Non Toxic Skin Care Essentials for Every Woman

Non Toxic Skin Care Essentials for Every Woman

“I like my products like I like my people. Nontoxic”

I am a big believer that skincare does not have to mean compromising our health. It’s scary how many chemicals and toxins are added to everyday products that we use, like soap, face wash, and even baby shampoo!

How often do we see an article about major brands hiding their toxic ingredients? Too often.

Well Ladies, I have stumbled upon a wonderful concept that encompasses everything I love all wrapped into one. Follain. Follain is a retailer that houses only the highest performing non-toxic beauty/skin care products in the world. The level at which they test, monitor, and evaluate each product and brand they house is astounding. I’m hooked on Follain, and you will be too.

The items in the Clean Essentials Kit from Follain are great for busy women who want a quick effective 3 step skin care routine crafted with only the best ingredients, and made for every skin type in mind, even the most sensitive.

I received the Clean Essentials Kit, and I highly recommend that you get it too. The clean essentials kit is a great little bundle of travel sized products. This is perfect for someone who is looking to clean up their skin care act, someone who is already into clean living and has been wanting to give these brands a whirl, or for someone who is ready for a life changing skin care routine. I’m going to break down the products that you will receive, they come in a super cute and roomy canvas makeup bag too!

My fave and most versatile product in the bag is the Follain Brand Refillable Liquid Soap. The LemonGrass scent is something you want to smell over and over again, it just makes you smile. Ok, so the two coolest things about this soap: it works on EVERYTHING! Your body, your dog, your dishes, your children. Yup- I like a multitasking product. The second coolest thing- If you purchase the full size one they have a pump at their brick and mortar locations where you can fill it up!

The 3 step skin care routine consists of: OSEA Ocean Cleanser, Sea minerals and organic red algae gently detoxify without disturbing skin’s protective barrier, great for all skin types, smells super clean with a hint of sweet. Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner, Hyaluronic acid and aloe balance and hydrate skin. Antioxidant CoQ10 boosts collagen and fights free radicals, mist it any time of day to refresh your face and makeup! Ursa Major Golden Hour Recovery Cream, Meadowfoam seed oil delivers rich hydration; neroli oil promotes healthy glow; calendula extract soothes irritation, it’s fast absorbing and wrinkle busting! It all comes in the cutest reusable pouch that is pretty roomy. As an added bonus I received a sample of Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes, made with bamboo and aloe, these are by far the best face wipes I have ever used, and they have ZERO toxins. These wipes are a must for your gym bag!

It retails for $45, it is on sale for $25, AND I will hook you up with a discount code: ref15_ajacqd – YOU CAN PURCHASE ANYTHING ON THE SITE WITH THIS CODE! If you would like to see my full video review of each product in the Clean Essentials Kit, I will be posting it within the next few days on my Instagram IGTV, so be sure to follow me @elenaduquebeauty.

*I am a Follain Ambassador, all reviews are honest and images are my own.

Kick Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin) to the Curb for Good with These Tips

Kick Keratosis Pilaris (Chicken Skin) to the Curb for Good with These Tips

I’ll never forget being on a date, in High School, in the summer… and sweating my butt off in a cardigan because I was so embarrassed of the bumps on the backs of my arms. Back then I just thought to myself: this is my skin, there is nothing I can do about it. Well, it isn’t curable but there are definitely tricks, products, and treatments that help smooth out those bumps and keep them at bay.

I never LOVED science, but let me quickly explain what the heck Keratosis Pilaris is without boring you. It is a build up of Keratin! Yes Keratin! We all know that Keratin is a hair protein. This build up clogs the pores and blocks the openings where the hair follicles reside. I hope you’re not asleep.

Now, if you’re like me and you are one of the millions of people who have this lovely little skin condition then I have news for you! Life with smooth skin is possible. It might not be easy, and you most definitely will hate the very last suggestion on my list, but I promise you it’s so worth it!

  1. Exfoliation– Yes you have to exfoliate, but not too often or you will get the exact opposite reaction and actually cause more bumps and irritation. I highly recommend getting a diamond tip microdermabrasion on the area no more than once a month! A diamond tip microdermabrasion uses a suction and diamond encrusted wand to get that first layer of skin off.  It takes approximately 27 days for your skin cells to renew, that is why once a month is enough.
  2. Lactic Acid– lactic acid will add moisture which in turn will cause less irritation. Lactic Acid will also loosen and soften up that dead skin. Try using The Ordinary Lactic Acid from Sephora
  3.  Konjac Loofah – When showering do not use super hot water. Hot water is so bad for your skin and can cause flare ups with your Keratosis Pilaris, I cannot stress this enough! Try out one of my favorites Honest Beauty Gentle Konjac Sponge from Target this loofah is made with the root of the Konjac plant and should be soaked before using.
  4. Gluten Free – Don’t kill me! So, I read about going gluten free in a Huffpost article, and how so many autoimmune diseases are linked to gluten, including this damn chicken skin! I went off gluten and only indulge occasionally, and that is when the REAL magic happened. Yes the microdermabrasions and products helped, but eliminating gluten was the X factor.

There you have it! I hope that this helps! I no longer dread the summer months. Goodbye cardigans, hello spaghetti straps!

Fun and EASY DIY Face masks from Five Below

Fun and EASY DIY Face masks from Five Below

For Christmas I went a little overboard in Five Below (is that even possible?), I bought my kids every little DIY kit I could find, since it is winter and what the heck else is there to do? If for some reason you don’t know what Five Below is, it is a magical store where everything is – that’s right, $5 or less! They have some pretty awesome stuff for kids there! Anyhow, I totally hate crafts mostly because I am a disaster… and I also try to avoid these little bullshit kits because they never come out right, OR after you open it you realize you need some random ingredients and supplies so then you have to bundle up the kids and run out to Rite Aid and….STOP. FUCK THAT. Please stop the madness.

I am VERY pleasantly surprised with this little DIY Face Mask Kit. Where shall I begin? First of all, there are three masks to make, which was perf since it’s me and my two girls, so we each got to make one. I love anything skin care related so it wasn’t a total snooze fest for me, and I didn’t have to pretend to enjoy the activity. I also really like the fact that it is paraben and dye free, and hypoallergenic… no junk or chemicals! There is no real mess, and the instructions are super simple, AND – everything you need is included!

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You basically put a tablet, water, and scent (peppermint, rose or lavender) in a little bowl and add a sheet mask, then you add the mask to whichever packaging you like and seal it shut! Super cute, and smells divine. You can even have your kids give them as gifts to their friends, or just have a little relaxing spa day at home. My only complaint is that the sheet mask is adult sized, and clearly this product is for children (right?! lol), it would be nice if the masks fit them better.

As far as any skin benefits, there definitely is NOT, but it is a fun, quick and easy little thing to do at home, we also did mani’s and pedi’s and had a full on spa day.

Drop and F Bomb or comment below!

xo, Fbombbeautymom

Why YOU Should Be Using SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest, and Hand Repair…because great skin doesn’t stop at your jawline.

Why YOU Should Be Using SkinCeuticals Neck, Chest, and Hand Repair…because great skin doesn’t stop at your jawline.

Did you know that in Europe, if you get a facial, it not only includes the face, but your neck, and chest as well! I learned this when I was in Esthetics school, however, once out in the field as an Esthetician in busy, bustling NYC I saw that most spas have not adopted the European Facial (most of the time).

If you are into skin care, self-care, and self-preservation ( and I hope that you are), I have to tell you something DON’T FORGET ABOUT YOUR NECK! How many times have you seen someone with great skin but then you look at their neck/chest and think…wow… that doesn’t match! It’s because it is very common to put products on your face, and forget about the neck and chest attached, and hands! Please protect them too. I don’t know about you but I want ALL of my skin to look and feel healthy and smooth!

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Skinceuticals makes a fabulous product that treats these delicate areas. It is a brightening, redensifying treatment for creping photodamaged skin and it is my new obsession! Powerful skin brightening agents fade accumulated damage and help protect skin from age spots, while target actives help support collagen levels to alleviate crepiness.

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Skinceuticals Neck, Chest, and Hand Repair is an ideal compliment to body brightening procedures like IPL Skin Rejuvenation. It’s also Paraben free and non greasy! It smells fresh and goes on nice and smooth. I highly recommend adding this to your arsenal of beauty products! A must have!

Drop a comment or an Fbomb!

xxoo Elena

Travel Favorites

Travel Favorites

I’m back bitches! I seriously hate January and I’m happy I got to get out of cold NYC for a week and enjoy some fun in the sun! Even though my littlest one decided not to sleep every night- it still beat the hell out of being cold. Did I mention I hate to be cold?

I’ve linked up my favorite items that I brought with me on my Florida getaway. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have! And def leave an F Bomb! Fuck Winter!

L’Oreal Self-Tanning Towelettes

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L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glotion

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Bikini from Cabana Del Sol

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Sunblock from Elta MD

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Personalized Sun Hat from My Everyday Party

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The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Looking Put Together- EvenWhen You’re Falling Apart.

The Lazy Mom’s Guide to Looking Put Together- EvenWhen You’re Falling Apart.

Whether it’s pick up, drop off, or coffee with the ladies let’s face it, us moms let hair & makeup take a backseat. Here’s my guide to a quick 5 minute face to make you look alive, and completely natural. This is the most basic makeup look and it will definitely have you feeling a little more confident. Mascara goes a long way baby! We have to remember that we are still people, and it’s nice to look nice! My outfit is super casual and i feel like my earrings give it a cute pop that say “hi, I’m still fucking cool”. Earring purchased at Just Peachie Boutique.

I scored my little coach bag from the COACH factory store and it’s super versatile and matches pretty much everything. I love the gray jeans made by Democracy Clothing, which I picked up in Nordstrom because, they have a built-in panel with ab technology and if you’re a mom you need all the help you can get. I paired with a cute little burgundy sweatshirt and grey vest that I scored for under $20 at TJMaxx, and of course my Sorel Booties from DSW.

To get this fresh-faced look start off by using SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, it is a must have winter staple and the bottle will last you 4-6 months. The main ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which is firming, hydrating, and plumping. Next, apply the Physical Fusion sunblock from SkinCeuticals. Yes! You have to wear sunblock, even in the winter. It’s great because it has a universal tint and gives you a light iridescent look, so it kind of acts like a bb cream too. Fake it till you make it with this totally awesome and blendable Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector with SPF 25, you can find it at CVS in every shade, do one eye and see the difference, people will think you got a full 8 hours of sleep.  I totally love this lip and cheek stick from MILK, which you can purchase at Sephora. It kind of melts into your skin and is easy to build. I used it on my eyelids too. Rule #1 in makeup: there are no rules. Dior Show mascara, is hands down THE BEST MASCARA EVER. I’ve been using it for a decade. LOVE. Lashes for days.

This is a look for the mom who just doesn’t have it in her anymore. It’s for the mom who just cleaned shit up off the carpet for the last damn time. It’s for the mom who has a pile of dishes in the sink and wet laundry in the wash that’s been there for 5 days and smells like a sewer in Bangkok. I got you sister. This is the first step. More cute outfits (with heels) to come, and tons more skincare advice and tips!

Thanks for following me- leave a comment or a an FBomb!

-Elena

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Cozy Winter Essentials

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Another Freezing day in NYC! I’m counting down the days until I’m off to sunny Florida for a week- but for now It’s snowmen, warm drinks, and lazy Sundays in at home.

Two weeks before Christmas I did some shopping—for myself! I needed some super cozy items to get me through this long winter, especially because my children’s holiday break lasted almost 2 weeks! WTF

My new go to bootie is the Sorel Out N About Bootie Slipper AND it’s on sale at DSW! I can’t tell you how many times I have almost left the house wearing my old slippers! I wanted something cozy, comfy, and stylish! These definitely deliver! They have a great rubber sole that grips, so it’s perfect to go run errands even if the ground is a little icy.

I’m also totally IN LOVE with my new cashmere mittens ( A thoughtful gift from the hubs), they are from Hannah Rose and purchased at TJMaxx and are 100% cashmere, and they keep my hands nice and toasty. Good for going around town without the kids- i need my hands for them! LOL.

If you’re lucky enough to get some peace and quiet, and you’re a mom— then this book is for you! Bunmi Laditan is such down to earth woman, mother and author, and truly hilarious! And of course you can Amazon Prime this book! You will give zero fucks once you’re a few pages and glasses of wine in.

Have your partner get the kids out and cozy up to this book: Confessions of a Domestic Failure, with wine of course.

Last but not least, you must must must purchase this beautiful jar of all things moisture! Purchased at every moms favorite store- Target! S.W. Basics Cream is my salvation this winter- and i literally use it from head to toe! It is hydrating, moisturizing, creamy and rich. Why else do I love it? It’s free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, and gmo’s. Plus it’s cruelty free and organic. Check, check, check. Winter must have! And you get a $5 gift card with any $15 skincare purchase at target if you buy NOW!

Thanks for visiting, leave an Fbomb or comment!

xxoo

Break 5 Bad Beauty Habits, Without Breaking the Bank.

FullSizeRender (10)I’ve been thinking about this concept a lot, and there’s no better time than AFTER the holidays to DIY and save a little money!

Using simple household ingredients you can change some of the bad habits you have (I’m an Esthetician and I’m guilty of at least 1 of these).

One of the things I tried to do was implement ingredients most people have in their pantry, and a couple of the ingredients are used more than once!

Follow these super easy steps and you will have a clear, glowing complexion! From head to toe! Bump up the at home pampering by adding a bath and some wine- just sayin!

TONER TONER TONER HAS DONE IT AGAIN! I personally feel like toner is underrated and not talked about much. Toners restore the skin to its natural Ph. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is antiseptic, antibacterial, not to mention apples are chock full of pectin, malic acid, calcium and potassium. BONUS- it may help with acne and eczema. 

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How to make it: Mix 1 part ACV with 1 part filtered water. It can be stored in a glass jar, or a spray bottle.

How to use it: After cleansing the skin apply to a cotton round or cotton ball, then apply to face. Do not wipe/rinse off. Use daily.

STOP USING HARSH EXFOLIATORS! I’ve been making my own body scrubs for many years. When I was very young I would visit my father in Colombia. My best friend and neighbor had a nanny who would sit outside at night scrubbing her bare arms. I was intrigued. One day I finally asked her what she was doing, and why she was doing it. She explained to me that she used sugar and oil to slough off dead skin and that all the women in her family have been doing it for decades. It stuck with me. When I was a teenager I decided to actually try it and I loved it! I’ve been doing it ever since. This is better than any exfoliator you will find in the store, feel free to experiment with salts and oils too! If you are currently using store bought exfoliators that are made with beads or shells that are aggressive and leaving your skin red and raw- STOP! All it’s doing is causing wrinkles and skin breakage. This formula is going to leave you with bright, smooth, healthy skin!

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How to make it: Combine 1/4 to 1/2 cups granulated sugar to 1/2 cup coconut oil (do not heat). Can be stored in a glass jar. Add essential oil drops (optional).

How to use it: For use on face and body, massage gently in circular motions, rinse and pat dry. Use 1x per week. CAUTION- Will be extremely slippery, do not use in tub.

DON’T BE A SKANK- CLEAN YOUR MAKEUP BRUSHES! I actually get a weird satisfaction from cleaning my makeup brushes and seeing all the nasty junk wipe off onto a paper towel.  I do it about 3x per week! Cleaning your brushes regularly makes them last longer, keeps them soft, and prevents bacteria which in turn causes break outs! Check out two cleaning solutions to combat the yuck on your brush!

Easy Every Day Brush Cleaner

How to make it: Combine 3 parts filtered water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol, 3 pinches of essential oils of choice. Add to spray bottle.

How to use it: Spray directly on paper towel and blot brushes until clean. You can do this daily, and use brushes within minutes of cleaning them.

Deep Cleansing Brush Cleaner

How to make it: 1 Tablespoon ACV, 1 Teaspoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, 1 cup of hot water.

How to use it: Place brushes in mix for about 10-15 minutes, rinse, pat dry on paper towel, and air dry overnight. This can be done once a month or as needed.

YOU CAN PICK YOUR NOSE, BUT PLEASE DON’T PICK YOUR FACE OK, so don’t hate me butttttttt…… I can probably count the number of times I’ve had a pimple on my hands. That being said, those few times I was determined to pick at it and get rid of it- BIG MISTAKE! All this does is lead to the spreading of bacteria, dark spots, and acne scarring. In my Med Spa BodyBrite Bayside, we treat a high number of clients who have acne scarring from picking. This oatmeal facial mask is soothing, the oatmeal aids in absorbing oil while soothing dry itchy irritated skin. Baking soda has a mild anti inflammatory property that helps reduce redness and swelling, and truly helps to exfoliate and refresh the skin.

How to make it: Grind 2 Tablespoons of oatmeal, add 1 Teaspoon of baking soda, and just enough water to make it a paste.

How to use it: Apply to clean dry skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes, rinse off with cool water.

GO HOME MAKEUP, YOU’RE DRUNK! WELL, WELL, WELL… This is my bad habit! I’m a lazy bitchacho and my 2018 goal is to practice what I preach. Take off my damn makeup before I go to sleep! No recipe needed- put some coconut oil on a cotton round, cotton ball, damp washcloth, dirty diaper, old sock, wee wee pad…whatever the fuck you have closest to you when you get home and you’re 5 margaritas in… DO IT! Your skin and your pillowcase will thank you!

Thanks so much for reading my blog, please follow me on Instagram, and make sure to leave an Fbomb in the comments!

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I give my kids juice boxes- So what?

A few weeks ago we decided last minute to take the kids to Alley Pond Environmental Center in Little Neck, NY. I’ve heard great things about it, and my kids were coloring on the walls… I needed out of the house. So, I packed up some snacks (gotta have those), and I threw in a couple of bottles of water, and two Honest Kids juice boxes. 

We got to Alley Pond, and OMG…… A less than 10 minute drive and we were in another world… I had major guilt for not ever taking my kids before. I had no idea how absolutely breathtaking it would be. If you haven’t been, read this from their website:

Our nature trails traverse ponds, salt marshes, forests and meadows where visitors will see shore birds, migrating flocks, and a variety of small animals. Or, visitors can attend one of APEC’s many nature oriented programs for children and adults. Please explore our website to learn more. Alleypond.com

APEC is dedicated to establishing awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and to preserving nature in an urban setting.

We decided to take a trail, and I knew right away i wanted to take photos of my girls with these beautiful backdrops. It was hot, they were thirsty, and they wanted juice boxes. And that’s when it struck me. My inner mom guilt dialogue. “Am I going to be judged when I post these”. The answer is YES.

So here’s the deal Moms: I give my kids juice boxes. But, there are rules. My rules. Which are right for me, my family and my lifestyle.

Rule #1: Juice boxes must be organic (unless we are at a party or play date)

Rule #2: Juice boxes must have lower sugar

Rule #3: One per day (if that)

Rule #4: Not on my couch mofo

I send my kids to school everyday with one juice box, that is the only one they get. And half the time it comes back home untouched in their lunchbox! They drink water or milk at school. At home the drink water or milk. I try to provide the best well-balanced meals possible. They are active, they are loved, they are happy. I grew up on Iced Tea (caffeine!!!!!), Hawaiian Punch, and Tang. I lived. I don’t want to restrict to the point where they are the freaky kid that never had a cookie or a french fry, or to the point where they have a negative and unhealthy relationship with food. I had a friend who as an adult would sneak chocolate bars because she never once was allowed one as a child. That story stuck with me. I do not want to do that to my children.

I definitely am conscious of what we as a family put into our bodies, and I try to give them foods that are whole and wholesome. But sometimes I’m fucking tired, and the house is a mess, and the dog peed on the couch, and the dishes are piled high, and that McDonald’s drive thru line is empty. And well, that’s dinner. And well, that’s for another blog post. Don’t forget to drop a comment or FBomb!