life. I’m thrilled to have grown a social media following from talking about issues that are important to me. Aside from TikTok, I love being a woman in STEM, I love powerlifting and I love being a barista!

Now that we’ve got scammy skincare out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff with a review of Nudestix’s Nudeskin skincare line, HERE!

Lifestyle

A Site That Mirrors MySpace Quietly Launched at the End of 2020—Its Founder Talks to Skyelyfe About the Venture

January 6, 2021

The early ’00s MySpace phenomenon surely had its share of flex culture, pedophiles and promiscuity—but unlike today’s era of social media, it maintained an unavoidable level of authenticity. There were no filtering apps, no grade-A cell phone cameras, no ~aesthetic~ (unless you count an obnoxiously glittery HTML-coded background as such). Since its inception (and shortly thereafter demise), there’s really been nothing quite like the extremely popular platform. Enter: the new MySpace.

Yep, you read it here first! The very end of 2020 introduced the World Wide Web to SpaceHey, a site that literally mirrors the former favorite. As of a little more than a month later, the platform has amassed quite a following (more on that below), and it definitely has a vibe.

Where MySpace attracted pretty much everyone, SpaceHey gears more toward an alt audience, infiltrated primarily with self-proclaimed emo users. Like, take the scenester kids from MySpace’s heydey and that pretty much encompasses all of SpaceHey. This site is definitely a ‘lax reprieve from the pristine perfection of Instagram, while lacking the aggressive, in-your-faceness of TikTok. I wish there were more specific search options (where are all my L.A. peeps at?!), but alas, you can freely browse around and click on pages—all of which are public—as you please.

For more information on this prime piece of nostalgia come to life, I reached out to SpaceHey’s founder, who goes simply by An. He’s an 18-year-old recent high school grad from Germany, whose plans to travel around the world were curtailed due to the pandemic. Instead, he launched an entire media platform (no biggie!), along with a T-Shirt line. Both enterprises are under the umbrella of what he calls the Tibush project.

Keep reading for everything to know about the teenage prodigy, and the semi-revival of America’s favorite gone-but-not-forgotten social media site.

(via Unsplash)

SL: What inspired you to emulate MySpace when you were only a toddler during its heyday?

An: Because I was only a few years old when MySpace was at its heights, I never came to use it. However, I heard a lot about it—both from older friends and from the internet—and I was always really interested in the “old days” of the internet. I really like the feel of “old” websites.

I watched a lot of videos about MySpace and looked at a ton of screenshots and archive.org pages, and I came to the conclusion that you can’t find something like this kind of social site nowadays. So that’s when I decided I could try to create a MySpace-like site myself! I tried it out with my friends, and it was so cool I decided to make it public—and that’s where I’m at now.

SL: What’s your favorite feature of SpaceHey, and what do you think will draw users to a platform like this in 2021?

An: I think mainly the absence of an algorithm, which dictates what the user should see. I also like the ability to customize your own profile as much as you want and to make it truly your “own space” on the internet. That’s not possible nowadays with platforms like Twitter or Facebook, where the design of every profile looks exactly the same.

SL: Has Tom [Anderson] or anyone else affiliated with MySpace reached out to you?

An: No, not yet. But I’d love to chat with him one day!

SL: How many users are on the platform? And are there any trends on where they’re from?

An: There are around 25,000 users [as of when this article went live]. The majority are from the U.S., but there are also a lot of people from Europe and other parts of the world.

SL: How do you expect to maintain SpaceHey’s longevity when people are so glued to Instagram and TikTok?

An: I hope SpaceHey gains even more popularity, not only among people who used MySpace back in the day, but also among people who never experienced such a form of social media before (like me!). The SpaceHey community is all about freedom of expression. It’s one of the only social media platforms where all users can freely design and control their own profiles and the content they share.

Apart from that, users can share blog posts and so-called “Bulletins” on SpaceHey. Bulletins are a way to share content only with your friends in a non-permanent way (all Bulletins and Bulletin comments will automatically be deleted after 10 days). Because a lot of people asked for features related to music, I’m currently building music features which I will add to SpaceHey soon.

By the way, I’m open to any suggestions/feedback regarding SpaceHey.

SL: Who is the typical SpaceHey user?

An: SpaceHey is for everyone who likes to be part of a friendly community. Both MySpace experts from back in the day and younger generations are the focus of SpaceHey, and everyone who already joined seems to really enjoy it. It’s a really great place to hang out online, get to know new people, and discover amazing profiles from all over the world!

SL: What are your hobbies outside of coding and computers? Where do you see yourself in five years?

An: My hobbies, apart from coding, are traveling, getting to know new cultures, meeting new friends and playing the guitar. In the future, I want to study Computer Science at a university, and I’d love to visit Silicon Valley one day!

Now that you know everything you need to about MySpace’s clone, get your TikTok fix by following THESE fascinating L.A.-based users on the app!

Lifestyle

2020: The Emotional Rollercoaster of Rollin’ Solo Amid a Pandemic

December 30, 2020

Each December, I reflect on where I was 12 months ago—and over the last few years I feel like I continue progressing. To presently add to my self-growth? I’ve been living alone during a pandemic. Much more on the novel coronavirus below, but first let me set the scene for what led up to it.

Quick Flashback to 2019 for Context

2019 was a really important year for me. Nothing big happened, necessarily, but there were a slew of little things that added up in a very big way. It was the first time since I can remember that I took care of my mind, body and soul, collectively and consistently, and I felt like I was finally growing into the person I wanted to be.

Each new year, we always say with great hope, Oh, I just know 20– is gonna be the best year ever! And while some years have certainly been rewarding in their own right, it’s been quite some time since I’ve had one of those remarkable best years ever. That is… until 2020, or so I presumptuously thought. And theoretically speaking, it was supposed to be—for everyone. There was the whole 20/20 vision outlook, all the major holidays fell on weekends, it was a new decade, potentially a new president… all that good stuff.

But for me, personally, I spent all of 2019 laying the groundwork for truly a well-deserved best year ever in 2020. Last year was spent in grueling workout classes, eating remarkably well, limiting my alcohol, emanating positive energy and truly being the best version of myself—inside and out. To top it off, on New Year’s Eve day, I announced my plan to launch a T-shirt brand following a fresh trademark for the line.

In the past, I thought time naturally created blessings and opportunities for us. I sat around just waiting for things to happen. In recent years, however (namely 2019), I realized you really did have to work for what you want, and I was putting in the time.

2020 Kicks Off

As I envisioned, 2020 was off to an amazing start. Traditionally speaking, January has been a really strong month for me, regardless of the year. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or the start to a new year, but I do find my energy more heightened, with opportunities more aptly infiltrating my life during this month. And 2020 was no exception.

Everything was so right up until mid-February, when Joyce, a longtime friend, colleague and mentor to many passed away. While the cause of death was unknown at the time, it was a serious wakeup call to everyone. The partying among myself and everyone I knew went on a massive decline—and for me, personally, I took it as a sign to keep putting in the work and being my best self because we’re not here forever. Losing Joyce left an immense hole in my heart, and in that of so many who she touched throughout years of being such a prominent figure in the media world I’ve been a part of. She was the first person I met when I started working in entertainment reporting.

Her passing in her late ’40s was a reminder that life is short. In the past, I found myself living for other peoples’ approval and caring way too much about what they think. Now, I was finally developing the confidence to just live my life. I stopped focusing on past mistakes, and instead put my efforts into plowing ahead with gratitude, worth and drive.

Little did I know, one month later, everything would change—in a way no one in my lifetime could have predicted. I’ll never forget the day before coronavirus sent everyone into lockdown. I was fresh from visiting my parents in Orange County—at a now-long-gone Souplantation, for that matter. I raced back to L.A. to sneak in one more Hot Pilates class with a friend of mine, oddly looking forward to being forced inside our living spaces later that day. Working from home was a dream for years—who knew it would take a pandemic for my then-employer to understand people can function away from their cubicle (more on that in a bit)!

Quarantine Life Kicks In, as Does My Personal Empowerment Journey

Closing my apartment door behind me for what would go on to be days before even stepping outside for air, I felt amazing. Like, the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I was certainly not at ease with the way of the world and the businesses being affected so abruptly and unexpectedly. But internally, I was incredibly stable. And as the days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into cold, gloomy months, living alone during a pandemic continued to be a positive experience for me. I cooked all of my meals; spent my days working out and writing, as opposed to wasting away with a bottle of wine; I thought about the future and how much promise it held. I was so optimistic and really enjoyed my own company. I never felt bored—I had everything I needed.

I physically didn’t see anyone for a month and a half. I also kept my social Zoom activity to a minimum (so glad I never hopped on that trend), so the virtual hangs were also few and far between. I continued working on myself, working out or walking up my strenuous hill regularly. The lack of regular drinking also helped me maintain a clear head, and I kept myself busy with my full-time job, freelance job and revival of this blog. I became so comfortable with quarantine life that there were points when I firmly said I never need to hang out with anyone again. People asked me time and time again, are you ok? Would the single, social butterfly survive a pandemic, holed-up solo in her one-bedroom apartment? Oh, I was better than ok.

While people lamented over their weight-gain, gluttony and binge-drinking, I just kept my eyes on the prize, assuring myself and others that by the time quarantine were to end (during what was initially predicted to be summertime), I’d come out of this cocoon a butterfly. Heck, even my homemade manis were on point.

Losing Steam

While filled with so much hope, confidence and motivation, I began to notice things around me that perhaps weren’t as vivid before. These things were always present, but they never fazed me because I was always fortunately occupied with work and an active social life. Now, however, no matter how content I was in this totally alone predicament, I couldn’t help but think about the couples in my friend group who were able to sneak away on road trips together, or cozy-up on stormy days. During these locked-away months, so many people I knew were getting pregnant, having babies, launching businesses, strengthening their relationships. All the while, I was taking cute mirror selfies and posting my home-cooked meals.

The pandemic has been a strong reminder that I’m single—with no near end in sight. It’s not even to say that I mind being single. But my goodness, it would be nice to have the option otherwise. I went on a few nice dates amid the pandemic (that didn’t lead to anything), but I miss hitting the local spots and letting the vodka-sodas coax me into talking to, like, the literal tree outside. No, but seriously, it was fun getting dolled-up and socializing out and about. Especially right before lockdown, there was a magical energy in the air. Life felt particularly exciting in all aspects, and then—.

What started out empowering, motivating and life-changing slowly spiraled into time that felt wasted in retrospect. Now, by no means was this my fault—it’s just how timing decided to play out. I still maintained a relatively positive disposition, but it was growing tiring.

The motivation to work out from home was lessening by the day. I really miss ClassPass and the structure provided by doing in-person workouts. Cooking all my meals? Ha, forget it! Only drinking on Sundays? Nah, once outdoor dining was reinstated, all bets were off! I previously put so much effort into my life—and while I enjoyed it internally, it would have been nice to experience it with someone else (friend, romantic partner, whoever!).

While I still had a good chunk of the initial confidence left in me, I will say the 24/7 happy-go-lucky mindset of March/April/May/June was dwindling. Happiness dwindling, workouts lessening, sleeping—well, that may as well not even exist.

As the year continued—and especially from the end of August, on—I felt myself growing further and further away from that bright light I associate with who I was earlier in the year. I promised I wouldn’t compare myself to others, but boy was I ever. It was unstoppable. It seemed like everyone I know did something remarkable amid the pandemic. I really thought this would be my time, too. Instead, I could feel my vibrations lowering. I’m really big on vibrations and energy, and when they’re low, they’re low. It can take days to heighten. And it was visible (without being visible) via social media. People can seriously feel your energy behind the screen. My posts lacked the vibrance and excitable engagement that transpired months ago. And I’m not a fake, so I couldn’t just make things seem perfect.

(no, I didn’t actually post this on social media – but it was in my camera roll)

I know I’ve grown as a person through this whole experience. I mean, I was able to enjoy my own company for at least six weeks without seeing a soul, and then plenty of alone time thereafter. I honed in on my cooking skills. I took some cute Instagram pics (priorities, priorities). I stopped standing for toxic behavior in other people. I have a strong head on my shoulders and I know what I want in life and from others. I just wish I could get myself back to the same mindset of months past.

My new lackluster reality was ever-present once fall found its way to the calendar. Traditionally three months of internal butterflies and unconditional bliss was in fact three months of scorching hot weather, sleepless nights and lonely days. There was plenty we were banned from doing this year, thanks to the pandemic—but nothing hit like not gearing up for my 8th annual fall party, not hitting the bars the night before/after Thanksgiving, and not getting dolled-up for holiday parties. The last three months blurred together. Even fall scents gave me a headache this year. I’ve never said that.

Blessing in Disguise

In an unexpected turn of events, I got laid-off from my job in September after more than 4.5 years with the company. Before you feel sorry for me, know that it was a blessing in disguise. Our salaries were already cut by 40% at the very beginning of the pandemic, and I was totally stagnant at this company. Of course you want to leave on your own terms, but screw my pride—I received the news and never looked back. In fact, most of the brands and publicists I worked with prior continued their professional relationships with me immediately as I pivoted over to my blog and freelance job. I felt appreciated, and it made the transition that much easier.

While not the happiest news in financial terms, energetically, this freed up so much space: space to look for a fulfilling new job that makes me feel valued and respected; space to put serious effort into my blog; space to finally launch the T-shirt line I put into existence exactly a year ago. I gave away so much of my energy at this job and got minimal amounts back in return, so when I received the news, that was the instance amid the pandemic when the timing felt so right.

Looking for a new job, however, is a huge challenge. I’m not gonna lie. For all the experience you have, there are 100 people younger than you with far more skills. It’s not easy getting back into the grind of writing cover letters—cover letters! I know, right? Filling out just one job application can sometimes take up to an hour. Having a professional update my resume cost more than $100. But this is part of life, obviously. And I was far too comfortable in my position anyway. This has definitely given me a much-needed rattle.

2020 Reflection, and Transitioning Into the New Year Ahead

Moving forward, I will say this: I’m extremely blessed not to have contracted the virus up to this point. I’m blessed that none of my close friends or family have been severely affected by the virus in any way up to this point. I’m blessed to have a roof over my head (with a beautiful view of the city that helps keep me sane); to have close friends I’ve kept in contact with consistently over the course of the past year; to have a new laptop that’s seriously my go-to and best friend; to have a family who supports my future and believes in endless possibilities for me; to be alone with my own thoughts (and be ok with them); to have launched a small business at the tail-end of the year, with the drive to make it take off in 2021.

I do have many blessings and I don’t take them for granted. That said, it’s only normal to think what if?. I’m sure that’s a thought on a lot of peoples’ minds this year. But there are many things that did happen because of what held me back. My mindset improved tremendously not having to commute to and from work each day. Being home gave me the extra time and energy to focus on more important things than driving. And being let go from my job was the unconventional gift from the universe that I needed. I can only continue doing my best and giving myself the life I deserve, being the person I want to be. I gave this year my all, and I truly have no regrets outside of things that weren’t in my control.

Now, as we embark on a new year, I find myself in a focused headspace. I’m embracing lockdown restrictions and staying in my apartment. I’m back to cooking most of my meals. I can’t remember the last time I stopped in the alcohol aisle at a grocery store. I’m doing daily face masks and lighting winter candles that are putting me in the best mood. I’m doing the best I can. While I’m nowhere near where I was in the heightened month of June, I’m realizing that this year wasn’t a waste, and that everything I took away from it will go into something bigger in time to come.

I think the challenge lies in what’s next. As noted above, January has always been a strong month. It’s full of new energy and opportunity. There are always fun events and a ton of birthday parties. I honestly don’t know what to anticipate this time around, since much of that will be nonexistent. I’m trying to stay positive—ebbs and flows are a part of life—but I’m pretty sure I’ll be watching the ball drop in my head live and direct from my couch this year. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t spend NYE with people who are important to me. It’s always been a really special date for me personally, even though a lot of people hate the holiday.

Ultimately, when I look back on it all, I’m fond of my experience living alone during a pandemic. I feel strengthened from it, and I’m proud of the positive outlook I maintained amid the vast majority of this experience. I kept myself busy and focused. I loved having the time to explore whatever I wanted (whether that be in the kitchen, with makeup, with my writing, with TikTok, with whatever). And while I initially dressed up, oversized sweatshirts and leggings are where I’m at now—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can’t say I know where my life is headed next, but energetically speaking, I’m welcoming positivity with open arms.

2021 will be my year. I’m putting that out into the universe!

If you want continue on this path of reflection, click HERE for skyelyfe’s definitive ranking of the 20 best songs of the 2010s.

Music Featured

15 Songs You Never Knew You Needed This Winter

December 18, 2020

Over the last several years (and, of course, presently through stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic), I’ve dug far and wide to find beautiful melodies that extend the radio or New Music Friday. This year is no exception. Enter: the best winter playlist.

As chilly months loom ahead, I figure a peaceful selection of relatively unknown songs can not only ease people through their workdays as background music, but also pique their curiosity when it comes to unfamiliar sounds.

woman with hoop earrings has apple headphones in while she sits casually at a coffee shop, listening to music
(via Unsplash)

Winter is a spiritual, cleansing season of renewal, and I think the soundtrack of the time needs to match that energy. There may be some classics that hit home for you, personally, but hopefully I can introduce you to some future new favorites.

The 15 songs in the playlist below set a special tone for me. Nothing complements the scent-ual experience of your favorite winter candle burning blissfully, quite like the perfect melody playing in background.

Scroll below for the best winter playlist, featuring 15 personal favorites you probably haven’t heard. From LAUREL to Hortlax Cobra, Harri Agnel and more, these tunes will hopefully help you seek solace in these unprecedented times.

Staying true to the mellow musical mood, click HERE for 10 introspective albums to listen to during the cold days ahead.

Beauty Featured

What the Heck Is the Brow Lamination Trend That’s All Over Social Media? An Expert Explains

December 14, 2020

If beauty trends pop up your Instagram Discover page or TikTok FYP, there’s no doubt you’ve stumbled upon videos or images of shiny, slicked-up brows. As the result of a process known as brow lamination, these otherwise unruly brows stay in place, thanks to a noninvasive microblading alternative.

@paigeywillett

Okurrr I’m obsessed, go see my girl Chantelle at Hive Hair in Victoria!! ##browlamination ##fridaythe13th ##imaboss ##driftaway

♬ Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) – BENEE

Brow lamination first drew mainstream attention in 2019, but it wasn’t until the pandemic that it really took off. With consumers on their phones nonstop and more open to going about things the DIY way, more innovative trends are popping up everywhere. Even so, all the visuals in the world still had me confused.

Prior to becoming informed, the only thing I associated with lamination was grade school. Here to teach me a thing or two was Kenna Murray, National Lash Stylist Trainer at Amazing Lash Studio. The company initially known for lash extensions—with L.A. locations in Sherman Oaks and Marina del Rey—recently launched its own line of brow products and services known as Raise Some Brows. Brow lamination services are part of their new launch.

Keep reading for Kenna’s explanation of everything you need to know about brow lamination.

skyelyfe: What is brow lamination, and how does it work?

Kenna Murray: Brow lamination straightens and smoothes fine or thinning brows, giving you a thicker and texturized look you’ll love. The Amazing Lash Studio brow lamination service is a three-step process, starting with a lifting cream that moves the brow hairs into a desired position. Next, we apply a neutralizing cream to hold the brows in their shape. And finally, the last step is applying a keratin hydration to combat any potential dryness.

The overall service normally takes 45 minutes. At the end of the service, licensed stylists provide guests with a brow trim for perfectly shaped brows that can last up to six weeks. Pricing varies.

SL: Is it for everyone? What brow type will see the most success from this service?

KM: Unlike other brow services, lamination is truly for everyone. It’s a versatile service, so you can customize how you’d like your brows to look. Some like the glam of a full-brow-brushed-upwards look, while some opt for the tail of their brows to flow with their natural hair growth.

SL: Once you get your brows laminated, what’s the best way to care for them until your next service?

KM: Typically, brow lamination will last about six weeks. Our brow hair sheds like all other hair; therefore, it depends on how quickly or slowly your brow hair goes through its shedding cycle. In order to get six weeks of beautiful brows, we recommend not getting your brows wet for at least 24 hours after your lamination and avoid applying makeup to the brows or the area around the brows. We also recommend not working out for 24 – 48 hours to avoid sweat coming into contact with your brows. Also, it’s best to avoid products that include retinols or acids for about 72 hours after lamination. After that time period, you can go back to treating them as normal.

In addition to the new brow lamination, waxing and tinting services, Amazing Lash Studio just launched its new Raise Some Brows retail products, which are available at participating locations. After a brow lamination, I recommend using the brand’s Precise Brow Pencil. This two-sided wonder has a pencil on one end to draw in hairs, and a spoolie on the other end to blend and primp your brows. Also, to enhance your overall eye look you can use our Eyebrow Pomade for a flawless and long-lasting look. 

SL: Is this something you can do at home? And if so, is it risky in any way?

KM: Brow lamination isn’t something I recommend doing at home. Laminating your brows requires the application of different types of chemicals that if not done correctly can have a negative implication to your skin and eyebrows. At Amazing Lash Studio locations, stylists are licensed and trained to perform this service for you. Now more than ever, I think we all agree we could use more self-love and self-care.

For more on social media beauty trends, click HERE for the five best and worst affordable skincare brands, according to TikTok!

Lifestyle

10 Bathroom Essentials Under $25 That Anyone Will Want in Their Stocking

December 8, 2020

Holiday shopping for a coworker, a Secret Santa, or for someone’s Christmas stocking? Depending on how well you know the person, gift-giving can be a challenge—especially if you want to buy something practical yet cost effective. Enter: bathroom gifts.

Everyone has a bathroom—and whether they like it or not, they’re forced to spend quite some time in it. That said, you really can’t go wrong with swooping up something for the loo.

Whether it’s a soap, a candle, an aroma or a bath accompaniment, trust us when we say bathroom gifts are always welcome. Keep reading for 10 bathroom essentials under $25 that anyone will want in their stocking.

chic white bathroom in a house
(via Unsplash)

Graffiti Library Naughty Santa Candle: $25

Candles and holiday season go hand-in-hand, and this adorably designed Santa candle will make the perfect bathroom beauty counter adornment in the weeks ahead. This all-natural scent of “holiday spice” was hand-poured in Los Angeles, with partial proceeds benefitting rising local artists.

(via Graffiti Library)

Davids Premium Natural Toothpaste, Herbal Citrus Peppermint: $9.95

What bathroom stocking stuffer guide could possibly be complete without some kind of dental hygiene product, amirite? Davids’ colorful, eco-friendly toothpastes not only make for a pretty accent on the beauty counter, but they come in a handful of flavors—including this recently released, uniquely satisfying, Herbal Citrus Peppermint. Promoting natural whitening, anti-plaque and fresh breath, you really can’t go wrong with this Goop-approved purchase!

Paddywax Petite Diffuser, Fresh Air: $18

Fragrances are personal, yes—but when it comes to most people’s bathrooms, the goal is typically to keep things light and fresh-scented. Paddywax’s bite-sized Fresh Air reed diffuser neutralizes the bathroom’s air, while adding refreshing hints of eucalyptus, marine, jasmine and sea salt to the room. Added bonus? The reeds come in a sleek, blue, glass bottle that’ll make quite the chic addition to anyone’s bathroom beauty counter.

(via Paddywax)

Bubbly Belle Melting Snowman Bath Bomb: $13.97

Bubbly Belle’s deliciously scented bath bombs are not just any ol’ bath bombs. Each of these handmade tub accompaniments contains its own unique bling when the bomb dissolves—so you’re basically gifting a 2-in-1 treat. We love this melting snowman in particular because it’s just too cute. And who can go wrong with combined aromas of Christmas tree, sandalwood and vanilla? All your recipient need is a festive candle, and their next bathtub experience is sure to top them all.

Barefoot Scientist Sleep On It Overnight Moisturizing Gel Socks: $22

Pedis have always been in, but day-to-day footcare maintenance? Not so much. That is, until Barefoot Scientist—the first skincare line solely devoted to feet—came onto the scene in 2019. With its sleek packaging and easy, effective products that match any concern, it’s put this new wave of self-care on the map. The brand’s overnight gel socks are a must for any gift recipient. Not only do they come in a fuzzy, turquoise-colored material that’s easy to wear around the house, but they’re infused with a soft, scientifically formulated moisturizing gel that boosts skin’s nightly regenerative processes. Releasing an antioxidant-rich blend of shea butter, argan oil, rose oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E over the entire foot, users will wake up with feet that are more supple and smooth—a must for these dry, winter days ahead.

ModiBodi Period Underwear: $24 (one pair, moderate-heavy protection)

Save someone bathroom space, convenience and significant cash by snagging them a pair of ModiBodi period panties. While perhaps not the sexiest of options, it may, in fact, be among the most savvy (and best for the environment!). We’ve tried these ourselves and they really are shockingly leakproof on even the heaviest of days. They’re comfy, easy to clean and can be worn time and time again. It’s probably not the gift your recipient expects, so it’ll be a pleasant surprise when they receive an item they never knew they needed!

Poo~Pourri Go-on-the-Go Holiday Gift Set: $9.95

Ah, leave it to none other than Poo~Pourri to liven-up the glorious act of going No. 2 (ugh, grossed out just writing this). The brand, known for its array of pre-poop toilet sprays, created a festive assortment of scents (with joyful names to boot!) to spritz before you squat. Complete with traditional holiday aromas of black currant, sandalwood, pine, bergamot and more, you’re sure to get your scent-ual fix from these pocket-sized products.

(via Poo~Pourri)

OSEA Travel Size Undaria Algae Body Oil: $18

Elevate someone’s bathtub experience by capping off a cleanse and clean shave with this best-seller from OSEA. Fresh from the Malibu ocean, undaria seaweed is infused into a blend of luscious seed oils—açai, babassu and passionfruit—to hydrate, firm skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash: $25

When it comes to luxe bathroom gifts, Jo Malone is it. And snagging anything associated with their signature Lime Basil & Mandarin scent at a whopping $25 is the ultimate steal. This iconic aroma is not only the brand’s longtime standout, but also a classic when it comes to fragrances altogether. Treat someone to the ultimate bathroom beauty counter flex with this body and hand wash that’s sure to wow.

(via Nordstrom)

West Elm Organic Dashed-Line Sculpted Shower Towel, Dark Horseradish: $24.50

There’s no such thing as too many shower towels, and this durable, cotton-woven make from West Elm is sure to please. The gold accents and modern design keep things stylish, while the rich, plush texture is sure to keep its wearer warmly bundled-up in the chilly days ahead.

(via West Elm)

Need more gift-giving ideas? Click HERE for our ultimate beauty and wellness gift guide!

Food

3 of the Best Places to Get a Steak in L.A. (That Aren’t Steakhouses)

December 4, 2020

Apologies to any vegetarians reading this, but we love a good steak. So of course we’ve driven far and wide for the best places to get steak in LA.

fancy meat dinner on plate with rosemary and fork
(via Unsplash)

And while nothing compares to dining in an actual steakhouse (here’s looking at you, BOA), this may not always appease your accompanying dinner guests. In the case that you have to compromise, we have a few options.

As a lover of fine dining—steak dinners in particular, West Hollywood’s experimental pop artist Adam Cola dishes (pun intended) to skyelyfe about going out in the city, and what he considers the best places to get steak in L.A. (that aren’t steakhouses).

“Since we’re in a city where Old Hollywood nostalgia runs wild, I love the dining and hospitality scene in L.A. more so than other cities because dining here feels more like an experience,” the Canada-bred singer, who just released his new track “Mark Your Mark,” explains. “There’s an ‘industry’ undertone that’s unique to this city. Whether it’s dining next to a big celebrity at Tower Bar on the Sunset Strip or dining at an iconic spot like the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, the energy is electric.”

Keep scrolling for Adam’s L.A. steak suggestions, and why these are the spots to know.

Toca Madera

I always enjoy the scene at Toca Madera. the aesthetic of the restaurant is very sexy. Also, their Carne Asada is top notch. 

Il Cielo

While this place might be known for its pasta and lovely romantic garden, the filet here is to die for.

Culina

I like dining in hotels. The Four Seasons Beverly Hills is such a beautiful one, and is home to one of the best hotel restaurants. Their NY Strip is delicious.

For more fine dining in L.A., click HERE for our review of Ocean Prime in Beverly Hills.

Beauty Featured

SERUMKIND Just Launched a Concentrated Chaga Mushroom Serum Designed With Your Dry, Winter Skin in Mind

December 2, 2020

While cold, winter air may be soothing to the soul, the same can’t be said for our faces. The next few months will put our skin at peak dryness, and we’ll therefore need specialized skincare products to combat the issue. You’re probably unfamiliar with chaga serum, but I’m here to explain why this may be the answer to your winter woes.

Since launching only a year ago, the brand SERUMKIND has found its place by formulating a handful of single-care serum solutions with rare ingredients found all over the world. Their latest development? A Chaga Charging Drop, just in time for winter.

I was invited to test this highly concentrated chaga serum during its virtual launch, so keep reading for everything you need to know!

1. Chaga Is a Nutrient-Dense Mushroom Found in Siberia

Siberian Chaga Mushrooms are superfoods that contain more nutrients than any other mushroom. They can survive temperatures of under 45 degrees, and people have used them for centuries to boost immunity. When it comes to skincare, the mushrooms contain beta-glucans that help improve the skin’s elasticity and enhance epidermal hydration. As you can see below, these are no average mushrooms.

2. The Chaga Charging Drop Contains 500,000ppm of Chaga Mushroom

Also known as Inonotus Obliquus Extract, the contents of this chaga serum recharges, nourishes and hydrates the skin. It’s a highly concentrated formula, so a little will go a long way in this $55 glass tube. But as celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg pointed out during the launch, the consistency doesn’t get sticky despite how it may appear in its packaging. Though due to its thick formula, Jamie suggests using it as an overnight serum to wake up looking especially hydrated.

serum skincare drips from woman's hands
(Photo courtesy of SERUMKIND)

3. The Serum Can Be Combined With Other Chaga Products for Greater Effect

To coincide with the launch of the Chaga Charging Drop, SERUMKIND also released its first beauty supplement: Chaga Charging Powder ($37). The formula—which comes in a box of 25 powder sticks—can be consumed in the form of a tea or yogurt topping, or can be used by combining the Chaga Charging Drop in the following ways:

Chaga Wash-Off Mask: For a hydrating mask, mix equal parts Chaga Charging Powder with our Chaga Charging Drop and apply all over face as a mask.

Chaga Sugar Scrub: Exfoliate away dead skin cells by combining one packet of Chaga Charging Powder with one tablespoon of brown sugar and one dropper of Chaga Charging Drop.

SERUMKIND just launched its highly concentrated Chaga Charging Drop, a Siberian chaga mushroom serum made to hydrate dry, winter skin. Here's everything you need to know!
(Photo courtesy of SERUMKIND)

For additional new skincare launches we stand by, click HERE for a full review of NUDESTIX’s NUDESKIN line.

Beauty

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things—Skyelyfe’s Beauty + Wellness 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

November 25, 2020

Whether the epic year of 2020 has left you feeling high or low, it’s almost over, and you’ve made it through. If there’s one year to reward yourself with something special or show gratitude to the most important people in your life, this is it. Given the unexpected stressors imposed on literally everyone this year, a beauty and wellness gift guide only seems the most fitting.

While 2020 was an angst-ridden time for all of us, there were some material goods that allowed us to temporarily relax and reset. From game-changing skincare to show-stopping scents and so much more, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the things that did elicit a smile during this stressful year.

Keep reading for skyelyfe’s beauty and wellness holiday gift guide (listed in order of price from low to high).

christmas tree and gifts
(via Unsplash)

Beauty

Juno & Co. Junoskin Clean 10 Cleansing Balm: $14.50

I’ve raved about Juno & Co.’s microfiber sponges, so I was every bit curious when the brand forayed into skincare this fall. I was fortunate enough to receive the full line to try (it also includes a CBD + niacinamide soothing mask, and kale + probiotic deep cleansing mask). While I genuinely enjoy all three products (and at unbeatable prices with effective, natural ingredients), the cleansing balm is my standout pick. When it comes to cleansers, what’s more satisfying than feeling a full face of makeup melt into a buttery consistency and off of your skin? This product is packed with Japanese Pearl Barley Magic+ and Vitamin E, which brighten, hydrate and nourish the skin. The perfect stocking stuffer or standalone, this is a foolproof purchase for any recipient.

*Buy 1, get 1 for $1 Black Friday deal (on brushes and sponges)

NAILS OF LA Press-On Nails (The Muse): $16

Among the unexpected beauty trends of 2020 is the adhesive nail. What was once a cheap, one-time-wear, costume accessory, has morphed into a chic, lesser expensive way to up your hand game. Due to the pandemic and salon restraint, brands have emerged with innovative, long-lasting temporary nails. The latest to take the plunge? Celebrity nail artist, Brittney Boyce. With sleek, modern designs and manageable lengths, there’s really no telling these press-ons aren’t straight from the salon. Added bonus? Each pack comes with a set of 24 nails, file/buffer duo, cuticle stick, adhesive tabs and nail glue.

*Black Friday: (11.26 – 11.29) 35% off sitewide. No code necessary.

Cyber Monday: (11/30) 1 free set of press-ons for every 2 sets purchased. No code necessary.

Giving Tuesday: (11/31) 10% of sales from Giving Tuesday will benefit Ken-Mar Rescue, a Los Angeles-based small dog rescue non-profit group, in loving memory of the founder’s late dog Louie.

Sola Look Brenda ❤️ Dylan ❤️ Kelly 90210 Makeup Collection: $20

If you know a fellow self-proclaimed biggest-Beverly Hills, 90210-fan-ever (a la me), this is just the gift for them! Complete with three liquid lipsticks and a six-shade eyeshadow palette with names that speak to the soul, this is sure to tug at the heartstrings, drumming up memories of the most gut-wrenching love triangle in teen TV drama history.

ORLY Mini Gel Lamp: $24.99

As mentioned above, we’re living in a DIY world right now—and yes, that very much includes nails. If someone you know can’t live without their gels, now they can do them from home (and for cheap!), thanks to ORLY’s mouse-sized mini LED lamp. All they need is the brand’s GELFX polish and they’re good to go!

*Up to 60%-off ORLY gel color bundles

Jafra Royal Jelly Radiance Foundation: $31

While foundation may not seem like your quintessential holiday gift, hear me out. I came across Jafra cosmetics this year, and since getting my hands on their Royal Jelly foundation, my skin hasn’t looked the same. This magical, under-the-radar product provides full coverage, while still managing to make me look somewhat natural. It also has added glow, and I get compliments on my “skincare routine” every time I wear it. It’s also affordable and lasts a long time. And with built-in SPF 20, this item is a no-brainer.

Nudeskin Lemon-Aid Detox & Glow Micro-Peel: $34

Nudestix launched its debut skincare line in October—and of the five-piece collection, this clarifying, detoxifying micro-peel is hands down my favorite. When it comes to face masks and peels, there’s nothing more satisfying than watching particles of dead skin instantly come to the surface. Apologies for the visual, but anyone who receives this as a gift will understand the instant gratification—while feeling smoother, softer skin in less than two minutes!

Makanai Pure Beauty Travel Kit: $35

Longtime JBeauty brand Makanai just launched in the U.S., and after only a few weeks of using their deeply hydrating products, I’m totally sold. It’s hard to pick a favorite (it’s a tossup between the 24K gold Skin Jewel Oil Serum and the Kanazawa Beauty Face Cream)—but luckily the brand makes it easy to try everything at once with this handy travel kit. It even comes with a pretty carrying accessory. With chic packaging and luxe ingredients, whomever you’re shopping for will have no idea you didn’t break the bank!

Seiso JBeauty Fuwafuwa Foaming Cleanser: $38

With the unexpected skincare boom amid the pandemic, I tested more cleansers this year alone than in my total lifetime. So, when I say this one tops them all, you know it means something. Packed with coconut amino acids, fermented rice extract and glycerin, this product gently cleans, conditions, softens, clears and hydrates. Applied to dry skin, you can feel the dirt particles disintegrate as you gently use the product in circular motions. Once rinsed, you’ll instantly notice brighter, elevated skin.

*Purchase with Water Velvet Cream and use code CLEANSERFRIDAY to get the cleanser for free. Must add both items in your cart to redeem.

Native Atlas Universal Oil (Nairobi): $39

Native Atlas launched a collection of world travel-inspired universal oils. Omnis, Sanaa, Nairobi and Cocoa Beach are the four offerings, and each is a gender-neutral, plant-based formula made for the hair, skin and body. I’ve been using Nairobi for the last few months, and it’s become a staple in my skincare routine. It gives my face just the right amount of added shine, while keeping my often dry cuticles hydrated.

The Route Beauty Lil’ Skincare BFFs: $42

Whether you’re embracing a girls’ night in with your besties, or you’re having a solo self-care day, you can’t go wrong with The Route Beauty’s full-circle skincare routine. And, lucky for you, they’re making it ridiculously affordable with their gift set of minis. The Lil’ Skincare BFFs collection features five standout products, including a retinoid, primer, multitasking formulas for day and night and their signature glow mask, The Party Peel. Whether a gift for a friend or yourself, it’s impossible to disappoint with this purchase!

Boscia Berry Blend Smoothing Facial With 28% Acid Complex: $44

If you’re looking to give the gift of professional-level skincare at a fraction of the price, I highly recommend this product. Its 28% acid complex is something usually only found in spa-grade products, making this a first for the Boscia brand. This innovative formula exfoliates dead skin cells away, eradicates dullness and resurfaces the skin. While there’s a slight sting upon use, it’s only a sign that the product is working its magic.

RAINCRY Advanced Hair Mist (Blanc): $53

If you spent any time with me this summer, there was no escaping a spritz of hair fragrance, courtesy of RAINCRY’s Blanc scent. The sleek glass bottle from the luxe hair brand is packed with notes of soft floral, heliotrope, jasmine, morning dew and rose. Fitting for either sex, this alluring aroma is the perfect on-the-go addition for everyday use. And don’t expect the formula to dry out your ‘do. It actually infuses and hydrates your locks with amino acids. The line also carries three additional fragrances if you’re yearning for more!

Pureology Strength Cure Holiday Kit: $70

I have thick, damaged, color-treated hair, so it’s been a lot of trial and error finding products that actually make my mane look healthy. Especially with the chilly days of recent weeks, my hair is brittle as ever. I received Pureology Strength Cure shampoo and conditioner by chance in a gift bag, and I haven’t used anything else regularly since. Key ingredients keravis and astaxanthin fortify and repair damaged, color-treated hair—and a signature aromatherapy blend of raspberry, peach and water flowers leaves the locks with a refreshing fragrance. Complete with a multitasking leave-in spray and dry shampoo, this kit, valued at $101, should appease your pal with even the wildest of hair woes.

Pixi Beauty Glow Treatment Bundle: $72

While this year’s holiday season hits a wee bit differently, in a normal circumstance, we’d all have party upon party to prep for. Therefore, this five-part skincare bundle (valued at $90) provides that on-the-go glow we’d need for a night on the town. But whether we’re out and about in normalcy or locked indoors, no one will be disappointed to receive this set that gently exfoliates, refines pores and energizes complexion. Even if it’s solely for the sake of IG, a girl’s gotta glow!

MARA Beauty Sea Vitamin C Serum: $96

What beauty and wellness gift guide would be complete without a solid serum, amirite? When clean skincare brand MARA first launched in 2018 with its Universal Face Oil, I was drawn to its deeply hydrating properties. Fast-forward to a few months ago, the brand launched a Chlorella + Reishi formula that provides the same all-day hydration, but with the added effects of Vitamin C and other powerful ingredients. It’s a perfect gift for the skincare lover worth splurging on, and you can’t go wrong with that sleek glass packaging.

WEN by Chaz Dean Bella Spirit ReMoist Hair Mask: $180

When it comes to my breakout beauty star amid the pandemic, it’s hands down this product. I never understood the power of a hair mask until just one use of this magical formula. And months later, this remains my go-to. I’ve praised this nourishing mask countless times on Mane Addicts—and thanks to its blend of lavender, cucumber, eucalyptus herbal botanical waters, extracts, oils and amino acids, I’m left with good as new hair after each rinse. While the price point is indeed steep, Chaz explained to me firsthand that each tub provides approximately 16 treatments-worth of a $50 in-salon service. While this probably won’t be the gift you buy for everyone on your list, it’s definitely worth it for a special someone.

Wellness

Manna Kadar Hand Sanitizer & Anti-Bacterial Soap Caddy: $24

For the girly-girl in your life, this rose gold hand-cleansing duo not only looks darling atop a beauty counter with its accompanying caddy—but it smells absolutely divine. Featuring a combo of pomegranate scent and soothing sea water, this light, feminine fragrance is sure to please.

SERUMKIND Black Blossom Hand Serum: $27

As a K-beauty brand known for, well, serums, it only makes sense SERUMKIND launched a hand serum to accompany its face products. Fit for the dryness brought on by the winter months ahead, this new, deeply hydrating formula caters to the skin barrier with the healing effects of black tulip from the Netherlands. The result? Instantly silky hands. This product has stocking stuffer written all over it!

Som Sleep Zero Sugar 12-Pack: $29.99

If you know an insomniac (and we all do!), grant them the gift of sleep! I discovered these Som Sleep canned drinks in a self-care essentials kit from PitchBox Media, and I’ve got to say, I wasn’t disappointed. The gluten-free, non-GMO, berry-flavored beverages knock you out easily, without leaving you groggy the next day. While they certainly won’t fix any longstanding sleep issues, they’re perfect for those occasional restless nights tossing and turning sans Zzzs.

Trücup Coffee Pods: $39.95 (48-piece, three-roast sampler pack)

If there’s one wellness routine that got me through 2020, it was waking up early, showering, brewing a hot cup of coffee and taking 10 minutes to cozy-up in bed and meditate before kicking off my day. Coffee is a huge part of my daily life, and I include Trücup here in particular because their low-acid, boutique coffee blends are not only rich in flavor, but they’re less harsh on the stomach, creating a more seamless sipping experience.

Le Labo Body Lotion, Exclusively for EDITION Hotels: $58.65

Unpopular opinion, but I’m not the biggest Le Labo fan. That said, their black tea-infused body lotion made exclusively for EDITION Hotels makes up for any past fragrances that haven’t tickled my fancy. I love tea-inspired scents more than anything else, and this body lotion seriously speaks to me. Much like the vibe of the trendy hotel, this aroma is dark, mysterious and sexy. If you’re not sold by now, welp, more for me!

*Free four-piece Le Labo travel set with every ShopEdition.com purchase.

BX Glow Pure Energy Fitness Kit: $68

With L.A. going into lockdown all over again, you better believe this at-home fitness kit will come in handy for the workout junkie or simply the girl stuck at home with nothing to do. Designed by former Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada, this easy-to-transport set comes with all the essentials: three levels of resistance tube bands, three levels of resistance loop bands and a set of one-pound ankle weights. There’s no excuse now!

Moen Aromatherapy Hand Shower With INLY Shower Capsules: $129

For the loved one who’s still owed their housewarming gift, or for the one who simply needs a shower upgrade, lap them in luxury with this sleek, easy-to-assemble chrome shower head, complete with four aromatherapy capsules to match their mood. Adjustable settings are built into the shower head, so they can use however much of the refreshing fragrance as they wish.

MiHIGH Infrared Sauna Blanket: $499

This detoxifying, mind-calming, calorie-burning blanket is just the trick for your partner or close family member. Now only does the leather material keep you bundled, but you get the benefits of infrared saunas from the comfort of your own home. Complete with infrared heating and waterproof layers, about an hour a few times a week is all you need to be on your way to better sleep, less stress, rejuvenated skin and increased blood flow.

Looking for more skincare purchases this holiday season? HERE are some new CBD-infused beauty products to have on your radar!

Angelenos

The Happy Place Just Launched as an Immersive Drive-Thru Experience in L.A.—Here’s What You Can Expect

November 20, 2020

With COVID-19 cases rising as we near the end of 2020, our activities are becoming more limited than ever. With all of the madness in mind, The Happy Place drive-thru launched as a way to temporarily distract us. In doing so, the pop-up provides a safe, interactive, family-friendly L.A. experience at the beloved outdoor Westfield Century City mall.

I was invited for a sneak peak of the attraction just before today’s official launch (Nov. 20). I invited Identify LA‘s Meagan Sargent to join me—we grabbed our masks and hit the road!

Keep reading for everything you can expect at The Happy Place drive-thru.

1. Getting Situated on Site Is a Seamless Process

As mentioned above, THP is located in Westfield Century City’s parking structure (on the third level, to be exact). Before arrival, you’re instructed to proceed through the Avenue of the Stars entrance. From there, you’ll see easy-to-follow signs that eventually lead you to the exact start of the attraction.

Prior to arrival, you purchase tickets on the website for $49.50 per car. Yes, you can have as many (fitting) attendees for just one fee. When you go to purchase your ticket, you’ll also see a calendar that lists open slots to attend. Your ticket includes two hours of free parking at the mall, encouraging you to shop and dine before or after if you want to make a full day of it. The experience is currently listed through Jan. 10, 2021.

2. The Experience Is 100% COVID-Compliant

Despite the multitude of stationary attractions that make for perfect photo opps, no one is allowed outside of their vehicle. Masks must be worn at all times, and any photos must be taken from inside the car. While this part is a bit of a bummer (the decor is just begging to be photographed with you in front of it), we appreciate the extreme safety precautions taken to ensure this lives up to its worry-free-zone message.

3. Kids Will Especially Love It

While my friend and I are definitely drawn to every Instagram photo opp, kids will be more than satisfied just cruising through each of the 18 (!) attractions (50,000 sq. ft.), which include everything from a simulated car wash, to a candy row and “Christmas tree” line. Additionally, upon arrival, we received a box with goodies that coincided with some of the stops. Kids will without question dig the freshly baked cookie, bag of Hershey’s kisses and other sweet treats packed to perfection.

4. It Won’t Take Much Time Out of Your Day

While I can’t speak for how the experience will go on a busy day, our drive-thru lasted all of 20 minutes. Granted, it was just us two, so perhaps if other people had been with us, it may have taken longer. But not being able to get out of the car certainly cut the time down a bit.

5. A Lot of Effort Went Into This Production

From the way we saw it, no expense was spared for this experience. From the lights to the intricate detail, to the variety of attractions, there really is something for everyone here—and it doesn’t appear cheap. You’re basically taken on a simulated road trip, hitting various points that include a beach, a camping area, the super bloom, San Francisco and plenty more.

The experience was conceptualized by Jared Paul, a live entertainment veteran, who has managed the careers of New Kids on the Block, Sabrina Carpenter and Lea Michele. He’s also responsible for America’s Got Talent Live! and GLEE! Live.

Curious about what else is going on in the City of Angels amid the pandemic? Click HERE for the best L.A. lifestyle newsletters to keep you afloat!

Food

Best Instagram Captions for Pics of You and an Ice Cold Beer

November 17, 2020

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you live for sipping an ice cold brewski. If such is the case, you obviously need the perfect beer Instagram captions to flaunt your favorite hobby all over social media.

If an ice-cold, yeast-filled beverage is everything your heart desires, keep reading for the seven best quotes to use as beer Instagram captions.

(Instagram via @campbellhawk)

For that mirror selfie of you holding up—what else?—a beer:

“I’ve only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.” 

-Sid Vicious

For the pic of you covered up in sweats while sipping beer:

“I’m gaining weight the right way: I’m drinking beer.”

-Johnny Damon

For the shot of you clinking beer bottles with a pal:

“In a study, scientists report that drinking beer can be good for the liver. I’m sorry, did I say ‘scientists’? I meant Irish people.”

-Tina Fey

(Instagram via @friscowildpitch)

For the shot of you sipping beer with no cares in the world:

“Not all chemicals are bad. Without chemicals such as hydrogen and oxygen, there would be no way to make water, a vital ingredient in beer.”

-Dave Barry

For the cheeky pic of you looking all dolled up with a brew in hand as your best accessory:

“Milk is for babies. When you grow up, you have to drink beer.”

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

(Instagram via @savain016)

For the photo of you clearly a bit tipsy from one too many brewskis:

“24 hours in a day. 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not.” 

-H.L. Mencken

For the shot of you staring adoringly at your stash:

“To some it’s a six-pack. To me it’s a support group.” 

-Leo Durocher

If you love beer as much as we do, click HERE for six delicious hard ciders you need to try immediately!

Beauty Featured

Dry Brushing Isn’t Just for the Body—An Expert Explains Why You Should Do It to Your Face

November 17, 2020

Dry brushing your face may sound like a foreign concept—it did to me until recently.

Last week, I received a mailer from Daily Concepts, which included their brand new Daily Facial Dry Brush ($20). At first glance, I thought it was another body brush, but after looking closer I realized I wasn’t previously familiar with a product like this.

(Instagram via @dailyconcepts)

By now, wellness gurus know that dry brushing the body helps exfoliate dead cells from the skin surface and enhances blood flow. The drier the brush and skin, the more friction is increased to better exfoliate. As for dry brushing the face? Well, I imagine it has similar benefits.

Eager to learn more, I reached out to Daily Concepts’ founder, Emilio Smeke. Below, the skincare expert explains the benefits of dry brushing your face, and how to do it effectively.

skyelyfe: What, exactly, is a dry brush for the face?

Emilio Smeke: It’s a soft divide that will drain the lymphatic system starting in all the pathways we have in our face. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles by exfoliating dead skin cells and stimulating circulation.

(Instagram via @threetideswellness)

SL: How does a dry face brush differ from a dry body brush?

ES: They’re similar in their performance, yet really different in the level of abrasiveness of its components, making the facial a delicate brush that won’t be harsh on your skin.

SL: Is a dry face brush for everyone?

ES: If you have any breakouts or irritated, broken or sunburned skin, then this definitely should not be used. But in general, this is designed for all skin types.

(Instagram via @dailyconcepts)

SL: How do you properly use one?

ES: We’ve created a step-by-step process:

Step 1: Stroke along your lymphatic pathways

Step 2: Stroke downward along jawline

Step 3: Brush upwards along your cheeks

Step 4: Stroke around your eyes

Step 5: Brush forehead/nose downward

Step 6: Brush cheeks downward

Step 7: Brush neck downward

How to clean: Sprinkle cornstarch or clay powder and massage gently into bristles

If you’re looking for info on other new skincare products, HERE‘s my review of Nudestix’s skincare line, Nudeskin.

Beauty

Is Gold in Skincare a Gimmick or Actually Good for You? I Asked an Expert

November 10, 2020

Ah, gold… the metallic yellow chemical element that screams all things luxe. But gold in skincare products—is it all for show or actually effective?

I reached out to Maryann McManus, Director of Sales at Makanai, a longtime J-beauty brand that just launched in the states. As a company known for featuring 24K gold in skincare products, I had to understand what this ingredient does, aside from looking pretty.

Keep reading for everything to know about the benefits of applying this precious metal to your face.

(Instagram via @makanai_beauty)

skyelyfe: What are the benefits of 24K gold in skincare? 

Maryann McManus: 24K gold leaf helps improve elasticity through increasing dermal fibroblast production. It helps refine skin texture through collagen production when applied to the skin. 

SL: What makes Makanai’s products different from other 24K gold-infused skincare on the market? 

MM: Makanai contains only the purest form of gold—999.9%—which is made in Japan, with clinical studies to backup the science. *editor’s note: 999.9% is the way gold purity is measured.

SL: What’s Makanai’s hero product and why? 

MM: The Makanai Skin Jewel Oil Serum is formulated with 24K gold leaf flakes produced in Kanazawa, with a skin-compatible blend of seven botanical oils that absorb quickly to leave skin hydrated with a youthful luminescence.

(Instagram via @makanai_beauty)

SL: Is 24K gold always beneficial in skincare or does it need to be formulated in a certain way?

MM: If it’s the right quality, gold can be beneficial to skin on its own. Although, it’s even more beneficial when used together with our delivery system of botanical oils so that the ingredients fully absorb.   

SL: What makes 24K gold more or less expensive in skincare? Is it actually due to the benefits or formulation, or more about the luxe association of the ingredient?

MM: This is a difficult question to answer since we don’t know how other brands source their raw materials or formulate them into their products. At Makanai, we’re committed to choosing only ethical and sustainable sourcing, as well as only using premium quality gold leaf. Hence, our products are fair-priced. 

SL: Is 24K gold an ingredient for everyone? Or will certain skin types react differently to it?

MM: While we haven’t experienced customers having any reactions to using the gold leaf, we can’t be completely certain. We recommend either doing a patch test or consulting with a physician for those who may be concerned about skin reactions. 

(Instagram via @makanai_beauty)

SL: Is there anything else consumers should know about Makanai or 24K gold in skincare? 

MM: Makanai offers a full line of cleansers, face creams, toners, soaps and dedicated hand care products. Most of the products feature a proprietary KaESS complex, comprised of persimmon (kaki) leaf, rich in vitamins and antioxidants; eggshell membrane for hydration and collagen elasticity; and soybean sterol to combat dryness and the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots.

A collection of specialty products, including Goldays 24K Perfector Sheet, Skin Jewel Oil Serum and Goldays Magic Glow Balm harness the goodness of 24K gold leaf and shower the skin with moisture and luminosity. Our products are proudly made in Japan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, phenoxyethanol free, synthetic color or perfume-free, silicone-free, carbomer-free and BHT free. All ingredients comply with EU cosmetic regulation standards, the most stringent in the world.

For more expert info on buzzy ingredients, click HERE to find out if CBD-infused skincare is right for you.