How I Cleared My Skin

How I cleared my skin 1

Since I was 11 or 12, I have been struggling with acne. Even after going vegan over a year ago, my skin was still uncooperative as ever. But this summer, I have been taking measures to clear my skin and am finally seeing results. So in case you are also struggling with skin that has a mind of its own, below are the things I do to help clear my skin.

1. Keep my hair off my face. When you have what feels like a mountain range on your face, it can be tempting to hide it behind a curtain of hair. But after consistently pulling my hair back in a ponytail or half-up half-down do to keep my hair off of my cheeks and forehead, my breakouts began to calm down.

2. Change my pillowcase. I aim to change my pillowcase every other day (1 side of the pillow per night), and it has been making a world of difference! My acne heals much better overnight when I sleep on a clean pillowcase.

3. Sleep well. Going to bed early maximizes the healing sleep your body needs to repair itself. I tend to get into the habit of staying up late and waking up late, but I have found that my skin fares much better if I go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, even if I get the same amount of sleep.

4. Don’t touch it! I am always tempted to touch or pick at acne, especially when I am stressed or nervous. Messing with pimples only makes them worse. They heal much slower, can leave scars, and can spread to nearby skin. Keeping your hands off your face makes a big difference in lowering healing time and preventing future breakouts.

5. Go bare faced. My solution to breakouts has always been to slather on a bit of concealer and head on my way. However, even the lightest coverage makeup still does more harm than good for my skin. It can feel embarrassing to leave your imperfections out in the open, but after not wearing face makeup regularly for over two months, I found that the benefits far outweigh those first few weeks of insecurity.

6. Remove my makeup. But if you do wear makeup, make sure you remove it completely. I still have clogged pores near my eyes from not removing my eye makeup thoroughly. To prevent this, I go over my eyes and face with a makeup wipe after washing it to be sure I have cleaned away every last bit of makeup.

7. Avoid trying new products. A month ago, I tried out a new concealer and almost instantly got the hugest breakout. So if you are trying to clear your skin, it is best to avoid risking aggravating it with new products. But if you must try something new, go for something more natural or something that is formulated for sensitive skin.

8. Patience. When taking steps to clear your skin, it is important to stick with it even if you do not see results right away. Healing acne takes time. With persistence, your skin will improve.

My Skincare Routine

My skincare routine 1

I have very sensitive skin, so I find that less is more when trying to clear my acne. I wash my face every evening with Yes To Tomatoes face wash, which is very natural and gentle yet formulated to fight acne. Then, I moisturize dry patches using C.O. Bigelow Rosebud Salve. In the morning, I wash my face with only water and then moisturize.

Final Tip

Remember that having acne doesn’t make you less of a person. Don’t let it get you down or stop you from doing what you love. Make efforts to be the best you you can be, but also don’t fret over every imperfection. My skin still isn’t perfect, and I don’t expect it to ever be. We all just have to learn to love and nurture our skin as it is. ❤

skin you're in

Best,

Leila

Jaunary Fashion and Beauty Haul

IMG_20150131_201210161I did some shopping this month and picked up some cute fashion and beauty items. I am excited to share them with you, so let’s get into the haul!

Fashion

Black Dress

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I found this cute black dress at PacSun. I love the flowy, off the shoulder sleeves. The dress is quite loose, but still flattering. The buttons and the thin crochet insets give it an element of dimension. I love the way this dress looks with black tights and black boots.

Black Long Sleeved Tee

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PacSun was having a buy one get one free sale, so I got this for free along with the dress. I probably would not have purchased this otherwise, but after trying it on at home I was very glad I did. I love the way the loose fit and tighter sleeves complement each other. I adore the elegance of the neckline as well.

Beauty

Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions

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Finding cruelty-free and vegan acne fighting products can be difficult, but I really like this product. It contains salicylic acid and willow bark to help speed the healing of acne, yet is also natural and gentle, making it suitable for sensitive skin. I have been using it for a week and it has been helping heal the acne I already had and has prevented new break outs. Hopefully it helps me get my skin under control!

C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve

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This was a repurchase. This salve is has been a staple for me and I have used it nearly every single day since I last purchased it. The first tin lasted about a year. The skin on my lips can become a bit dry during the wintertime, so I like applying this at night. When I wake up, my skin is soft and smooth.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

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I have heard amazing things about this liner, which is cruelty-free as far as I can tell. (Kat Von D herself is vegan!) Hopefully, this product lives up to my expectations.

NARS Lip Pencils

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I got these lip pencils as a birthday gift from Sephora. It was a pleasant surprise, as my birthday was over a month ago. I was worried the gift would be a from a company that tests on animals, but I was happy to find it was cruelty-free. The colors are Rikugien and Cruella. I love how creamy and smooth these lip pencils are, though they are not long wearing. I have been wanting to try a matte red and mauve pink for a long time, so this sample was perfect.

That’s everything I picked up this month! I hope you enjoyed this haul. If you have done some shopping recently, feel free to share your finds with me. I would love to know what you have been enjoying! 🙂

Best,

Leila

Darken Your Hair Naturally

darken your hair naturally

Last weekend, I purchased a box of black tea. To my disappointment, it stained the inside of my nice blue mug! 😦 However, that gave me an idea: what if I used tea to darken my hair? So I decided to give it a try!

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You Will Need:

  • 3 bags of black tea
  • Large bowl
  • 2-3 cups of hot water
  • Hair tie
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Optional: Shower cap

Instructions:

1. Begin by steeping 3 bags of black tea in 2-3 cups of water in a large bowl. Make sure the tea is very strong in order to give more dramatic results.

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I allowed the tea bags to steep for about 5 minutes to reach my desired strength

2. Soak your hair in the tea for about 5 minutes. Then, pour the remainder over your hair and comb through it with the wide toothed comb to evenly distribute the tea from root to tip.

3. Tie your hair into a bun and allow the tea to sit for about an hour. The longer you leave the tea on your hair, the better results you will achieve. If you wish, wear a shower cap over the bun.

4. Afterwards, rinse out your hair and allow it to dry.

My Results

Here are my before and after pictures!

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Before

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After

  As you can see, I have naturally dark hair, so the results are not very dramatic on me.  If you have lighter hair, you may be able to notice a more significant change. Since tea is natural and gentle, you do not have to worry about damaging your hair. Therefore, if you would like to achieve more dramatic results, you can repeat this process as many times as you would like!  And plus, this method of dying your hair is not permanent, so if you do not like it, rest assured it will wash out soon.

I personally like the results, though I wish the color was more dramatic. If you are looking for a subtle, commitment-free change to your hair, this is definitely worth a try!

Best,

Leila

Lifestyle Haul

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The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement. I have been busy packing for college, settling in to my dorm, and starting my classes. In the midst all of this, I have acquired a few items that are worth sharing.

Elephant Tee Shirt

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???????????????????????????????Last weekend, I went exploring downtown and visited a really cool recycled clothing store called Ragstock. They carried a large variety of unique, vintage, and affordable items. I managed to find this adorable elephant tee shirt and had to get it! The material is soft, airy, and loose. I love the beautiful elephant graphic! The design is so stunning in person.

Ecos Laundry Detergent Pods

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Cruelty-free laundry detergent is difficult to find. Most common brands, such as Tide, Downy, Snuggle, Bounce, and Seventh Generation, are involved with animal testing. Last weekend, I paid a visit to a comfy and quaint natural foods store called People’s Food Co-op.  They sell many vegan cleaning, health, and beauty products, all of which are cruelty-free. I was so happy to find these convenient laundry detergent pods!  No more lugging a huge jug of liquid detergent around! 🙂

Nature’s Gate Tea Tree Shampoo

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While at my local natural foods store, I picked up a new bottle of shampoo. This product is a calming formula said to gently cleanse hair and soothe and moisturize the scalp. It contains a blend of tea tree oil and herbs, as well as plant-based oils and proteins. It has a cool and refreshing minty scent too!

Mug

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My mom bought me this adorable mug as a housewarming gift for my dorm. I love the soft, worn blue color! It is decorated with a cute vintage embroidery pattern. The shape of the mug and handle also fits perfectly in my hands. I can’t wait to pull out the cozy (non-wool) sweaters and chai tea and put this mug to use this fall!

Alternative Baking Company Cookies

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I have been wanting to try these cookies for the longest time!  I was pleasantly surprised to find them at a local convenience grocery store and purchased the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip and Colossal Chocolate Chip flavors. Alternative Baking Company’s cookies are completely vegan, and are also free of hydrogenated oil, preservatives, artificial ingredients, and refined sugars. They come in many flavor varieties and are the perfect size for sharing with a friend (or keeping to yourself! 😉 )

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That’s all for my haul! I hope you enjoyed it! If you have done a haul recently, I would love to check it out! 🙂

Best,

Leila

LÄRABARs

This post is dedicated to my latest food obsession: LÄRABARs. My dining hall does not have the most decadent vegan options, so these tasty fruit and nut bars have been getting me by between meals. They are made from a blend of fruits, nuts, and spices, each bar containing no more than nine ingredients. The label touts a bunch of a perks that are music to the ears of anyone on a specialized diet. They are Vegan, Gluten-free, Kosher, Fair Trade Certified, and Non-GMO. They are not raw, as the nut and fruit juices have been pasteurized, but they have not been baked or cooked. Best of all, they come in an array of mouth-watering flavors, including Banana Bread, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Cherry Pie, and Carrot Cake. So yummy! 😛 🙂

???????????????????????????????My favorites of the flavors I have tried are Apple Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Apple pie is fragrant with cinnamon and packed with whole walnuts. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is full of sweet and melty vegan chocolate chips. Yep. Being vegan is so difficult, with this delicious chocolate and all… 😉

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Another delicious flavor, Peanut Butter Cookie.

These bars are great for throwing in your bag for snacks during the day. If you are a master planner like me and scheduled your classes without a break for lunch, a portable snack between classes will be a godsend. Each bar provides 1/4 to 1/2 cups of fruit, so they are packed with natural energy. They are very filling and satisfying, too. I purchased mine from a local natural foods store, but most grocery stores carry them.

If you give LÄRABARs a try, I would love to know what you think of them!

Best,

Leila

Back-To-School Makeup

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As we enter the second week of August, it has become impossible to ignore: the new school year is coming!  If you will be attending a new school like I am, the stakes are high to make a great first impression. That’s where makeup comes in to boost your confidence!

When it comes to school and work, there is little consensus on how much makeup is appropriate. So in this post, I will be demonstrating three school-appropriate looks with varying amounts of makeup to help you look your best on your first day, no matter your preference.

I never wear a full face of foundation to school , so I suggest spot treating acne and under eye circles with a concealer. I recommend Benefit’s Boi-ing. I simply apply it using my finger.  If I have some extra time, I will fill in my brows with a powder.

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Look #1: Light and Simple

This look is for the minimalist, or for those running late on their first day after vacation!

Instead of wearing eyeshadow all over the lid, apply a champagne shimmer to only the inner corner and tear duct. I am using Kitten from Stila. This will give the eyes a subtle brightening effect.

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To give the impression of thicker lashes, tightline the upper lashline only. This trick is also known as “no eyeliner eyeliner.” Curl the lashes and add mascara.

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Finish with a bit of lip balm and a soft pink blush, if you wish!

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Look #2: Subtle Earth Tones

This matte eye look is for those who like to wear eyeshadow but still wish to embrace a natural look. I will be using the Stila In The Light palette.

Begin by priming the lid, which is a must for a long day at school. Then, apply a soft white/cream matte shadow all over the lid, inner corner, and tear duct. I am using “Bare.”

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With a fluffy crease brush, softly define the crease using a warm matte brown. I am using “Bliss.”

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Apply a brown pencil eyeliner to the upper lashline and smudge. The pencil I am using is from Physician’s Formula. I love the soft and natural look brown eyeliner gives, as black can sometimes be too harsh. If you have brown eyes, brown liner will really make them pop.

To further define your eyes, smudge a bit of brown liner into the outer third of your lower lashline. Curl the lashes and add mascara.

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Finish with a tinted lip balm for a soft wash of color. To add more warmth to your complexion, blend a bit of your favorite bronzer onto your cheeks with circular motions.

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Look #3: Neutral Shimmer

This look is for those wishing to make a statement on the first day of school without feeling too overdone. I will be using the Too Faced Natural Eye palette for this look.

Begin by priming the lid. If you wish to intensify the shadows, prime with a cream shadow, such as Benefit’s RSVP.

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Apply a peachy shimmer all over the lid. I am using “Silk Teddy.”

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Define the crease with a soft matte brown. I am using “Velvet Revolver.”

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Intensify the look by blending a dark matte brown into the corner, bringing it slightly into the crease. I am using “Sexspresso.” Pick up a bit more of the crease shade and continue to blend out the dark brown.

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Also run the dark brown along the outer half of the lower lashline.

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Finish with a thin line of liquid liner. I am using Stila’s Stay All Day. I like to add a small flick at the end to give a polished finish without looking overly dramatic. Curl the lashes and add mascara.

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Finish with a soft nude lip gloss. I love the Butter Gloss from Nyx. This shade is Creme Brulee.

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That’s it! To everyone heading back to school soon, I wish you the best of luck. Here’s to your most successful year yet!

Though returning to school may cause pain, your beauty routine shouldn’t. All of the products featured in these looks are cruelty free! 🙂 At least there’s something you can be relieved about! 😉

Best,

Leila

Quick and Easy Heatless Waves

???????????????????????????????When it comes to styling my hair, I am constantly searching for an easy way out. These heatless waves have become a favorite of mine, so in this post, I will show you how I achieve them.

1. I begin by showering and washing my hair the night before I plan on wearing the waves.

2.  I rub a pea sized amount of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Hair Cream between my fingers and run them through my damp hair until it has been evenly distributed throughout.

3. I then braid my hair in two french braids.

4. Sleep……

5. In the morning, I unbraid my hair and either comb through it with my fingers or with a wide toothed comb.

6. I mist my hair with a generous amount of the Not Your Mother’s Sea Salt Spray and scrunch the waves to give them texture and volume.

Done! Cue the awkward hair modeling… 😛 🙂

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That’s it!

Best,

Leila