500th Post – With a Big Announcement!

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Happy Friday, everyone- and what a beautiful Friday it is! It’s also a very special occasion for ‘Legally Redhead’. This is my 500th post!

When I first started this blog back on New Year’s Day in 2013, I never thought I’d make it to 500 posts. I didn’t even know if I’d make it to 100, honestly- but it quickly became a passionate project of mine- and getting the opportunity to interact with so many incredible, insightful and talented people about a variety of subjects over the years has been the icing on a pretty amazing cake.

First and foremost, I want to thank each and every one of you who have subscribed to/followed Legally Redhead since it’s inception. Your support and your feedback throughout the years has kept me going- even when I sometimes wondered what the point was (it happens to all bloggers at some point, trust me…) and I have worked incredibly hard to give you all content I was proud of and hoped you would all enjoy. It means the world to me to know that other people care about this little corner of the web as much as I do.

I also want to thank the brands/companies I’ve partnered with over these past few years. You all took a chance with me- an inexperienced blogger by comparison to more established and well-known websites/figures- and I’m so honored to have had the privilege to work with all of you. Truly. I’m so, so grateful for so many wonderful opportunities that were presented to me.

But times- they are a changing- and it’s with immense pride (and a little sorrow) that I have to announce that I’m closing the chapter of my life known as ‘Legally Redhead’.

Wait- what?!

Okay, okay- so I’m not done blogging- I’m just done blogging here, is all! I’m heading on over to a sparkling new URL to start fresh and provide more frequent and more polished content (as opposed to my sporadic posting style here at ‘Legally Redhead’).

Today marks the launch of my latest project: Blondie Birdie!

But- why?!

Well, the simple answer is that I’m not the same person I was when I first started ‘Legally Redhead’- a site that was created in the aftermath of my father’s unexpected death during my mid-20s. While many of my interests and goals remain (mostly) the same- I’ve changed a lot over the past couple of years- especially with my breakup last Summer. I wanted a fresh start and the chance to really focus on blogging full-time alongside my current career path as I transitioned into the next stage of my life.

Also- I’m not a redhead anymore- and haven’t been for a while! So, you know- I needed an update to better reflect my hair color!

What’s going to happen to ‘Legally Redhead’?

Nothing at all! The site is going to stay up- just the way it is- so that people can reference my past posts about recipes, travel, makeup, fashion, etc. There just won’t be any new updates after this post. All of my new content will be over at Blondie Birdie starting today!

What will Blondie Birdie be about?

Well, in a lot of ways- Blondie Birdie will be similar to ‘Legally Redhead’. I still intend to share recipes, cosmetic/skin care reviews, travel recaps, etc. but I’m also hoping to have more structured and professional-looking posts about a larger variety of topics- many of which I’ve been tempted to post about here but just never got around to.

What about ‘Legally Redhead’s social media?

Not to worry! I’ve taken care of everything. I’ve updated my CONTACTS page here on ‘Legally Redhead’ reflecting any changes in usernames- and will also have the CONTACTS page on Blondie Birdie updated accordingly. If you’re looking for me- I won’t be hard to find. Promise!

How do I follow Blondie Birdie?

The same way you followed me here. There’s a “FOLLOW ME” button along the side-bar of my homepage. Simply add your e-mail or click the button to be logged into WordPress and you’ll be notified every time I post! I’ll also have my social media links up if you want to follow me on any of those platforms!

I think that’s pretty much everything. I sincerely hope that all of you who have been so supportive and incredible these past few years come along with me during the next chapter in my life. I’m excited to begin writing it- and I hope you’re all just as excited to read about it!

Thank you for an incredible 4+ years.

See you over on Blondie Birdie!

xx

www.blondiebirdie.com

May Hits List!

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Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope those of you in the States had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. Mine was mostly rained out, unfortunately- but I still managed to have my share of fun with friends and family while paying respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice while they were defending our country and our freedoms.

I’m back at work this morning bright and early to get a jump start on anything that may have accumulated over the long weekend and to assist with training a newcomer to the team (and she’s an absolute doll! I’m so excited to work with her!) but I wanted to take a little bit of time to share some of my favorite things from the month of May. Some are helping me prep for this Summer, others were the breakout stars during my recent trip to the West Coast- but I’ve put them (and some other things!) all right here to share.

Let’s take a look!

I had previously showed off these holograph sneakers from Primark in my pre-vacation haul/shopping spree post a couple of weeks ago- and while I am still completely smitten with how cool they look- I also just want to comment on how unbelievably comfortable they are, too. I was sporting these in the airport, around the Las Vegas strip, and throughout downtown San Diego last week and not once did my feet ever feel sore or stiff.

Considering I paid less than $20 for these- I wasn’t expecting long-term comfort or style- but these made it to and from the West Coast and are still in great shape. I’m so, so thrilled about this purchase that I had to share them again!

Last month, an Aveeno face wash had made my “Hits List” for being my g0-to cleanser when I was freshening up post-workout at the gym. This month, the brand returns- but in the form of a really incredible nighttime repair cream that I’ve been swearing by in recent weeks. I brought this with me to California and it’s a lifesaver, to put it plainly.

Between the climate change, staying out late with my friends out West and having one too many drinks (more than once)– I was pretty much expecting to wake up every morning of my vacation looking rough and tired- but after generously smearing this cream all over my face and neck every night when I got back to where I was staying/crashing- I THANKFULLY always looked fresh-faced and radiant. The multi-vitamins and soy complex loaded into this fluffy, lightweight moisturizer worked wonders at repairing, hydrating, and protecting my skin while I slept. I’m a believer now and I can’t recommend it enough.

I’ve also been using this incredible color-changing/complimenting lipstick from Lipstick Queen I received in a recent POPSUGAR “Must Have” box pretty much non-stop. While the lipstick appears yellow in the tube, it quickly transforms into a flattering coral shade once it hits your lips. It brightens me up in the mornings when I head to work and is perfect for that no-fuss “beachy” look I covet around this time every year. I always keep it nearby in my bag for quick touch-ups!

As much as I love the latest Vegas key chain I picked up for my collection during last week’s visit- the key chain itself isn’t the only thing that made the “Hits List!” this month- but the overall memories, really.

I went to Vegas with a bit of an agenda- one, was to visit some friends I wish I got to see more often (which was also part of my agenda when I went to California shortly thereafter) and the other thing was to give a serious look and some consideration into the real estate options out that way.

I would love to live in San Diego- anywhere in SoCal, really- but the truth of the matter is that it is obscenely expensive. What I pay now for a lovely enough place that suits me and my present lifestyle where I’m currently located is barely enough to afford a decent studio (or even a basement apartment) in that region. Finding good condos or a suitable house is like winning the lottery- and I’m not getting any younger. I have to be realistic- and while I continue to take some roommate offers into consideration- the possibility of moving to the slightly-less-West-but-still-West-enough and infinitely cheaper Las Vegas/Henderson region has piqued my interest.

I did look at a couple of homes in the desert during my stay- still close enough to civilization so I’m not cut off but far enough away from the bright lights and the noise where I can get a full night’s sleep. I haven’t made any definitive decisions yet- but this entire trip really felt like a step in the right direction for a lot of reasons (some very personal) so that is a hit as far as I’m concerned.

On Mother’s Day, while out in Western Massachusetts for a day of shopping with my darling mom- I picked up a couple of packets of these punch mixes at a farmer’s market/general store to make on the hotter days this Summer. I ended up making them as soon as I got home- and yeah, I’m addicted. So much, in fact- that I went back and bought a few more during one of my recent days off- some for myself and some to gift to friends for their respective cookouts and BBQs.

These things are refreshing, and can be made with or without alcohol (guess which I prefer!) I have a feeling I’ll be including a couple in an upcoming giveaway I have planned for the Summer and a blogging milestone.

Finally, I’m in the process of compiling a list of my favorite burger joints around the New England area (the most fun part being the field research, of course)– but I’ve also been actively working on perfecting the art of the burger, myself. I recently picked up this cookbook featuring some of Shake Shack’s most famous recipes and it. is. awesome. Seriously- they have everything. Burgers. Fries. Breakfast sandwiches. Milkshakes. I’ve been working my ass off all Winter/Spring to get into shape and I’m going to blow it for the sake of trying everything in this book- but it’s gonna’ be worth it.

I’m actually thinking of sharing one of my recipe attempts a little later on this week/over the weekend- so stay tuned!

And now, for a couple of things that couldn’t quite be photographed so easily:

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– WWE: Okay, hear me out. When I was a kid- I desperately wanted to be like my two older brothers- who were the coolest as far as I was concerned. That included getting into what was then called the WWF and keeping a brave face on whenever either one of them would attempt to throw me in a figure four leg-lock or a Sharpshooter after every installment of Monday Night Raw or SmackDown! we’d watch together (I always tapped out, for the record. That shit is PAINFUL.)

My favorite wrestlers back then were undeniably Matt and Jeff Hardy- who recently made a triumphant comeback and thus caused me to sit down and tune in again. A group of my friends are still really into it, and have been giving me lessons on all the new faces and feuds I didn’t recognize- and I gotta’ say- it’s still wildly entertaining. I’ve been having a ball watching along- and now my brothers may be jumping back into it, too- which means I need to learn how to get out of a chokehold ASAP.

– “Wonder Woman”: While the movie hasn’t officially hit theaters yet, the early reviews are all fantastic so far- and I’ve been anticipating it’s release for a long time now. Coupled with some recent controversy over some “Women Only” screenings scheduled across the country- WW is looking to be the feminist movie us ladies need right now and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I might even go see it twice- just because.

I think that’s pretty much everything for May 2017’s “Hits List!”- it might not seem like much- but it’s all been helpful/fun.

Feel free to share your own favorites for the month of May!

xx

April Hits List!

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Good Morning! It’s FINALLY Friday, and what a tiring week it’s been! I’ve been so preoccupied with training on new software at my job and preparing for an extended weekend on the West Coast in a couple of weeks that I haven’t had much time for anything else apart from working out and sleeping as much as I can- and don’t even get me started on the never-ending April showers that have plagued New England these past few days.

I did find some time to put together a few of my favorite things from this month, however- and while it isn’t a ton of stuff by any means- they’ve mostly been lifesavers leading up to now.

As always, I thought I’d start with the items/objects that were easier to photograph before jumping right into some of the other miscellaneous things I’ve been loving throughout April- so without further delay- here’s my “Hits List” for April 2017:

I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard in the past few weeks- not only because nicer weather makes it easier to exercise and savor the outdoors- but because I want to look good when I head out to Vegas and California next month. So far, my results have been really great- and there’s no lack of motivation to keep going because of it!

Of course, after working up a sweat- the first thing I want to do after I get out of my gym clothes is wash my face. I have a couple of different cleansers that I use in the mornings and the evenings- but I wanted something mild for a post-workout refresher that would clean any dirt/oil/sweat from of my pores without drying me out. I’ve really, really, REALLY been liking this brightening face wash from Aveeno lately. It cleanses and conditions my skin- and I have actually noticed a visible difference in my complexion’s clarity and overall texture since I started using this, too!

And I can’t wash my face without a follow-up moisturizer. Again, I didn’t want anything too heavy like my morning and nighttime creams- so I turned to Neutrogena’s lightweight and oil-free face lotion to help me out. I like that this formula not only keeps my skin soft and doesn’t clog my pores- but my skin actually feels a little firmer, too. It’s a pretty good feeling after a long workout- and the price of both the face wash and the moisturizer don’t break the bank, either.

When it comes to makeup and cosmetics- I never shy away from experimenting or trying different brands and products- but when it comes to reliable foundation? I almost always turn to Tarte Cosmetics. Their coverage is amazing and their cover-up actually matches my skin tone perfectly!

I’ve been wearing their Rainforest of The Sea water foundation (with SPF 15) lately- and although the eyedropper applicator can be a little tricky to those with even the steadiest hands and strongest of Beauty Blenders- I’m in love with this! It covers any blemishes/imperfections completely, but it still feels so light on my skin- like I’m not wearing anything at all- and it doesn’t budge!

Even after a long day at the office- my skin always looks radiant.

I have a sweet tooth- which isn’t always a good thing when you’re dieting and trying to reach a fitness goal you’ve set for yourself- so I was pretty excited when my co-worker introduced me to the gourmet candy shop Sugarfina, and specifically their champagne and Rosé-infused gummi bears. These things taste ridiculously good and aren’t loaded with fat- which means I can eat a handful at my desk guilt-free!

I’ve personally developed an obsession with their “Bubbly Bears”, which are dusted in a thin coat of sour sugar to give each bear that fizzy feeling on your tongue- but I recommend trying pretty much anything from Sugarfina. They have something to satisfy everyone!

I’ve heard of copper-infused water bottles before, but only recently discovered their magic and wonder courtesy of this sky blue bottle from PURE. I was skeptical of the notion that this bottle could keep a beverage cold (or hot!) for 24 hours- so it pretty much blew my mind when it actually did and the water I sipped after work was just as cold as it was when I’d first poured it into the bottle that morning. It’s awesome.

I hear there’s a lot of health benefits to drinking water from a copper bottle, too- although I don’t know how accurate those statements are. All I know is that my water is always ice cold and it thankfully doesn’t taste metallic- so I’m sold!

Finally, I couldn’t resist picking up this “New Phone- Who Dis?” Ouija pin from Gimme Flair. It’s currently tacked onto my leather jacket and so many people crack up whenever they lean in to catch a glimpse of it. The photo above doesn’t do it justice. It’s really such a great accessory and one I’ve been truly having fun with over the past few weeks!

And that’s it for the photogenic favorites- but a couple of other things made the list,too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

– “Archer: Dreamland” – I’ve loved this series since day one, and each season just gets better and better- but “Dreamland” (set in 1940’s noir while Archer is in a coma from the events of the last season) is side-splitting funny. Krieger and Pam remain my favorite characters!

– “Mystery Science Theater 3000” – Netflix is bringing me all things wonderful and pure lately, including the reboot to one of my favorite shows! I’ve been binging on this when I have the time- usually at night after a long day- and it’s just as fantastic as ever. My love of bad movies with sarcastic commentary by robots knows no bounds.

Alright everyone- I think that’s pretty much it for the month of April. My look back on these past few weeks will be up this weekend before we launch into May- where I’m sure I’ll have more favorites to share!

Enjoy your Friday!

xx

Review: HASK Curl Care Collection

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It should come as no surprise to anyone when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. Naturally thick and curly- unlike anyone else’s in my immediate family (most who have generally pin straight hair)– I have always appreciated and even enjoyed how my curls made me stand out from everyone else. It’s been my trademark of sorts- the way some other women might claim a shade of lipstick or a fashion accessory as their own. My hair has always been my “thing”- something that made me a bit unique- even when I began experimenting with different colored dyes and highlights in my teens through present day.  The curls have always remained in tact to set me apart.

Styling my hair, however? That’s a whole other story. I can remember being a little kid and my scalp being in a perpetual state of agony every morning before school while my poor mother worked tirelessly to get a hairbrush through my curls without ripping them right out of my head (spoiler alert: it never worked out too well) and trying to fight that dreaded “crunchy” look with so many different creams/gels/sprays has always been- and will forever be- one of the most frustrating things for those with curly hair like mine.

Although my styling method has since become less time-consuming and a bit easier with updated, lightweight products and accessories (hello, Wet Brush!)– humid days are still a cause of dread for me and finding hair care formulas that don’t completely dry my curls out can be challenging when so many brands use color-stripping chemicals and otherwise harmful ingredients.

So I was very grateful and excited when HASK recently sent me a package containing full-sized bottles of their coconut milk-infused Curl Care Collection to try out for myself. With shampoo, conditioner and a deep conditioning mask- I couldn’t wait to get started!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo:

From HASK’s website:

“Calling all curls! Add shape and bounce with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Shampoo. Enriched with hydrating coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, each wash removes build-up without stressing or stripping curls of their natural oils. Our Memory Curl Complex helps curls bounce back with frizz-proof definition and nonstop shine whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Hello colossal curls!”

I just want to start my review off by saying that each of these products smelled absolutely amazing- like toasted coconut and the tropics. If these aren’t the perfect Summertime shower essentials to whisk you away to an exotic beach somewhere- I don’t know what is.

But I digress! This shampoo lathered up really nicely and a little went a long way- cleansing my hair from root to tip with only a nickel-sized amount in my palm. At first, I was a little concerned that my hair felt a bit slick after I first rinsed the product out, since coconut oil can be on the greasier side depending on how much you use- but after a few more minutes under the running water and the “oily” feeling went away- leaving really soft and tangle-free strands behind, instead. I actually think this shampoo is so moisturizing that it doesn’t even need to be followed up with the conditioner! That’s the only time I’ve ever been able to say that about a shampoo- considering most of them can be on the drying side and a conditioner is almost always needed to replenish basic hydration- but this one did the trick all on it’s own!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“What’s the ultimate style guide for curly hair? HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Conditioner! Blended with moisture-rich coconut milk and nourishing organic honey, this formula locks in moisture and luster to help bring dehydrated curls back to life. Our frizz-proof Memory Curl Complex helps every curl bounce back to its unique curl pattern, whether your hair is wavy, curly or coily. Go ahead, celebrate your curls!”

Even though the shampoo was, in my opinion, moisturizing enough- I still followed it up with this conditioner in an attempt to keep my frizz at bay. Much like the shampoo, a small amount of this product went a long way. I was able to coat my curls from my scalp down to the ends with just a couple of pumps before letting it sink in and work it’s magic for a few minutes. Once I combed it through and rinsed it out- my hair felt even softer and smoother- which I didn’t even think was possible!

When I got out of the shower and started drying my hair, I noticed that my usual amount of frizz was pretty much non-existent. My curls were more defined and looked considerably shinier. Even after I’d styled my hair and headed off to work for the day- there was no poofy-ness or unexpected 80’s hair metal band vibes popping up by the afternoon. Needless to say- I was thrilled!

Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner:

From HASK’s website:

“Keep your curls looking their best with HASK Coconut Milk & Organic Honey Curl Care Deep Conditioner. This deep conditioning treatment quenches thirsty curls on contact for control and definition. Complete with our Memory Curl Complex to help block out frizz, seal split ends and keep unruly curls in line with extra bounce and shine.”

This packet of creamy conditioner is meant to be used as more of a deep repair mask instead of a daily treatment- so I used the product sparingly- applying it twice a week and leaving it in my dampened hair for about ten minutes before combing it through my curls and rinsing it out. While the shampoo and the regular conditioner I’d received from HASK had been working wonders for my hair all on their own- I did notice a significant difference in my ends each time I used this mask- and I strongly recommend it to anyone who may have ongoing issues with split ends. This product fixed them right up for me- and I have color-treated hair that requires a pretty good amount of TLC to maintain- so I was really impressed with this one!

______________________

Overall, I was absolutely blown away by the results I achieved with HASK’s Curl Care Collection in such a short amount of time. My hair is soft, smooth, shiny- and most importantly-manageable! Not only does the entire collection work really, really well- but HASK’s products are also fair and affordable- and there’s a little something for everyone and their individual hair care concerns: color-treated care, thickening solutions, strength-building, damage detox, etc.

I cannot say enough good things about this brand and I urge everyone to give them a try if you’re feeling unsatisfied or underwhelmed with any of the pricier products you might be using right now. I know I’ll be making the switch!

Thank you again to HASK for such a lovely package and for giving me the opportunity to talk about their brand and my results. It was a pleasure!

**I was not paid for this post and all opinions and content contained within are strictly my own. I am not nor have I ever been employed by HASK Beauty. This partnership was made possible by BrandBacker.**

xx

March Hits List!

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Happy Hump Day, everyone! I’m getting ready to head into my office for another day of keeping busy and staying caffeinated- but I wanted to share some of my favorite things from this past month that was- and to be honest I’m still a bit shocked that March is almost over since it feels like it only just started! Have I been so preoccupied at my job that I missed these past few weeks? Or did my recent fight with the flu just knock me out for a while and I completely lost track of time?

I’m going to go with the flu, since it was pretty brutal- but oh well. At least I’m feeling better! There’s plenty I can do to make up for lost time in April.

I only have a handful of physical favorites this month- but they’re all a lot of fun and I’m very excited to share them before I get into some of the other things that made March memorable!

In regards to beauty products that I fancied in March- two were breakout stars that garnered repeated usage. In desperate need of a replacement lipstick that walked the fine line between nude and subtle pink- I fell in love with the “Naked” shade of Urban Decay’s VICE Lipstick line. Creamy and long-lasting, this formula gives me a natural pop of color that I can wear with pretty much anything in my Spring wardrobe- day or night.

To keep my digits nice and neutral- I turned to Avon’s TRUE COLOR collection in “Rose Quartz”- which is one of my favorite colors, anyway. The formula is smooth and chip/smudge-resistant, so I can type and text without fear of having to constantly re-apply this. Like the lipstick, this shade matches nearly everything I own.

I really do make an honest and earnest attempt to keep myself from impulse purchases, but sometimes- a girl has got to treat herself and splurge a bit- which is exactly what I did when I spotted these glitter ankle boots from ASOS and knew I needed them in my life immediately. Typically paired with black leggings, jeggings, and a simple top (and a good piece of statement jewelry to balance out my shine)– these super comfortable boots give me just a little bit of height and are easy enough to walk in for long periods of time.

I feel like David Bowie in these and I LOVE them.

Okay, so I recently started my new position at my job following my promotion- and I have to confess: I love it. Truly. It’s such a breath of fresh air. The people I work with are wonderful and fun, the work is challenging and detail-oriented (which I am ALL about) and it’s just so, so rewarding and fulfilling for me and I couldn’t be happier.

That said, I wanted to decorate my new desk space with a little something to keep me motivated when those inevitable challenging days emerge- and I picked up this “W.W.B.D?” desk plaque I had initially seen advertised on ModCloth a while back. I’ve been keeping track of my co-workers’ reactions when they see it for the first time and it’s always priceless.

Finally, I picked up a couple of t-shirts this month that have been getting some considerable wear. The first is my black and white Dropkick Murphys tee from my recent St. Patrick’s Day weekend insanity. The last shirt I own of the band’s is starting to fade out since I’ve had it for so long- and this one is a fine replacement. I love the design on the front!

The second, made of softer material- is this longer gray and pink tee from Yes Way Rosé– because if I’m going to be one of those people who want to tell the world about how much I enjoy a certain type of wine- then I’m just going to show my appreciation with a cute and cozy t-shirt. The brand also offers some other accessories that are adorable, too- so any shameless winos should definitely check it out!

I think that’s it for the more photogenic favorites from March, but I was loving some other stuff, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Feud: Bette and Joan” – I have a love/hate relationship with “American Horror Story”. Every season starts off with so much potential and promise and five episodes later there are 30 new characters being jammed into a single hour with convoluted plots that serve no real purpose but for some inexplicable reason have to be resolved within the season finale. It’s almost always a mess- and I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I heard Ryan Murphy was going to be directing a new series based on the off-and-on-camera drama between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”

Thankfully, the show is excellent. With a small cast led by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange- “Feud” is funny, surprising, and not to miss. I’ve been having a blast watching it.

  • The Lumineers – “Cleopatra” – I know it’s been almost a year since The Lumineers (one of my favorite bands!) dropped “Cleopatra” on us- but it recently ended up back in my regular rotation and I’ve fallen head over heels in love with it all over again. This is one of those albums that is perfect for those rainy day Springtime drives when you just want to mellow out and get some deep soul-searching and contemplation done- and I admit that listening to it again in it’s entirety has moved me to tears more than once in the past couple of weeks.

I’d love to see these guys live someday, but I know I’d be reduced to an emotional wreck three songs into their set.

  • Dave Chappelle’s Netflix Specials – THANK YOU NETFLIX. THANK. YOU. I have not laughed that hard in a long, long time.
  • SYFY’s “Cosplay Melee” – From the same network that brought us the disastrous and overly petty “Heroes of Cosplay” series a couple of years ago, SYFY finally hit the mark with their most recent offering to the cosplay and comic-con community with “Cosplay Melee”- which focuses more on the actual fabrication and construction of the costumes themselves by talented, passionate and actually NICE contestants who are striving to win weekly cash prizes for their efforts instead of perpetuating drama between women week after week. It’s only a couple of episodes in so far- but the show is fascinating.

Which brings me to…

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • Planning For Comic-Con – It’s that time of year again when people spend perfectly good Saturday mornings in front of their computers for hours at a time while hoping and praying they can score badges to this Summer’s San Diego Comic-Con. I recently received the e-mail with the information I’d need for the sale when it happens in a couple of weeks, and as is tradition- I’ll be giving it a shot- but leading up to that point I’ve been focusing on starting the costumes I have planned for the 2017 Comic-Con circuit that typically kicks off at the end of Spring.

While I initially had outfits inspired by “The Walking Dead”, Punisher, and “Preacher” planned out- I’m also going to see if I can go a little further with my detailing and fit in a “Resident Evil” costume into the mix as well. A couple of the costumes are team efforts- so I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with great groups of people- and I’m excited to start sewing/gluing/sobbing into plastic molding more than once.

And I think that’s everything for the month of March! I’m looking forward to finding new favorites in April- and as always- my full recap of this month will be up in a couple of days.

If you have any favorites you’d like to share- feel free to drop me a line!

xx

February Hits List!

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Goodness, is the weekend almost over? Is tomorrow really Monday and is February nearly finished? It’s been so unbelievably warm out in New England these past few days that it almost- ALMOST– feels like I’m in the midst of Spring Break. Having to switch back into work mode and return to a heated office tomorrow morning seems a little unfair if you ask me!

But before I look back on all the exciting changes that happened this past month (and believe me- I have a lot to look forward to!) and share what I have planned in March- and before I prepare to meet friends for brunch a little later on this morning/afternoon- I wanted to review some of the things that I’ve been absolutely loving in the entirely-too-short month of February 2017.

This is my monthly “Hits List”! Enjoy!

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First things first- this year’s Super Bowl was one of the most unexpected, exciting games I’ve ever watched- and the celebrations throughout Boston only made the 72 hours following the Patriots’ comeback and subsequent victory over the Falcons all the more fun. I know they aren’t the most beloved team outside of New England- but that hasn’t stopped me from wearing this silky, commemorative quarter-sleeved shirt out and about (especially on casual Fridays at my office.)

While most of the post-Super Bowl memorabilia has been a tad on the expensive side- this officially licensed shirt was reasonably priced and will surely get more wear than if I had purchased a $150 jersey or $50 hat. Plus- it’s so comfortable!

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Now that I’m in my 30’s (just don’t tell anyone)– I’ve been researching different skin care products that will keep my complexion clear and my face looking smooth, bright and firm. Every product or system dubs itself a miracle worker- which can leave a person skeptical after reading for so long. For assistance with my occasional breakouts (usually after PMS)– I turned to Reviews.com to get honest opinions from others who were also doing their own homework into better skin care and results. Reviews.com doesn’t just stick to skin care, however. They weigh in on pretty much everything and anything- making them a valuable resource if you ever want a second, third, or fourth opinion on anything you’re thinking of trying/buying!

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to skin care, and one of the things I saw mentioned quite frequently on Reviews.com is over-exfoliating the skin. While it might seem like a good idea to scrub and slough away dead skin cells as much as possible- you can actually be doing more harm than good if you overuse products like scrubs or tools like cleansing brushes.

I’ve wanted to pick up a decent cleansing brush for a couple of months now- but had read mixed reviews on different brands (most that were overpriced or very harsh)– and I finally found this really great brush from Avon that has been working extraordinarily well on my skin! The bristles to the brush are soft and clean out my pores without shredding my face or drying me out. It’s my new wonder tool that I use each night before bed. I find that once a day with this thing works just fine!

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I don’t wash my hair every single day (I do always condition it in the shower, however)– since I don’t want to dry my curls or my scalp out by over-cleansing- but since product can build up pretty quickly, especially if I’m wearing any type of hat for any length of time- I’ve turned to this light, fresh-fragranced dry shampoo from Batiste to keep my hair looking and feeling soft and squeaky clean. I simply spritz some of this on in-between washes and massage it into my scalp and through my curls before styling my hair as usual- and the formula adds volume and shine without any residue or stiffness.

Batiste makes dry shampoos that also add temporary color to your hair, too- so if you’re looking for a quick fix to problematic roots peeking through in-between salon visits- it’s worth checking out!

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One of my favorite finds in February was this holographic nail polish (the color itself is called “MEGA”) from ILNP. The shade- shimmery and multi-colored- never appears quite the same in different angles and lighting. I treated myself to my first manicure and pedicure in a while literally hours after this arrived in my mailbox because I was s excited to see how it looked on- and I’m confident that this is going to be the lacquer I’m spotted in the most throughout 2017.

It’s so gorgeous, and fun- and long-lasting. I made it just beyond the two-week mark before this started to fade/chip and even then it wasn’t all that noticeable and was easy enough to cover up. That’s impressive for someone who does as much typing and texting as I do!

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I am an avid collector of key chains- and although not all of them have made it onto my main key ring (can you imagine how heavy it would be if they did?) I try to keep them on display. This Prince chain from The Found, however- has been added and is proudly on display on my main key ring alongside my Michonne from “The Walking Dead” charm and a flip-flip souvenir from my very first trip to San Diego back in 2007. That’s how awesome this one is.

I’m loving the sass levels of this key chain- the charm being considerably larger than the U.S. quarter I had thought it was initially compared to. I’m not complaining, though. I’ve already had a ton of people notice it and ask to see it up close. It’s so well-made and so, so much fun. My keys just feel ten times sexier with this chain hanging out next to them.

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Finally, as we begin to transition into Spring and I begin to re-organize my perfume collection- I splurged a bit via Avon and bought a bottle of their PRIMA fragrance (the body wash and lotion were a bonus with my purchase!) This scent is a really pretty, light and unique blend of rose, plum and patchouli- which might sound a little funky on paper- but I assure you all it’s quite lovely!

It reminds me of sunny mornings spent in a garden- which given the recent warm weather- has me feeling extra happy these days!

And I think that’s it for all the photogenic stuff for February 2017. Let’s move onto the other odds and ends that have made this month so enjoyable!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “Get Out” – I was a huge fan of Key & Peele’s sketch show on Comedy Central, and their first movie since the show wrapped up, “Keanu”, left me pretty much in stitches from laughing so hard- so when I heard that Jordan Peele was working on a horror movie- I was intrigued. When the first trailers/previews for “Get Out” were released and were already SUPER unnerving, I couldn’t wait for it to be released- and now that the movie is getting glowing reviews and is dominating at the box office- I’ve made plans to see it after work this week and I am. so. excited. I love seeing other, brilliant sides to comedic geniuses- and I love a genuinely good horror flick!
  • “Logan” – Speaking of movies that are getting glowing reviews, I am all about the new Wolverine movie (even if the last few weren’t that great.) The latest- and I think final- installment to this particular franchise looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun and I’ll happily spend an afternoon checking it out with my friends in the coming days. Hugh Jackman, after all…

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • “You Must Remember This” – Hello, newest podcast obsession. If you love old Hollywood and all the bizarre and salacious stories that came out of it, this one is a must-subscribe-to. Every episode, approximately 30-40 minutes long (perfect for that morning commute!) details different famous figures from Hollywood’s golden era through the 70’s and 80’s- including their work, scandals, contributions to film/society, etc. Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, etc. The podcast is fascinating- and free on iTunes- and extremely entertaining!

And I think that’s it for this month! I have to take off to meet my friends for brunch- but I’ll be back to recap this past February in it’s entirety on Tuesday.

As always, if you have your own favorites for this month that you’d like to share- drop me a line!

xx

Skincare In Your 30s – Laser Treatments?

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Now that I’ve entered the new and still-uncharted “Early 30’s” territory, one of the questions I get asked the most- both by friends and strangers in person or on social media alike- is how I keep my skin looking so young. Now, I don’t consider the 30’s to be old at all (nor do I think 40’s or 50’s are that old!) so it’s always a bit unusual to answer. I mean, a small percentage of keeping a youthful appearance is the genetic lottery. Both my mom and dad looked young for their age- as did their parents and their parents before them- while the rest is all in how you take care of yourself. Diet, adequate sun protection, not smoking or drinking too much alcohol, getting enough sleep and water in your system- and using preventative products all help keep signs of aging at bay and also reduce the signs that may already be visible.

Of course, I know that answer may not satisfy everyone- and I’ve had people ask me about laser treatments- and if that’s something I’d consider in the future. While I’ve never been one to really contemplate going under the knife or having any kind of plastic surgery done- I find the procedures fascinating- both in their quickness and in their long-term results that don’t require multiple and/or painful appointments. The way procedures have advanced over the years is starting to make the traditional “get knocked out and wake up sore for a few weeks” methods obsolete.

I did a little research for those who are considering laser skin treatments, and put together a small guide for others who may also be entering their 30’s and are considering giving the procedures a try:

Lasers for Skin Treatment – What You Need to Know

Lasers have been used to treat the skin for decades, but exactly how they are used has changed over the years. As the laser skincare treatment options have grown, so has the popularity of the procedures themselves. But just because something is popular doesn’t mean you should jump right in and have it done when you are uninformed. Here’s what you need to know about having a laser treatment.

Lasers Perform Versatile Skin Treatments on Multiple Body Parts

First, you should know that lasers are very versatile. Not only can they help to tighten up wrinkles and sagging skin, but they can also help you get rid of unsightly blemishes and scars. Although, one specific laser may not be able to do all of that at once. Different machines have different purposes.

Along those same lines, you need to understand that lasers can treat your skin in different ways. Some medical tools that use lasers are capable of treating surface concerns, while others get down a bit deeper, impacting areas that can’t be seen with the naked eye. You might think that surface issues are the only ones you need to treat, but that isn’t true.

You see, your skin naturally flakes off over time. As it is, lower layers move up and become upper layers. By improving your general skin health, you can often see gradual improvements over time. So, there are advantages to both types of laser treatments.

How Lasers Interact with Skin Oils

The next thing you need to know is that any oils or liquids on your skin, whether natural or applied, can alter your laser treatment results. That’s why your clinic should tell you not to put on any perfume or sprays before your treatment. It’s also why your clinician may recommend against laser appointments if your skin is naturally too oily. Oily-skinned people often find that they develop blisters or burns after laser procedures.

It’s Vital That You Choose the Right Laser Clinic for You

It’s also vital that you know the difference between a good clinic and a bad clinic. Unfortunately, there are untrained people out there claiming to be skincare experts. You can verify the reputation of your clinic through reviews, references, and general word of mouth. You can also inquire about the individual experience and training that a specific clinician in the clinic has. Don’t be afraid to ask multiple questions! It’s your skin and you want to make sure you’re putting it in the right person’s hands!

 You Still Have to Take Care of Your Skin After Laser Treatment

One thing that some people don’t realize is that laser treatment isn’t a permanent fix for all skin problems. Even if your treatment or series of treatments is successful at first, wrinkles and skin sags can return weeks, months, or years later.

You can improve your odds of lasting results by caring for your skin, even after your laser procedure is complete. Ask your clinician or dermatologist what creams, lotions, and cleansers are best, and then use those products regularly as directed.

As long as you make an educated decision about which clinic and which laser procedure to choose, you should see marked improvements in your skin health within a relatively short time. Just make sure that you don’t expect too much too soon. Remember that laser treatments often need to be repeated for the best results. But have a little patience and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier appearance.

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I hope that is helpful and sound advice for anyone thinking of getting any kind of laser procedure done in the future! It’s all pretty standard and common knowledge- but it never hurts to have additional information to reference while researching clinics and mulling over decisions.

If anyone has ever had one of these procedures done, and would like to share their experience- I’d love to hear it!

xx

January Hits List!

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Happy Saturday and Chinese New Year, everyone! If you didn’t know, today marks the beginning of the Year of The Rooster (specifically, the Fire Rooster)– and if that’s not another reason to get out there and have yourself a wonderful and celebratory day/night- then I don’t know what is! The Chinese Zodiac is fascinating, and if you haven’t checked out all the associations with this coming year (or even your birth year) like lucky numbers, colors, etc., then I highly recommend it. You just might learn something new about yourself!

I’ll be celebrating with friends tonight, more than likely digging into some Chinese food (as is tradition) and snapping some sparkler and Chinese lantern selfies- but before I get going on my day- I wanted to share some of my favorite odds and ends from this past January. In what has become a monthly tradition here on “Legally Redhead”, it’s my Hits List post: a re-cap of all the things I’ve been loving/using/wearing/watching/eating/etc. over the last few weeks.

I always start these posts off with the things/items I could easily photograph before I divulge other random and assorted bits and belongings that aren’t quite as easy to capture with a snapshot. January was chock-full of great stuff, so this post might be a little on the long side. Sorry in advance!

Without further delay- here’s what I adored in January 2017!

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January was all about self-care- inside and out- and that included freshening up my skincare and makeup, too. I’ve been sticking to and continually using some of my long-time favorite scrubs and cleansers, but I also integrated a couple of newer products into the mix to keep my complexion looking bright and radiant during these harsher Winter months. Without a doubt, my new favorite face mask is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask- which I reviewed earlier this month HERE. I use it once a week and still get the same, amazing results- and it’s just as fun to use as the first time I tried it!

At night, I’ve swapped my more oily, plant-based serum for something that will moisturize and tighten my skin without ruining my pillowcases. I’m really liking the ‘Rejuveness’ cream from POND’s lately. My mom had given me a jar of the stuff a little while back when I was in-between moisturizers and needed something to keep my skin hydrated until I could make it to Sephora- and I really liked it. Loaded with Vitamin E, collagen and AHAs- this cream is lightweight, non-greasy and doesn’t clog my pores. I wake up with softer, smoother skin every morning.

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Of course, self-care also includes getting a good and undisturbed night’s sleep, too- so I’ve been utilizing this eye mask from Pier 1 Imports to shut out any light while I’m snoozing. I know there are super fancy masks available out there that help reduce puffiness around the eyes or offer cooling sensations and whatnot- but this one does a fine enough job for me. The elastic is adjustable so it’s never too tight or loose, the satin fabric is soft on my skin- and I’m a sucker for zebra print.

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I picked up some new makeup in January, too- bold shades to brighten up my more neutral-toned wardrobe pieces this time of year. One of my favorite new additions to my collection is this golden/brown long-lasting liquid lipstick from Sugarpill. Accurately named “Pumpkin Spice” (with the matching scent to boot!) this color glides on effortlessly and dries to a smudge and fade-proof sparkling finish that doesn’t budge for hours. I am absolutely in love with the shade, and often pair it with my copper-colored eye shadow I’ve been wearing on the regular.

When MAC Cosmetics announced they were creating a line of makeup inspired by the Queen of Tejano- Selena- I knew I was all in. I loved Selena growing up, and wanted to get my hands on some of the collection (if not all of it!) After browsing the makeup- which was GORGEOUS– I settled on three products that I felt would better compliment my fair skin tone. There’s the purple “Selena” eye shadow- which is a spot-on match to the singer’s purple disco outfit from her last concert at the Houston Astrodome. Then there’s “Coma La Flor”, a vibrant red lipstick with a shiny finish- and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom”- a bubblegum pink lip gloss that doesn’t feel sticky or tacky on my pout.

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It’s a weird New Year’s resolution- but I’ve wanted to start wearing some of my perfume collection more often in 2017. So many friends and family have bought me gorgeous bottles of lovely fragrances- and I’ve worn them maybe once or twice before tucking them away where they have unfortunately been overlooked. One of those perfumes, which has stayed in mint condition- is a Prada fragrance (the “Amber” Eau de Parfum) my father bought me while he was away in Las Vegas a few years ago. It’s heavy with sandalwood and Patchouli- and perfect for this more frigid time of year. I forgot how much I loved it and cannot stop wearing it.

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Also new this month? My weekly planner. This coral and gold colored notepad is a lifesaver and is already filled from cover to cover with my appointments, engagements, meetings, blog post schedule, vacations, trip details, etc. etc. I check this thing nearly every other day to keep track of all the important happenings and due dates in my life- and I cannot thank my mom enough for picking it up for me. It was a lovely Christmas present last month! She knows how busy I can get.

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And finally- I am so, so SO excited that chokers are making a comeback. I used to wear them all the time with my friends in the 90’s and then during their brief resurgence in the early 2000’s. I have to admit that they are much prettier now than they were back then- and lately I’ve been sporting this ultra-sparkly one I picked up at H&M recently. It goes with pretty much everything and adds a nice touch of bling to even the most basic of ensembles. Here’s to recycling more trends in 2017!

That’s it for the stuff I was able to take photos of. Time to get into the random things that also made the list this month!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

  • “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia…” – One of my favorite shows of all time, the latest season kicked off earlier this month and it has held no punches. It’s been brutal, offensive-and-funny, and just as hilariously over-the-top. How I needed these five awful, terrible characters back in my life to make me laugh so hard I cried again.
  • Dropkick Murphys: “11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory” – I am always going to have a special place in my heart for the Dropkick Murphys. The guys are gracious, funny, and have given so much back to their communities and to the city of Boston over the years. I was thrilled when they released their ninth studio album earlier this month. It’s got the fast-paced and clever stuff I know and love, like ‘Rebels with a Cause’ and ‘Kicked to the Curb’- but there’s also a couple of slower and more somber songs, too- such as ‘Blood’ and ‘4-15-13’. My favorite so far has been the closing track, ‘Until the Next Time’- and I’m hoping to catch them live soon!

– TECH/APPS/GAMES –

  • “Resident Evil 7” – Out of all the video game franchises, the ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Silent Hill’ series are by far my favorites- even when the games get ridiculous with their plot lines and character development or when they inspire awful movies. While I don’t personally own a VR headset (yet…), some of my friends do- and we have all been waiting anxiously for the latest installment in the RE series to be released. I’ve played a bit of the demo- which was absolutely terrifying- and later on tonight my friends and I are going to attempt our very first run-through together. If you follow me on Instagram– expect our results to wind up in my feed/story!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

  • My “2017 Keep Calm and Quote Movies Daily Desktop Calendar” – Another Christmas present to keep me organized, I had actually wanted to snap a photo of this tear-away daily desk calendar that I’ve been using at work- but accidentally forgot it in my office for the weekend. You can see some of the calendar HERE through Amazon- but basically every day features a different and popular movie quote, all designed similarly to the famous “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters. I’ve been having a blast reading each one every day- and some of the quotes have inspired me to re-watch some of my favorite classic movies or seek out the ones I haven’t seen yet.

And I think that’s pretty much it for this month. There were so many new and exciting things to make these first few weeks of 2017 wonderful and I can’t wait to see what I discover in February!

As always- if you have any of your own personal favorites for January 2017 to share, feel free to leave me a comment or drop me a line!

xx

Review: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask

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For 2017, I made a list of products- skin care, hair care, makeup, nail polish, etc.- that I’ve been meaning to try and review in detail as part of my resolution to blog more often and include more content. For inspiration and assistance with compiling my “To Try” list, I turned to my social media and fell down the YouTube beauty blogging rabbit hole. If you ever have a snowy or rainy Sunday afternoon to get lost in that part of the limitless (and sometimes downright weird) vlogging world- I highly recommend it. There’s definitely a lot to see.

I digress. One product has been on my radar for a few months now- arriving at my door from Amazon last week- and I finally got to try it this past weekend in-between shoveling my way out of the aftermath of Winter Storm Helena (and I’ll post about that later on this week!)

Elizavecca, a South Korean skincare company- has a long list of masks/serums/creams/SPFs to detoxify, nurture and brighten the skin- almost all of which feature an adorable cartoon pig on the packaging. I’ve been fascinated by Korean skincare products for quite some time now- especially since they seem to work really and ridiculously well based on every review I’ve read and every video I’ve watched.

Out of all of Elizavecca’s products, however- the “Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask” was the one that not only looked the most effective for someone with occasionally problematic skin like mine- but the most fun, too!

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I can’t speak/read/write Korean, so figuring this out for the first time could have been intimidating to someone like me had I gone into this without doing any research, first. Thankfully, though- Amazon’s order page included detailed instructions on how to use the mask- and I felt confident enough after watching countless YouTube reviews/tutorials on the product that I knew what I was doing and could pull this off without incident or injury.

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I didn’t want to leave the product uncovered for too long, since I think part of it is activated by being exposed to the air- but the texture was definitely bizarre. It was almost like tapioca pudding in that it was bouncy and jiggly- but had little bits of coarseness mixed in it, as well. The mask came with a tiny spatula to apply it with so that potentially germ-ridden fingers wouldn’t contaminate the product that remains in the jar in-between uses- although I did find the spatula a bit tricky to use at times- especially when it came time to get the mask around my nose and temples (where I usually see the most blackheads/breakouts).

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The mask should be applied to a cleansed, dry face. It might be hard to tell by the picture above since I don’t have a lot of visible acne- but prior to putting this mask on, I had some serious blackheads around my nose and forehead. Winter has been pretty brutal with my skin these past few weeks, especially in New England where the weather is just as unpredictable as our driving- drying me out with frigid temperatures and causing my skin to overcompensate with excess oil one day and then the next day leaving my face dewy and shiny from humidity and even warmer weather- and when combined with my heavier serums and moisturizers I typically use this time of year? I see a lot of little blemishes and pimples spring up and they drive me absolutely crazy.

I washed my face as usual and patted it dry with a towel before I slicked my hair back and began applying this mask. I’ve heard different amounts of time to leave it on- ranging from anywhere to 10/15 minutes to 45 minutes- so I decided to settle halfway and use the Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask for a half hour.

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Immediately, this stuff started bubbling up- even as I was still applying it! Once I had it covering as much of my face as possible (where I could still breathe normally, of course)– I set the timer and sat down to wait it out. The mask definitely tickled as it fizzed, but it didn’t hurt or itch or anything. As the minutes ticked away, I did have to use a cotton swap to move some of the foam away from my eyes and nose since the bubbles were starting to overtake vital senses and functions- but I admit I was having a lot of fun watching my face look more and more like the moon emoji.

And you bet I took selfies. How could I not? Look at it! For those who follow my Instagram– you may have caught my Insta-Story where I was laughing so hard that the bubbles went all over me.

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After 15 minutes, I rubbed the foam/bubbles into my skin to let the product set and further clean my pores. It began bubbling again- just as big as the first application in certain areas- but already my skin began feeling very refreshed and thoroughly cleansed. My face tingled, but there was no discomfort at all. It actually felt really nice.

I let the mask bubble and set for another 10 minutes before I finally rinsed it off with lukewarm water and patted my face dry with a towel.

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To my amazement, my blackheads were gone. Not smaller, not “less noticeable”- but completely and totally cleaned out. My skin felt INCREDIBLE and had a really nice glow to it. It was soft, refreshed, and not dried out at all. I followed up with a quick sweep of my micellar water on a cotton pad to take away any of the mask I might have missed while rinsing my face and a couple of pumps of a lightweight moisturizer/sunscreen so I could go out and face the day and the post-snowstorm temperatures- but I was head over heels in love with this mask and blown away over how well it worked. So much, in fact- that I raved about it for a good ten minutes during brunch later that day.

Anything that causes me to stop stuffing brunch into my face long enough to discuss it at length is worth the attention. Trust me. I take my brunching very seriously.

While I typically use sheet masks 1-2 times a week to replenish and treat my skin after a long day at work, I think I’ll be keeping this mask’s usage to a once a week minimum- because it cleans SO well that I wouldn’t want it to dry out my skin by applying it more than necessary.

I give this mask two thumbs up for sure and cannot recommend it enough to those of you out there who have blemish-prone skin like mine or are just looking for something quick, fun, and easy to give your face a really deep clean and get any and all oil, dirt and makeup out of your pores.

I think I’ve found my new Sunday morning beauty ritual!

You can purchase Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask HERE

xx