things I've been loving lately
Where, oh where, has my motivation to write a blog post gone? I'm back again after another stint of being MIA, with no promises that I'll be making a full-time return to the blog anytime soon. The reason for my absence is because I don't believe in forcing myself to write when the creative juices aren't flowing...and lately, they just haven't been flowing as much as I'd like. It's a cold, dark winter in windy, grey Chicago, so you can't really blame me.
Anyway...here are some things I've been loving lately!
I was first introduced to Amika products through my fav State College stylist, Minta. Since then, I have become soooo obsessed with this brand. Amika makes cruelty-free, clean products for all hair types and carries a range of styling tools.
The blow dryer brush has truly changed my hair for the better, consistently creating bouncy blow-outs that last for days. It's easy to use, kind to your hair, and something I absolutely love is how easy it makes the blow drying process. Instead of having to maneuver your round brush and clunky traditional blow dryer, the Amika brush lets you skip the unnecessary arm workout by combining the two tools into one.
I purchased the Amika blow dryer brush over the popular Revlon One-Step brush, and I have no regrets. After watching this YouTube video comparing the two, the Amika was a no-brainer. 10/10, go buy this styling tool...and if you're looking for a new product regimen, you can get all three of my favorite Amika styling products (dry shampoo, texture spray and anti-humidity spray) at a discounted price in the "triple threat" bundle.
Anyone who loves to indulge in semi-luxury, cult skincare products knows the hype around Sunday Riley. Yeah, these products are expensive, and it's because they REALLY WORK. My first Sunday Riley experience was the C.E.O. Glow facial oil and since then, I've been hooked! Like I said, this stuff is expensive...which is why I was so excited to be able to receive a full-size bottle of U.F.O. for $18 as an add-on to my monthly Ipsy subscription box. Even Evan loves U.F.O. oil, which he affectionately calls "The Green" and makes me apply it for him every night because he's too afraid of spilling it and having to face my wrath. (I don't blame him).
My skin reacts really well to salicylic acid and I've found I can use U.F.O. every night without experiencing too much dryness. I steer clear from anything with benzoyl peroxide in it because it always leaves me with angry, red rashes, so discovering a non-drying salicylic acid product that actually works for me has been really beneficial to my skincare routine.
I am OBSESSED with Equilibria. The branding, the product, the community around it...if you're looking to get into CBD and want to make sure you're buying the best product possible, Equilibria is the place to go. Equilibria is a female-owned company and their CBD products are scientifically formulated with women in mind; however, men can use Equilibria too!
I have tried the daily softgels, the mint daily drops (they also come in an unflavored version) and the relief cream, which I loved when I first started working full-time and would crane my neck all day at my desk. My favorite EQ product is my tried-and-true: the daily treatment oil! My second bottle of oil is coming in my next subscription and I am so thankful I get to continue using this product! I love the clean, simple formula and my skin does too — it actually helped to clear up some dry, red spots I had unfortunately developed on my face (see: cold, dark winter in windy, grey Chicago).
Speaking of the Equilibria subscription service...this is the only subscription service I have never felt trapped in! It is flexible, allows you to skip months, allows you to add and remove products from your shipment and more. If you want $20 off your order, you can use my code [REFABBYFORTIN]! Alongside the face oil, I also have the dynamic roller duo coming to me in my next subscription shipment!
Hint, hint to anyone looking for a Valentine's Day gift for yourself or a family member/friend/significant other: Equilibria boxes make such a thoughtful gift! I personally love the Body Box because I think it's a great gift for those active people who workout intensely or are on their feet every day. Topical CBD is also a great starting point for anyone who might be skeptical about CBD/consuming it.
Before I say anything about Liquid I.V., I'll preface this by saying that I think the products are a littleeee expensive... Evan and I have a Costco membership now, so while buying them in bulk is expensive in the moment, the Costco discount is the only way I'm able to afford them. A pack of 30 sticks is less than $30 at Costco vs. $24.99 for a 14-pack online, so if you're considering purchasing these and have (or know someone with) a Costco membership, I'd try to snag them from there.
Anyway, I initially wrote off Liquid I.V. products after tasting their OG lemon lime hydration flavor, but after trying the lemon ginger energy multiplier, I'm pretty much hooked. I also got my hands on the strawberry hydration multipliers and the flavor is *chef's kiss*. Again, I would suggest getting these at Costco because they're $22 for a 30-pack, as opposed to the $24 16-pack you can buy online. If you have to buy them online, definitely look into getting a Liquid I.V. promo code — there are a lot of fitness/wellness influencers with discount codes, try searching on YouTube or Googling 'Liquid I.V. discount code'!
Alo Yoga's 7/8 airbrush leggings are my #1 go-to and I'm working on expanding my collection as we speak. I love these leggings, specifically because the material is thick without being too thick, so they hide imperfections and aren't see-through at all. I love them for all types of activity, from high-intensity workouts like Orangetheory, to low-impact exercises like pilates. They're super high-waisted and soft, moisture-wicking, and the 7/8 length is ideal for pretty much anyone — I'm 5'2" and I still have to roll them up at the bottom slightly and the model in the picture is 5'10". Another thing I love about these leggings is the price point! $78 is pretty inexpensive for a nice pair of leggings like these that hold up really well, so if you're on the hunt for a new favorite legging, Alo's 7/8 airbrush leggings might be the pair for you.
ILYSM with Kenzie Elizabeth is one of those podcasts that I started listening to in an effort to stay on top of the popular shows in my preferred podcast genre. I didn't love it at first but then I continued listening in an effort to force myself to like it, and now I can't stop. I always used to listen on my way to class last year and it was such an uplifting way to start my days. ILYSM is a great listen for women in the 16-24 age range who are interested in lifestyle content and are either spiritual themselves or don't mind listening to a little Jesus content here and there. Kenzie is such a bubbly host, her guests are phenomenal and every episode is different! She brings in mostly female interviewees (including many notable influencers) and most episodes are centered around entrepreneurship, mental health, productivity and overall wellness.
I've really enjoyed learning truly valuable information from ILYSM and it's also exposed me to inpsiring faith-related content that I otherwise wouldn't have sought out on my own. I listen on Apple podcasts but you can also stream ILYSM on Spotify.
I'm Sweaty & I Know It is a health/wellness blog that I originally came across on TikTok. One of my 2020 intentions is to do more low-impact exercise focused on strengthening and lengthening, and I have loved doing Callie's pilates workouts. You can find them on her Instagram, Youtube and TikTok channels and she also does Instagram Live workouts a couple times a week. She's based in Miami so I love living vicariously through her every time I watch one of her videos on the beach or with palm trees in the background. I find Callie to be a really relatable fitness influencer, especially opposed to people like Melissa Wood who have similar platforms but appear to live lifestyles that feel unattainable for me personally. Every workout makes me feel longer and leaner, and most importantly, I find myself feeling. the. burn. Callie also has a podcast with quick episodes that are perfect for listening to while warming up or cooling down on the tread at the gym!
That's all for now! If you need me, I'll be in bed watching Southern Charm.
Until next time,