And that laugh, wrinkles your nose (so you need a new moisturizer)

And that laugh, wrinkles your nose (so you need a new moisturizer)

I’ve made the executive decision if I can only take four comfort items to the post-apocalyptic United States we are surely headed for at this point, they would would most likely be coffee, champagne (the good stuff), unlimited access to books (that might be cheating), and skincare.

But it must be grown-up size bottles. I have a love-hate relationship with a certain kind of sample. I dig almost anything for free dollars, but single-use samples are usually garbage. Unless it miraculously takes off 30 pounds and all my sunspots overnight, it’s hard for one to properly evaluate a product on a single use.

That’s why the VIP bags at Indie Beauty Expo (IBE) are a goldmine. Prices vary by city, with New York being the most expensive. But it’s well worth it; we walked away from it like bandits – with at least $1,000 in product, at a fraction of the cost. Not to mention free booze. Never forget to acknowledge the free booze.

The items I will discuss are all discoveries from IBE, highlighting those available in the fall sale at Flora Beauty Bar – which started TODAY. I repeat: it’s happening TODAY. And only through Monday. Get on it.

Launched a few months ago, Flora is a glorious curated marketplace for independent, natural beauty products. I attended IBE Dallas and NYC with the founder, so I know first-hand how much passion she has for and knowledge of brands she chooses to sale. You won’t be disappointed in any of them.

AveSeena

AveSeena

AveSeena is non-toxic, science-backed cruelty free products with 100% naturally derived ingredients. The founder, Dr. Ebru Karpuzoglu, MSc, PhD, is a delightful woman. I felt like I won the skincare lottery when I found a full-size Ageless Perfection Cream in my VIP back from NYC. This is one of the best moisturizers I’ve ever used. I don’t use it often, as I am trying to make it last FOREVER. But lucky for you, it’s 25% off in the Flora autumn sale! If someone wants to buy me one for Christmas, I won’t stop you. I am on skincare lock-down for…awhile.

 

Social Paint

Social Paint

Having struggled with Celiac Disease since childhood, the founder of Social Paint decided to develop her own line of cosmetics that are “clean/natural/organic, certified gluten free and cruelty free, anti-aging, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.” So basically, everything you could ask for and healthier than 90% of what’s in your fridge right now, don’t lie. But wait, it gets better. The lip gloss is fantastic. I received Cha Cha Cha in my NYC bag, but my true favorite is Real Housewife. It’s that neutral you’re always searching for but can’t exactly find, looks great on everyone, and shines for days. The only reason I’ve not ordered it from Flora is because I already own an embarrassing amount of lip color. But this weekend it’s 15% on Flora, so what’s just one more?

 

Svati

Svati Organics

Here goes my Svati love fest again. Having met Lindsay and discovered Svati at IBE Dallas, her booth was one of my first stops in New York. I love buying from someone who genuinely cares about her business, her products, her customers, and making a difference in women’s lives (we certainly need more of that). She has such a great energy. I want to peer pressure ALL of you to buy these products. Renew Hydrating Facial Serum is still a favorite in my arsenal. As mentioned before, I alternate it with acid products, to give my skin a refresher and extra dose of luxurious hydration, and it’s worked out so well.

If you are just now adding serums to your routine, I suggest starting with the Balance Soothing Facial Serum. Regardless of which you choose, all Svati products are 25% off during the Flora sale – just go ahead and buy them all. #treatyourself

 

There are a lot of other great products featured in the sale. Many of which I’ve not had the chance to try, but will one day when I am no longer skincare grounded. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here and I will get you answers from Flora ASAP.

 

 

 

You pulled up in a rescue truck, showed up with a master key

You pulled up in a rescue truck, showed up with a master key

The pseudo funk I wrote about last still kinda lingers. I know what’s causing it, some of which is completely out of my control, which is the worst. I am getting myself in order, but it’s not always easy. Outside of Jake Gyllenhaal showing up at my door or someone handing me a check for a million dollars, there’s zero anyone can do to make this go away. But when I get like this, ultimate comfort can typically be found in books or TV.

The summer of 2009 was one of these times. My divorce was final that April, at which time I was in my first somewhat relationship post-marriage (note, I hate even using the word marriage, because it was anything but that). Unfortunately, that relationship also went down in medium-sized dumpster fire shortly thereafter. This person is still within my friend circles and I have no ill-will towards him whatsoever, he’s a really good dude and married now, to a woman completely different than me, which is evidence we were genuinely not a match. Which helps now. But back then, because of the place I was in at that point in life, I did not handle it well. Not that I handle any break-up well.

I lived in CA at the time, in an apartment I absolutely adored in Studio City – and probably couldn’t afford now. I was walking distance to this fast casual Chinese food joint that would destroy Pei Wei (and I love me some Pei Wei) any day of the week, City Wok. I lived on orange chicken and fried rice during this time. And as I’ve written about in a previous blog, I also decided to watch the first Twilight movie to see what all the craze was about. And honestly, how obsessed I became with the books and the entire fandom after that was what helped me through that summer without punching anyone in the face.

This time around it’s been a re-watch of Sons of Anarchy. Which, if you follow me on Twitter, you know ALL about at this point. I’m on the next to last episode as I type this. I won’t tell you how fast I’ve gone through all seven seasons, it’s almost embarrassing. In my defense, Dallas has consistently felt like the deepest realms of hell recently, so it’s undesirable to leave one’s house right now.

Of all the wonderful shows we’ve experience in the past 10 years, SOA is without a doubt my favorite. When everyone was eyeballs deep infatuated with Breaking Bad, I was living for SAMCRO every week. Don’t get me wrong, I liked BB a lot, but there was and still is something about Sons. I just fucking love it. I told a co-worker this the other day, to which his response was “I can’t explain why, but that makes sense”. I will take that as a compliment. I think.

This is the first time I’ve re-watched the series in its entirety, so I wasn’t sure if I would still have the same feels. Be not afraid, I totally did/do. I think I love it even more. And I am counting down the days until Mayans MC starts in September. It won’t be the same, but it will hopefully fill a gaping void in my TV life. But having said that, some things about Sons remain the same.

One, Opie’s death and Juice’s downfall are the hardest story lines with which to cope. They both make me so incredibly sad. Two, as much as I love Chibs and Tig, Happy is my favorite member of the MC. He’s a hardcore soldier and my crazy recognizes and appreciates his crazy. Three, I am Team Gemma for LIFE. Because although Tara was fine for five seasons, I loathed her in six. Don’t bother to argue with me; I will proudly die on this hill. And seven, Venus will forever be my favorite non-MC-related character. Walt Goggins deserved all the gold for that performance. (And yes, I’ve seen Justified, he’s also stupid good in it).

But last and never least, Jax Teller. I’ve had a handful of beloved TV boyfriends in my life, including some Really Good Guys like Noel Crane, Ben Wyatt, Jim Halpert, Harry Goldenblatt, Tim Riggins and Jon Snow. But Jax is clearly in a whole other league here, kids. There will never, and could never, be another one like him. He may be a murderer and an outlaw, but he’s also an extremely complex human being caught between wanting to do the right thing and fulfilling an inevitable destiny. Kurt Sutter wrote the hell out of this character. On a much lighter note, Jax was even my first Funko Pop! My friend Fred, who actually got me into the show in the first place, sent him to me. He stays on my desk at work and I love him.

I truly believe TV is absolutely a form of self-care, which has even been discussed on Forever35. It might not be the most physically healthy activity to do for oneself, but spending a few hours on the couch with a solid binge is a at least healthier than downing the magnum of rosé you might actually want to drink. And if you’re single AF, a really hot guy to indulge in for seven season doesn’t hurt, either.