DIY: Sunburn Soothing Mask

The last two weeks have been insane. My husband officially finished his Ph.D. and now has been preparing to go visit his family in Lebanon and then move to Colorado. For me, I’m coming up on finals and end of semester projects. I’ve also been working, student teaching and I am currently out of state house hunting. To say it’s been insane is an understatement. Luckily, things are starting to calm down and fall into place.

While we are house hunting in Colorado, we decided to take a day trip to Estes Lake. It is so beautiful! Unfortunately for me, I forgot my new medication makes me super sensitive to the sun. I didn’t realize how burnt I had gotten until I woke up the next morning. Let me say: it’s pretty bad and pretty painful. 

Staying in a hotel, I don’t have access to my aloe vera, oils or butters. I didn’t want to purchase anything because I wouldn’t be able to take it back on my carry on and I was feeling pretty hopeless until I went down for breakfast. While making a bagel, I saw everything I needed: yogurt and a banana. So, I took a little to go bag and headed back to my room to make a DIY sunburn soothing mask. It’s so quick, easy and helps a lot!

What you need:

1 Banana: the potassium helps to hydrate, vitamins B, C and E protect the skin, Vitamin A heals dry skin, and the amino acids help nourish and strengthen skin.

1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt: Yogurt has moisturizing properties. It also has a cooling effect when applied to the skin and the zinc has antiinflammatory properties. The probiotics also help to get rid of and prevent infection.

The best part? Only 3 quick steps to sweet sunburn relief.

Step 1: Mash Banana in a bowl.

Step 2: Add yogurt to banana and mix. Place in fridge for 10 minutes.

Step 3: Apply even layer to sunburnt areas and let sit until dry, about 20 minutes. Gently rinse off in the shower or soak a rag and let it sit on mask for a minute before lightly wiping off.

I have to say, this mask saved me. It cooled the burn on my chest and took out some of the redness. Although my face wasn’t burnt, it helped moisturize and sooth my skin. Added bonus: if it gets on your lips it’s safe to eat and tastes pretty good!

What are your go to travel beauty hacks?

Have a Happy Monday!

Xoxo Sammie

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DIY: Rose Gold Elixir

With social media, it is so easy to fall into the trap of over hyped products. Scrolling through Instagram, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen using the Farsali Rose Gold Elixir. It seemed like every other picture was an influencer putting this on their lips and ending with flawless results. I managed to avoid the temptation because it was not sold in the US. However, as soon as it became available on Sephora, I shelled out the $54 for this magical serum.

Now, I’ve been using this for over a month. Do I like it? I do! Is it worth $54? I wasn’t convinced. After looking at the ingredients, I thought I’d be able to make a version myself for a fraction of the cost.

What you need:

Pumpkin Seed Oil

Rose Hip Oil

Orange Peel Essential Oil

Lemongrass Essential Oil

The receipts is so simple! I just use 1 tbsp of Pumpkin seed oil, 1 tbsp rose Hip oil, 6 drops orange peel and 6 drops lemon grass essential oils. Then, just pour mixture into a dark bottle and you are ready to use!

A few notes: there are two ingredients that I did not include. There are no scientific studies showing proven results of gold in skin care, so I decided to skip for cost. I also did not include vitamin e oil because it is debateable on the benefits it has for the skin. Finally, you will need to make sure you keep the serum in a dark bottle. This helps to protect the integrity of the oils. This recipe should last for at least 3 months due to the fact it does not contain any water.

Good skin care is a great investment. However, a lot of things you can make for a fraction of the cost in store. This serum is hydrating and always leaves my skin feeling soft and nourished. What is your favorite skin care item?

Xoxo Sammie

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Origins #MyPerfectWorld Launch Party

You may have noticed by now, but I love natural skin care. So when I received my last Voxbox from Influenster, I was stoked! It was full of goodies from Origins. If you are unfamiliar with Influenster, it is a website where you can review products and qualify to receive more products for free in exchange for honest reviews. You can get more information here.

In this vox box, we received 5 products from Origins: Checks and Balances Cleanser, Ginzing Moisturizer and Eye Cream, High Potency Night-A-Mins and the Clear Improvements Mask. Honestly, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve fallen for all of these products. Here is some quick reviews:

Check and Balances Cleanser: this is honestly my new favorite Cleanser. I even bought the full size. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling clean without being too dry or feeling tight.

High Potency Night-A-Mins: how cute is the name? As for the product, it smells great as well. I find that it is very moisturizing and does not clog my pores. However, this may be too heavy for some.

Ginzing Moisturizer: I really liked this cream and have used it every morning. It feels really fresh and helps perk up my skin. However, it may not be the best choice if you struggle with oily skin.

Ginzing Eye Cream: amazing! This cream actually helps to illuminate my under eye and moisturize. It is light weight and really gives me that “I just slept 8-hours” look even if I spent all night studying.

Clear Imporvements Mask: now, I have used a ton of charcoal masks and this is the only one I can say is truly amazing. It is comfortable to wear and does not overly dry my skin out or make my face feel tight. The real magic is when I wake up the next morning. I always see a noticeable difference in any breakouts I am having.

Now what was different about this Voxbox was that there was a VIP event. We were invited to come to the store to try products, chat and have fun! Let me just say, the store was so beautiful! I loved the natural and wanderlust vibes. Plus, how cute is the essential oils wall?

First, we were treated to free mini facials. It was so relaxing! Let me tell you, it was the perfect way to end the week. The women working there were very knowledgeable and so helpful. 

After masks, we all chatted and ate cupcakes and took tons of photos. There was a woman there that was doing tea leaf readings, so I figured why not give it a a go? I was very skeptical and was careful not to tell her anything other than my name. I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring or anything  because I was curious if she would give me the generic “you will find love” story. However, she was able to tell me a lot of things that were actually happening in my near future. It was so freaky! I was pleasantly surprised and it was fun.

Overall, I am so happy and thankful to have been a part of this vox box and to be invited to such a fun event. I really enjoyed the products I received and even picked up a few more. I highly recommend all of these products and definitely suggest checking out Origins. Some are a little pricey, but they do sales and email discounts. Plus, I honestly believe that good skin care is worth the investment.

Happy Wednesday!


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DIY Dry Scalp Treatment

I have had problems with dry scalp on and off for years. Lucky for me, it can usually be remedied by using a hydrating shampoo or something like Head and Shoulders. Unfortunately for my husband, that hasn’t been the case.

It seems like no matter what he tries, he can’t get rid of his dry flakey scalp. It’s gotten to the point where people really notice. We have tried switching shampoos, using prescriptions and exfoliation. Unfortunately, nothing has helped long term.

So, he finally agreed to test out my diy dry scalp hair mask. It incorporates a mix of olive and coconut oil to hydrate as well as honey and a few essential oil.

What you need to make enough for two:

1/4 cup Coconut oil

1/4 cup Olive oil

2 tbsp 100% honey

Essential Oils I used:

6 drops tea tree 

6 drops Rosemary

4 drops Lavender

4 drops Peppermint

Check out my essential oils guide 

This dry scalp treatment is super easy to make. Just add everything into a bowl and melt together. You can use a microwave, but for best results I suggest using or creating a double boiler. Just fill a small pot with water and heat on stove. Then grab a glass bowl that can sit on top of and slightly inside the pot. 

Add honey to bowl and stir occasionally. Once melted, add in the oils. I melt the honey first because it has a higher melting point. Once everything has melted together, remove the bowl from the pot and set on counter to cool.

While the oil cools, it’s the perfect time to exfoliate your scalp. I like to take a brush and run it through my hair from scalp to tips. Like exfoliating your face, this helps to loosen and remove dead skin to prep your scalp for the moisturizing treatment.

Once the oil has cooled enough to not burn but is still warm, it is time to apply. I make sure to apply with my head over a bath tub or sink to catch any drips.

Basically, I just pour the dry scalp treatment on and massage it in. If you have longer hair, you will want to section your hair and pour the oil on bit by bit so as to cover your full head.

Now, just wrap you hair in a moist towel or shower cap and sit down and relax. I personally love to throw on a sheet mask and watch an episode of something on Netflix. Let the treatment sit for 30-45 minutes. 

When the time is up, rinse off in a warm shower. I like to soak my hair, lightly massage in the oil for a minute before using a moisturizing shampoo to wash away any residue.

Not only does this moisturize my scalp, but is leaves my hair so soft and shiny. As for my husband? He loves it! So far, his hair looks amazing! No more large white flakes or itchy scalp. He is definitely impressed.

What would you like to see next week? Let me know in the comments below.

Xoxo Sammie


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My Skin Diary

Makeup is wonderful. Not only can it be used to accentuate your natural beauty, but it can also be used to conceal the things we don’t like. Growing up, I had fairly good skin. I can remember  just brushing on light mineral foundation or maybe a little bb cream and being happy. I rarely broke out and when I did, it was controllable.

#fbf junior year of high school

Unfortunately, that all changed about  4-5 years ago. I started to not only break out,  but to get terrible cystic acne. The worst areas were my jaw and chin,  meaning it is hormonal. The problem with that: it is harder to treat. I’ve tried everything it seems. Though my skin isn’t cured, it has improved a lot.

The thing that has helped the most? My Clarisonic Mia Fit. Here is a shot before I got the Clarisonic.

12-19-16 pre Clarisonic

As you can see, my skin is super inflamed with a lot of break outs. You can’t see them, but I have several cystic areas on my chin and jaw. This was December 19.

Fast forward to now, April 7, and here is an update:

4-6-17 post Clarisonic

The actual breakouts have greatly decreased. A lot of what you see is discoloration and scaring. I am not getting as many cystic breakouts and my pores are not clogged.

My go to skincare products

Usually, I use my Bosica cleanser in the morning with an oil free moisturizer. If I have too many dry patches, I will use a light exfoliating peel before moisturizing. In the evening, I remove any makeup with an oil. Then I use my Clarisonic and the Clarisonic Pore Cleanser to really clean my face. I follow with my diy facial oil and a moisturizer. You can find a full list and review of my favorite products here.

I have found that these products and steps all greatly help. However, it isn’t enough for me. I dream of having really great skin again. So, I have decided to go on Accutaine. I will be starting next week and decided to document my journey here. So I will be posting occasional Skin Diaries entries as I go through this jounrey.

Wish me luck!


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5 Monthly Favorites: March ’17

Sometimes it’s not about buying tons of new products, but rather falling back in love with things you already own. It seems like March was a month of rediscovery for me, both for me personally and my makeup bag. 

Things got tough this last month. I was feeling pressured between work and school. I was also my husband’s major support as he finished his PhD. I was feeling like the world was my weight to carry. Thankfully, it seems like everything is starting to make a turn for the better. If you’re having a tough time, just remember that things get better and don’t give up.

Now that you’re caught up on my life, let’s get to my March Favorites!

I will start with the only new product this month. I have been loving this KVD Beauty Pastel Goth eye shadow palette! The colors are fun and very pigmented. They are also so easy to work with. The pastels are so much fun for spring and are actually a lot more wearable than you may think. If you would like more info and swatches, you can see my review here.

Though this color may be new to me, I am very familiar with the formula. I am obsessed with the new Gel Coutoure nail polishes by Essie. I only need two coats of polish followed by the top coat and my nails remain unchipped for at least 7 days! Amazing right? So far I have this beautiful sage green, a deep red and a nude pink, but I will definitely be picking up more colors in the future. 10/10 would recommend.

This is an oldie but a goodie: the Tarte Color Wheel. It comes with 10 different shades of their Amazonian Clay blushes with a mix of mattes and shimmers. I am obsessed! I love this for traveling because it is compact with sturdy packaging and it gives me a ton of options with minimal space. I purchased this at the last VIB sale and love it. It doesn’t seem that this particular one is available, but I love these blushes and definitely would pick up another compact if they decide to release one with other shades.

Here is a product that I haven’t discussed on my blog before. It is the Makeup Revolution baked vivid highlight in Golden Lights. This formula is so smooth and pigmented. I get a ton of shine, but can also go in with a lighter hand for something more natural. This has been my go to this month for my cheek bones and to highlight the inner corners of my eyes.

My final favorite for this month is my Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Louvre Palace. I just did a full review on these and I love them! They stay all day and are comfortable to wear. I love this color on me because it is my perfect, every day peachy nude.

I am so excited to see what the month of April has in store! What products have you been loving? Are there any new launches you are looking forward to in April?

Xoxo Sammie

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Top 10 Essential Oils for Skin Care

You have probably noticed, but I use a lot of essential oils. Essential oils are great for so many different things. I like to mix and match different ones for aroma therapy, but each one has different benefits for your skin as well. So, I figured why not make a list of my favorite top 10 essential oils for skin care so that way when you try a DIY, you can fully customize it for your skin’s needs.

Top 10 Essential Oils for Skin Care

Chamomile: My first thought when I think of chamomile is sleepy time tea. However, it is quite good for skin too. One of the greatest benefits is that is helps with scaring and blemishes. It can work wonders for people with skin conditions as it isn’t too harsh.

Eucalyptus: Perfect for dry skin, eucalyptus is commonly found in hair products. It has been shown to help with dry skin and dandruff. As for aroma therapy, it is quite calming and soothing. It is also a good option for many people with sensitive skin.

Frankincense: This oil is great for acne prone skin as well as mature skin. It can help reduce redness as well as make your pores appear smaller. It is also great to help reduce wrinkles and tighten the appearance of skin. Some say it has also been helpful is treating eczema and lightening stretch marks and acne scars.

Lavender: One of the most universal oils, lavender has benefits for every skin type. Not only is it great at reducing stress, but it is full of antioxidants. It has been shown to improve skin tone and help with signs of aging. It can also help some skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. It is suitable for most skin types.

Lemon Grass: This oil is a great natural astringent. It’s antiseptic and astringent properties make it great for achieving even, glowing skin. Its very popular to add to hair products as well. Perfect to help tighten the look of pores and your overall skin.

Orange: If you have dealt with adult acne, this oil is perfect for you. The high levels of vitamin C help to protect and heal the skin. It also has anti aging properties for the skin as well as fighting dark spots and wrinkles. Orange is antibacterial and anti inflammatory, so it is a great option to help with acne.

Peppermint: I love this oil not just for the benefits but also the scent. Because of the menthol, peppermint can have a brightening effect on the skin. This oil is also particularly good for oily, acne prone skin as it helps control oil production.

Rosemary: This particular oil is most commonly used in hair care. That being said, it has benefits for the skin as well. It has shown beneficial in treating eczema, acne and is helpful to dry skin. It is an oil that stimulates blood flow and has been shown to work well for mature skin.

Tea Tree: This oil is particularly great for acne prone skin due to it’s antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. This oil also has many healing properties. It is believed to help stimulate circulation. So, not only will it help cure acne, but more blood circulation means that it can also help scaring and other skin conditions. Take caution: it can be too drying for some.

Ylang Ylang: If you have dry skin and are looking for anti aging benefits than look no further. This oil is perfect for maintaining a healthy, youthful glow. It helps fight signs of aging and it is also an anti inflammatory.

As always, I recommend spot testing all essential oils on a small part of your arm or leg to make sure you will not have a reaction. You always want to dilute essential oils as well. I hope you find this guide helpful going forward. Soon, I plan have a guide for choosing the best skin care oils.

I have also made an easy to save or print chart to keep on hand. 

Essential Oils Chart (download)

Have a wonderful Monday!


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