Is this Foot Peel the New Pedicure?!

A sensation in Japan that has been around since 1997, this foot peel phenomenon has gained popularity in the U.S. What’s so appealing (no pun intended!) about this foot peel? Well, it promises to remove the dead skin from your feet and give you super smooth feet with minimal effort.

I was given a Japanese version of this foot peel product a couple months ago and told that they are amazing. Still, I was skeptical. Could you really just put a gell-filled bootie on your feet and get soft feet just a few days later? Since the package was in Japanese, which I cannot read, I did some research, realized just how much people enjoy this product and decided to give it a try. Here’s the Japanese version I used, available on Amazon for $14.

So, I put the plastic-wrap booties on my clean feet. The gel was cold, but other than that I didn’t think much of it. After an hour, I took the booties off my feet and washed them off. Other than my feet looking like prunes, they looked and felt fine. I went to bed, crossing my fingers that I would not wake up with dead, foot skin all over my bed.

Sure enough, all was fine the next day and I remained skeptical that the foot peel would work on my feet. But five days later, I noticed the skin felt weird on the arch of my feet. My skin was peeling off! Honestly, it was pretty gross. So much so, I have decided not to include photos of what it looked like. No one needs to see that, and if you want to, you can check out google!

The peeling process took a couple days, and I wore socks for most of that time. Afterward, It was pretty amazing – the skin on my feet was SO smooth. I could see right away why this has gained popularity.

Similar products like Baby Foot, available on Amazon for $17, are the way to go if you want to give it a try. Target and Wal-mart also sell these now. I have also read that some people recommend soaking your feet before you put on the booties, some people leave them on for 90 minutes. Some women even put these things on their hands!

The best thing about these foot peels is the minimal effort and cost. It is less than a pedicure you’d get at a nail salon and it doesn’t involve salon razors, which can be too rough on your feet. To me, this seems like a safer and less-invasive option to get super smooth feet.

The worst thing is the peeling, which leaves little to be desired. This is a product I’d reccomend using in the winter or spring in preparation for sandal season. I could be wrong, but you probably don’t want to be walking around in flip flops with the skin peeling off your feet. The other negative for this product is the time involved. You do not get instant results, so you have to think ahead if you have a vacation coming up. I’d recommend trying this at least two weeks before you want to see results.

I’d love to hear if you have tried out a foot peel recently and what you thought of it. Or if you decide to try it, let me know what you think of the results.

Cheers!

SC

 

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What I’m Wearing: Winter Edition

Hi friends!

Thank goodness it is Friday!! I’ve had a long (but very good) week and I am ready to relax this weekend. Since we’re in the middle of winter, I have realized there are certain items in my closet that have been repeated a lot lately. I just love them so much! It often surprises me what pieces I get the most use out of, so hopefully this list of the top things I’m wearing this winter is helpful for you.

  1.  London Fog Hooded Wool Parka, $80 on sale
    • This blue coat was a Christmas gift and I am obsessed with the color. It is super warm and a little roomy. The detail at the waist is also quite flattering.
  2. J.Crew V-Neck Wool Sweater, $60
    • It’s the kind of sweater that makes you look polished. The fit is perfect, not too baggy and slimming. It’s versatile as well; perfect for the weekend or work.
  3. Kork-Ease ‘Castaneda’ boot, on sale for $133
    • These are my go-to winter booties with a heel because of how comfortable they are. The rubber sole also has good tread if it is icy.
  4. Cotton Emporium Marled Open Knit Cardigan, $49
    • I mentioned my love of this sweater in a previous post, and since then my love for it has only grown. It is seriously like wearing a blanket–so cozy!
  5. BP Scoop Neck Long Sleeve Tee, $18
    • I’ve been layering this basic tee with all kinds of different outfits. The cotton is super soft too.
  6. Rag & Bone Olive Skinny Jeans, $198; (similar here for $114)
    • I love Rag & Bone Jeans, as you probably know, but the reason I’m wearing these on repeat right now is the color. I’m obsessed with olive this season, but especially pants.
  7. J.Crew Factory Donegal Turtleneck Sweater, $40 (similar here)
    • Turtlenecks are in right now, and I really love how this one has specks of other colors within the grey wool and the oversized collar.
  8. Steve Madden Austin bootie, $100
    • The pointed toe on these booties gives them a unique and western vibe. I thought I’d wear them more in the fall and spring, but they look awesome with jeans and dark wool socks on. Just beware, they run small and narrow. I’m usually a size 7.5 or 8 or 7.5, and I needed these in a size 8.5.

Above are some recent looks I have been wearing. As you can see, another thing I have been wearing a lot lately is my plaid Mod Cloth blanket scarf that I got for Christmas. They are unfortunately sold out, but I did find a new one on Poshmark, if you are in the market for one.

If you have anything in your closet you can’t get enough of this winter, I’d love to hear what it is and why you are enjoying it.

Cheers to a fabulous weekend!

SC

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West Virginia Weekend Recap

Last weekend was huge for D.C., and I’ll just assume (and hope) that you know why. So, Will and I took it as an excuse to flee the city for a little weekend away. We stayed at an awesome, old (and super affordable) farmhouse that we found on Airbnb. The farmhouse was located outside of the tiny town of Sheperdstown, which is about 20 minutes from Harper’s Ferry, W.V.

We left Friday evening, stopped at Cerritos Pupuseria, an authentic Mexican restaurant, and ordered way too much delicious food. Then we continued on to the farmhouse. Once we passed Leesburg, Va., the area became more and more rural by the minute, until we were the only ones driving down a dark and windy road. It was just what we needed.

Once we got to the farmhouse, we cozied  up by the fire and had a drink while we chatted up a storm and watched Netflix. The next morning we slept in and had some breakfast before exploring the area. We drove into Maryland, scoped out Antietam and eventually ended up in Harper’s Ferry for lunch at a little cafe.

After we ate, we hiked along the Shenandoah river, across the Potomac and up a steep, foggy cliff side. The hike, which I coined “The Stairmaster 4000,” was more than 5 miles total. The steep part, known as the Maryland Heights trail, was about 2.8 miles and I burned more than 500 calories hiking just that part of the trail alone. Hiking up to 1,600 feet was totally worth the beautiful view at the top. As you can see, it was super foggy, so we were lucky that once we got to the edge of the cliff the fog cleared.

Saturday night we had dinner in Sheperdstown at Blue Moon Cafe and then hit up the local Irish pub for a drink and some live music from a local band. The dinner was pretty good and the restaurant had a fun, hipster vibe. On Sunday we checked out of the farmhouse and explored the Antietam Civil War battlefields. As we headed back to D.C., we stopped at Charles Town for a delicious meal at Alfredos Mediterranean Cafe. Everything we ate was super fresh and authentic. I’d definitely recommend it, if you’re in that area.

After our meal, we made our way back home and relaxed for the evening. I was surprised how much fun we fit into the weekend and how much there was for us to enjoy in northern West Virginia. It was a beautiful and welcomed escape that made what would have normally been a dreary winter weekend, much more fun.

Have any of you been to that area? Or have you recently enjoyed a weekend in the country? I’d love to hear about it. It’s amazing just how helpful it can be for your frame of mind to get out of your normal routine and to a place that is rural and relaxing.

Cheers to a great week!

SC

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Fashion Favorite: Sorel Boots

Hi friends! How was your weekend?  Martin Luther King Jr. Day gave me a three day weekend, which was definitely a treat. And while I’m glad the weather wasn’t unbearably cold, I’m also crossing my fingers that we get a big snow before winter is over. I’d love a good excuse to trek my favorite winter boots through the snow!

I got my favorite boots two Christmases ago and have only fallen more in love with them over time. That’s the sign of a solid purchase, right?! My boots are the Tivoli style made by Sorel. The shaft and top of the boot is a tan suede, while the soles and laces are black. I have found this color combo goes with a lot, and looks especially nice with blue jeans.

The best news is that these boots are currently on sale at J.Crew, for 50% off! Below are some additional styles from Sorel, if you want a boot with a different look. The links below go to Amazon, and there are some good deals on there too.

Similar Sorel’s: Joan of Arctic BootCaribou BootWinter Carnival BootTivoli High II

These boots have held up really well in the snow, and the tread on them is excellent. I don’t have to worry about slipping when I walk on ice. I wore them last winter throughout a crazy blizzard (pictures below), and my feet stayed warm and dry throughout several long walks in the snow. One recommendation for sizing – these boots tend to run on the small side, so I would definitely order a half-size up or even a whole size up if you’d like them to be comfortable with thick socks on.

Do you have a favorite pair of winter boots that helped you survive a snow storm? I’d love to hear about it.

Cheers to a great week!

SC

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Tips for Nailing a Perfect Manicure at Home

When I was a little girl, painting my own nails was a BIG mess. More nail polish ended up on my hands than on my nails. But over the years, I have perfected this craft, and now painting my nails is a welcomed activity to relax and unwind at the end of a long day.


Here are a my tips for nailing a perfect manicure at home:

  1. Not too much! It’s important to make sure your brush isn’t loaded with nail polish. It should not be dripping. I recommend dipping the brush in all the way and then gently wiping the excess nail polish off twice, once on each side of your brush.
  2. Three strokes, you’re out! Aim to do your first stroke on one end, your second stroke on the other end and your last stroke down the middle. This can take practice, but three strokes is really all you need for one coat. And, the more you apply, the messier and more uneven the nail polish will get on your nails.
  3. Stay away from your cuticles. Leave a little space between your cuticles and where the polish starts. The end product will look much better. If you do hit your cuticles with the nail brush then just take a free, dry finger and drag your nail along that cuticle to take away any excess polish.
  4. Q-tips are your BFF for mess-ups. When you are done painting your nails, dip a q-tip in nail polish remover and wipe it around your nails to remove any mess-ups. I also remove cotton from the q-tip and will use the harder end to get any extra nail polish from under my nails. 
  5. Practice, practice, practice. Nailing a perfect manicure takes practice, but I guarantee you that after a few tries it will be much easier for you to paint your nails (Of course, it’s also important to remember that complete perfection is unrealistic ;-)). 
  6. Patience & cold water. Make sure you wait at least 30 minutes for your nails to dry. Once they’re dry, wash them under cold water to help ensure the polish has set. I also recommend putting on a favorite TV show, so the time flies by.

Hopefully you find these tips helpful. The nail polish I’m wearing in the photos above is Revlon’s Fashionista shade, which I have been loving for this winter. If you missed it, I shared last week my favorite nail shades for this winter. From my experience, Revlon, OPI and Essie stay on my nails the longest and the product will last a long time on your shelf.

If you have additional tips or tricks for nailing the perfect manicure, I’d love to hear them.

Cheers!

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Four Favorite Shades for Your Winter Manicures

Winter is in full force and we might get snow this weekend – fingers crossed! Since it is only fitting to have nails that compliment the season, I wanted to share  four of my favorite nail polishes and shades for a manicure in the winter.

 

  1. Dark Teal – Try Revlon’s Fashionista for a beautiful deep teal color that will go beautifully with an array of winter neutrals.
  2. Soft Purple – Check out Revlon’s Colorstay Gel Envy Hold ‘Em for a subdued purple that is bold, but soft and perfect for winter.
  3. Blush – Try Essie’s Eternal Optimist shade for a rose color that will perfectly compliment all the pale pink and neutral clothing that is currently trending.
  4. Grey – Check out Revlon’s Colorstay Gel Envy Ace of Spades for a dark grey shade that’s a great alternative to black nails this season.

I especially love these shades because they compliment my winter clothes, which consists of shades of grey, navy, cream, and several pastels. Below are photos of me wearing Essie’s Eternal Optimist and Revlon’s Fashionista polishes. 

I’d love to hear if you have any similar nail polish shades in your docket or if you prefer to sport something totally different during the winter season.

Here’s to a happy weekend. Cheers!

Sarah Camille

 

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The Scoop on Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm

Hi friends! How’s it going? We got our first snow of the season on Saturday and it was absolutely FREEZING. So aside from working out, going on a cleaning frenzy and cooking, I laid low over the weekend. It was really nice, and well-timed since I started a new job yesterday (woohoo!).

Anyway, I’ll stop rambling and dive into my new product review. I shared my go-to foundation (for almost ten years!) a few months ago, but I always enjoy trying new makeup products. So, last month I picked up Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm in Vanilla Glow, curious to see how it would compare to my favorite tinted moisturizer by Laura Mercier. 


I’ve enjoyed using this product several times throughout the holiday season and have been surprised how well the product has stayed on my face for both long days and super cold, windy days. Winter can be rough on our skin, so I wasn’t sure if testing out a product during this season would be totally fair. Or, maybe it is the perfect time to see how well a makeup product works

Nonetheless, I am impressed. Similar to my Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, the Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm goes on very smooth and blends in easily. The product has a bit of a sheen too, that makes your skin look fresh and dewy (definitely a bonus in the dead of winter!), but not at all greasy. In addition, this product has SPF 20, which will be an added bonus in warmer months.


On the downside, this beauty balm has light to medium coverage, on par with most tinted moisturizers. I was able to build up the product with multiple applications on blemishes and it worked pretty well. However, it would be most ideal to use a concealer with any serious blemishes if you are using Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm.

In comparison to Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer, this product is a little more translucent, offering slightly lighter coverage. It was a little more difficult to build up the product in any places I felt needed some extra coverage. Because of this, I noticed I was using more of the beauty balm than I would have if I was using my go-to tinted moisturizer.That said, at $34, the price for Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm is nine dollars less than Laura Mercier’s tinted moisturizer.

I’ll be curious to see how well this product works for me in warmer months as well, especially on humid days. I’ll be sure to update you all. But, if you’ve had any personal experience with Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm, I’d love to hear about it.

Cheers!

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Making 2017 Plans with my Erin Condren Planner

What if I told you you’re 42% more likely to acheive your New Year’s resolutions if you wrote them down?

Well this is true, according to a recent study. In fact, if you are serious about acheiving your 2017 resolutions or goals, I’d encourage you to get a planner and write down different sub-goals or supporting goals on your calendar that will lead to your acheivement.

During the later half of last year when I was job searching, I got into a weekly rhythm of looking at my week or weeks ahead, creating to-do lists and writing down goals or plans. I began doing this at the beginning of the week and realized just how helpful that time was in keeping myself focused on the tasks I wanted to accomplish.

As a part of this routine, I wrote down my to-dos, reminders, events, etc. in an agenda I got from Target. While this agenda worked fine and had the main layout one needs in an agenda, I started thinking last month about getting a fancier 2017 agenda to help me continue this planning routine into the New Year.

So, of course, I dove into a blackhole of internet research for hundreds of planners and agendas. It was really annoying to me that so many agendas started in August 2016 and continued to December 2017. I mean I am not the only person who is not in school that uses a planner, right? And then, these companies are making agendas that end in December.. so wouldn’t they also make ones that start in January? Anyway, I digress. I finally decided on getting the Erin Condren LifePlanner™.

I really liked the design of the LifePlanner, the different layouts and how customizable it was. For my planner, I chose the 12-month calendar and the “in bloom gold metallic” design for the front/back cover. Then, I chose the vertical layout (pictured below) with the colorful theme. I also chose to add-on a to-do list dashboard that snaps into my planner. The great thing about this dashboard is that it can be moved to a different page of your planner and can be easily reused throughout the year because you use wet erase (or dry erase) markers on it.

Overall, I am enjoying this planner so far and would recommend it to anyone. The biggest downside is the price, which is high compared to traditional planners, especially if you start adding several accessories for the planner to your cart. However, if getting a stylish and personalized planner will entice you to use your planner regularly and keep you focused on the things you want to accomplish, then it is definitely worth it in my mind. The planner comes with a lot of stickers, as well. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually end up using them, but I know that might be a big plus for some. Erin Condren also has tons of office accessories, notebooks and other planners for specific things like making lesson plans for school or wedding planning.

In general, I just find it so refreshing to write things down on paper. Electronic calendars can definitely be useful, but there’s something about writing a goal down that makes it stick. If you have a favorite planner, I’d love to hear about it.

Here’s to everyone acheiving their goals in 2017 – cheers!

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Reflecting on 2016

Happy New Year everyone!

I truly hope 2017 brings you more peace,  happiness and opportunities to grow. I was reminded this morning of the quote below that I found on New Year’s Day 2015. It still rings true to me, so I thought it was worth sharing as I reflect on 2016.


Now that 2016 is over, I feel like it is time for me to take an inventory of my year and reflect on the highs and lows, the lessons I learned, the mistakes I made, the challenges I faced and the successes I celebrated.

For me 2016 felt like a roller coaster, with several ups and downs. My job situation presented the most challenges throughout the year and brought me a lot of stress and feelings of disappointment in my career. I was repeatedly feeling drained and uninspired at the end of the day. It was clear to me that I needed a change, but deciding what I wanted that to look like, looking for jobs and interviewing was stressful. Especially when your work environment leaves you feeling unaccomplished at the end of the day, it can be hard to feel motivated. And while I worked very hard to find a better work environment before the end of the year, I was unfortunately let go before my new job came to fruition. I was left feeling like the wind was taken out of my sails and the rug was swept out from under me by people who I thought were on my side.

It was very difficult and upsetting to me, but I knew I needed to regain confidence and momentum in order to end up in the better place I envisioned. I had been feverishly looking for a job for four months, and thankfully my hard work paid off — just two weeks after I was let go, I had a job offer in my hands. It was a whirlwind, and not something I would wish upon anyone. I am glad I started looking for a job when I did, but of course it was difficult to stomach being let go when I was repeatedly trying to keep my confidence high for job interviews. In hindsight, this experience taught me an important lesson about self-worth, showed me how many awesome people I have in my life to support me and made me realize how strong I can be in tough situations.

In hindsight, I see how toxic a bad work environment can be. We spend so many hours of our week at work, and it is truly not worth it to be living the majority of those hours upset about your job. I also see more clearly now how those terrible work days were effecting other parts of my life. Almost instantly, I felt a relief leaving that job behind. I am SO much happier now that that chapter is closed. I have forgiven the people who I felt like let me down, and I can see how my new-found happiness has helped my relationships with friends and family.

While that job situation was the most difficult challenge I faced in 2016, the year had tons of wonderful, positive moments. I had some amazing trips, like my trip to the west coast with my mom and brother and my trip to Jamaica with Will. I also had an important revelation just how meaningful the relationships in my life are when it comes to maintaining a happy life. Below are a few of my favorite photos of 2016.

I feel like there are always goals to be achieved in a New Year, but I think it is also important to make room for those surprises or the ways we might surprise ourself, as Neil Gaiman’s quote mentions. I shared my job struggle because so much of that experience was a surprise to me. And while I thought at the beginning of 2016 that the year would go very differently than it did, I feel now that I can be grateful for the struggles that I faced in 2016 because they made me stronger and taught me important lessons.

I hope some of you can relate to my experience or find it helpful during a time when you are struggling. Life can be rough, and I’m sure it will have its ups and downs. My hope is that with those, we can remain focused on the good things and look for the lessons that come out of our struggles.

Cheers to a lovely New Year!

Sarah Camille

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