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Skin Care 101

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Hi all! Happy THURSDAY!!! It is raining here in Chicago…again, but luckily, I have chocolate to help keep me going!

Skin care- one of my favorite topics to learn about and explore! Like most of the global population, my skin incurred some difficulties throughout high school & college due to hormones, diet and just overall hygiene. A few years ago, I decided to dive deep into researching what kind of skin I have, what makes my skin breakout and which products were the best to use. Throughout my research, I discovered 1) that my skin is sensitive (not surprising), 2) many common skincare brands use harsh chemicals that can damage skin, and 3) certain foods can contribute to acne.

Upon arriving (for the first time) at the dermatologist’s office during my junior year of college, I discovered that I had mild-severe hormonal acne. During this time, my confidence was at an all-time low as the acne had left scars on different sections of my face. The dermatologist prescribed a medication and acne lotion, which I recommend if nothing over-the-counter works.

After the dermatologist, I headed to Sephora, where I discovered the brand Caudalie (a.k.a. THE BEST BRAND OF ALL TIME)!!!!!!! The beautician stated that Caudalie uses natural ingredients and is used for sensitive skin, something that I was seeking. I started with the radiance serum (which helps to reduce the appearance of dark marks) and the milk cleanser (which I used after washing my face with Cetaphil for extra hydration).

Throughout reading about hormonal acne, I read that dairy can contribute to breakouts (although for many people it does not). I decided to cut drinking milk out of my diet (though I still indulge in some cheese, ice cream and half n half on an occasional basis)… I can say though, that cutting milk out of my diet has significantly helped in reducing the number of hormonal breakouts on my skin.

My skincare regimen:

Before washing:

1). Cetaphil cleansing wipes (to remove makeup off)

During washing:

2) Cetaphil cleanser with a type of cleansing brush

3) After Cetaphil, I use a heavier moisturizing cleanser (like Caudalie Milk Cleanser)

After washing:

4) Micellar water (to remove any access makeup)

5) Toner (to tighten pores)

6) Serum (radiance, hyaluronic acid, or Vitamin C- for moisture)

7) Moisturizer (with SPF)

**I acknowledge that this is A LOT and a bit extra, but I have come to respect the importance of each individualized step and I am proud to say that my skin is in the best condition it has ever been in!!

(LOCAL BUSINESS ALERT: The other day, Chicago Health Foods was hosting a “customer appreciation day”. Two samples that I received was a natural deodorant and a Vitamin C serum from Margc Cherry. Her products smell like candy and work wonders, below is her website and instagram)!!

Margc Cherry 

Website: MargcCherry.com

Instagram: @margccherry

 

“It’s not hoarding if it’s skincare” – Unknown

-The Urban Woman

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger, Chic, City, Clothing, Fashion, Girlboss, Hip, Style

Stay Curious

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Hi all, I hope this post finds you well!

Shortly after I moved to Chicago, I took my driver’s test to receive a City of Chicago driver’s license. After forgetting a document, having a public meltdown and having to go back twice…I PASSED!! One of the MAIN items I was looking forward to after receiving my plastic card, was FREE ADMISSION to various city museums on Tuesdays!

A downside to this program is that many of the museums only hold hours until 4:00 or 5:00 pm, which is when most individuals gets off of work. One museum that holds such hours is the International Museum of Surgical Science.

I have been DETERMINED to visit this museum on a free admission day for months and today I made that dream come true. Due to my nerdy nature, I researched the museum before my visit and learned that it was once home to Eleanor Robinson Countiss. The museum is a City of Chicago Landmark and is one of the few remaining lakefront mansions in Chicago (truly spectacular).

If you ever find yourself visiting this museum, be sure to pay attention to the photographs placed next to each room (they show what the room used to look like when Eleanor used to live there). Another item to keep watch for is the Apothecary (located on the first floor), which features an 1890-inspired pharmacy (it gave me major “The Devil in the White City” vibes).

All in all, the museum visit was a success as I learned things I never knew and had the chance to walk away with a new perspective.

**ON A FASHION NOTE**

The weather in Chicago has been extremely funky, with today being a mix of semi-cold, humid, and warm air. As jeans were too tight and not happening, I decided to wear a pair of green pants with a black ruffled shirt (both were lightweight, flexible and from Zara). With accessories, I wanted to be bold and decided to wear a green Zara purse with a pair of 1990-inspired earrings I created (I acknowledge that almost every item I wore today was from Zara). I have found that when I wear vibrant colors, I feel more confident, which helped show the various skeletons around the museum that I was in fact..not afraid of them.

Never stop being curious of the things that surround you, challenge your mind to learn even more!

-The Urban Woman

Blogger, Chic, City, Clothing, Fashion, Girlboss, Hip, Style

A Red Hat = A Bold Move? Yes.

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If any lucky soul happened to be in Chicago this weekend, you would have experienced the SCORCHING hot temperatures that hit the city. As a meteorology nerd, I was informing my family that we were experiencing temperatures Chicago had not seen in YEARS. Repeatedly, I ordered my older brothers to apply sunscreen in order to avoid becoming burnt, which ironically only happened to me! With Summer heat, the want and need to dress cool in order to avoid sweating becomes a necessity (though I have learned to sweat when it’s cold).

During my bike ride on Sunday, I decided to wear a tee-shirt dress, a red hat and slip-on sneakers. The beautiful thing about a tee-shirt dress is, that if you would like to give it a more fitting shape you can simply bunch the dress to the side and tie in a knot! This helps the dress to 1) shorten in length and 2) slim the shape. If you own any type of tee-shirt dress, I highly suggest experimenting with different ways to style as the possibilities are nearly endless.

I wore slip-on shoes due to the irrational belief that if I do not wear close-toed shoes while biking, my feet will naturally become mangled within the bike. On a bold note, I decided to wear my new red, Zara hat. Have you ever noticed that when you see something in the color red, your mind is instantly attracted to it? I have read psychological studies and agree with the idea that wearing red helps to boost self-confidence. I highly suggest that if you are going to wear a classic color (such as black or white), to pair it with a vibrant, bold color such as red or orange. I personally believe that this not only 1) increases self-confidence, but 2) helps to create a truly street-stopping look.

In terms of bargain hunting, I purchased my dress from H&M for (under $12.00), my shoes from Target (for under $25.00), and my hat from Zara (for under $25.00). All three pieces hold classic features which can be paired with numerous other items.

“Out with the old, in with the bold” – Maybelline

-The Urban Woman

Blogger, Chic, City, Clothing, Fashion, Girlboss, Hip, Style

A New Approach

IMG_3177“Bridging the gap between bargain hunting and style”- This is my new approach, my new “live by” motto for this blog.

Throughout high school and college, my go-to shopping destinations were consignment stores within my hometown. It was within these stores, that I discovered designer apparel for the same price as a shirt from J. Crew. Through bargain hunting I found my first Lily Pulitzer shirt and cashmere sweater for under $30.00. Thrilled at my incredible finds, I told all of my friends and found that so many of them did not know what a consignment store was. When asked if they would shop with me, they became hesitant to go as the stores featured “pre-owned” items (eye roll).

To analyze this thought process- when one goes to a retail store and buys an article of clothing, they are most likely purchasing something that another individual had already touched or tried on. In reality (unless you are a germaphobe), there should be no reason to avoid shopping at a consignment store. Buying used clothes does not make you less of an individual or place you at the bottom of the societal totem pole, it simply means that you are a smart shopper. 

Please do not get me wrong, I purchase articles of clothing that are not pre-owned often (cough, Zara), but I find myself traveling to consignment stores when I want to find less “trendy” and more “classic” pieces at an affordable price.

What I would like to show individuals within my newly -revamped- blog is that you can still maintain a sense of style while shopping smart. The purpose of this blog is to show women of all ages that you can appear as though you just walked out of Barney’s catalog while still maintaining a budget.

It is our time to embrace who we are, own the runways of everyday life AND SHINE!!!!!!!

-The Urban Woman

Blogger, City, Girlboss

Tranquility Amid The Strip

On Valentine’s Day of this year, my brothers kindly purchased Milk Bar truffles for my mother and me. Upon receiving (and devouring about 6), I researched the Milk Bar brand and became fascinated with Christina Tosi’s background, her relationship with David Chang and her focus on bringing individuals back to their childhood memories in the form of baked goods.

Upon my trip to Las Vegas, one of the top items on my bucket list was to visit Milk Bar (uh huh to eat again). I can proudly admit that I visited more than once during my short trip and can confirm that it was TOTALLY worth it. With locations being in only New York, Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and Toronto, this visit was a MUST.

On my first trip, I tasted the cereal milk soft serve (with the corn flake topping), chocolate malt ball truffles, one corn and one compost cookie, and a slice of crack pie (yes, ALL OF THAT). I cannot tell you how 1) addicting the crack pie actually was and 2) how the cereal milk soft serve and corn cookie actually tasted like sweetened corn cereal from my childhood.

Milk Bar = Success and worth the travel!

After walking (again, not knowingly) over four miles, I ended at the Mirage Hotel & Casino. I was there on a mission, to find the lion habitat my mother had told me about. When I finally managed to find my way to the sanctuary, I discovered a space that was not filled with people (a joy of mine)! When first walking in, I was greeted by three pools filled with dolphins. In all of my (x) amount of years living I can confirm that I have never observed a dolphin so close to my face before, truly cool. After observing the dolphins, a path led me to the large cat sanctuary which featured white lions, white tigers, and leopards (I have never witnessed a white lion or tiger before so…IT WAS AWESOME)!

Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat – A successful escape from the population!

“Never lose your sense of wonder”

-The Urban Woman