REVIEW: FIG + YARROW clay mask

Review: fig+yarrow clay mask rose review
(photo via Urban Outfitters, here)

As I’ve been revamping my skincare routine this season, face masks have been high up on my list of products to find a favourite for. I was first introduced to face masks with a paste-like viscosity in 2014 when my family bought a couple of cutely-packaged masks from The Face Shop (below).

The Face Shop clay mask

I loved these not only for the cute packaging, but because the masks left my face feeling smooth and silky after one use. The only downside was the fact that they did not meet TSA regulations, which led to them almost being confiscated once while they were tucked away in my toiletries bag on a carry-on for a flight. I try to keep face masks handy, especially when flying, because my skin gets extra dry – and sometimes irritated – after being cooped up on a plane for multiple hours.

Technically, I could’ve opted to buy a handful of individually wrapped face mask sheets (like these ones), but I wanted a “bulk solution” to keep the budget for traveling and everyday necessities realistic.

I stumbled across these Fig + Yarrow clay masks in powder form while searching for new masks to try on Amazon, and then ended up finding the same ones for $7 cheaper at Urban Outfitters (I’m a sucker for a good deal)! I bought the rose one because it’s made specifically for sensitive to normal skin types. Made of all natural ingredients, the powder can be combined with water, honey, yogurt, or aloe to create a mask consistency to your liking. I’ve only tried it with water so far and absolutely love being able to control the consistency of the paste, using a 2:1 powder to water mix. A little bit of power goes a long way!

fig+yarrow clay mask
Waiting for the clay mask to fully dry (20% there!)

In the last month, I’ve used this product 3 times. Here’s what I’ve concluded:

PROS
– Powder format is perfect for traveling, especially when going through TSA in your carry on
– A little goes a long way– I’ve barely made a dent in the amount of product after using this 3 times, so I’m guessing that this one jar will last me at least until the end of the year
– Skin feels very soft and silky after one use
– Has a nice, subtle, herbal fragrance once you apply water to create the mask
– Does not have an oily or sticky residue, like other masks I’ve previously tried

CONS
– Although easy to wash off, the clay will stain your face towel. I made the mistake of using a white face cloth, which is now streaky pink
– True to a powder nature, it is a bit messy to mix. For easy application purposes, I usually mix the mask in the palm of my hand, which means having to deal with a bit of spilled powder on the counter/sink

FINAL THOUGHTS
Would I recommend the Fig+Yarrow clay mask (rose)? Yes! Knowing that I have traditionally paid $4-$6 for individual sheet masks, there will be plenty of masks to be made with this $16 Fig+Yarrow jar. The level of exfoliating is perfect for my sensitive skin and my face feels soft and smooth after washing the mask off.

Hope you enjoyed the clay mask review!

Boyish charm

We are officially in the second week of 2016 and I still have no concrete goals or real aspirations this year, aside from using the Kon Mari tidying method on my wardrobe. I spent all of last week listening to a handful of podcasts about start up life, the lives of bloggers behind the scenes, and life after blogging. I’m hoping to formulate an opinion on all of this, but honestly, my brain is still in a bit of a mushy state after that information overload.

JJ suspenders review
outfit details:
blouse: H&M (similar)
shawl cardigan: men’s section of H&M (similar)
chestnut suspenders: c/o JJ Suspenders (exact)
bootcut jeans: 7 for all Mankind (similar)
booties: Hinge via Nordstrom (similar)

Style-wise, 2016 is off to a great start! My goal for this year is to size down my wardrobe (more than it’s current already-paired-down state), fill any gaps for missing basics, learn to match almost every piece together, and then accessorize intentionally.

Today’s outfit is one that’s very true to many of my menswear inspired outfits. The last time I posted about wearing suspenders was back in 2011 and I can’t say I know exactly where that pair of suspenders has disappeared to. I’m excited to have a “grown up” pair of leather suspenders from JJ Suspenders because I feel like they’re the ultimate accessory for menswear inspired outfits.

how to style suspenders
JJ suspenders back

The dark brown leather made it easy to pair with dark wash jeans and a light button down. I used to get stumped on how to style suspenders with my old black pair, because I didn’t feel that black and blue (denim) matched well, but the dark brown works perfectly with blue jeans. My favourite part of this outfit is that it’s not 100% obvious that the suspenders are present until the cardigan comes off. A bit of a sneaky accessory, but one that definitely gets the conversation going once it’s been discovered!

Cheers to the new year: Recapping 2015 goals

Happy new year!! Hope you all had an amazing time ringing in the new year last night! This post is coming out a bit late thanks to some scheduling mishaps, but better late than never, right? 2016 is off to a good start! *shift eyes*

Today’s post is being spent recapping the goals that were set at the beginning of 2015. At the beginning of the year, I thought I was a little crazy for setting such lofty goals, and even though I didn’t end up crossing off every single one from the list, just the sheer fact of having them made me feel accountable to get some of them checked off.

aritzia sunday's best faux fur vest
outfit details:
black turtleneck dress: H&M (exact)
faux fur vest: Sunday’s Best via Aritzia (similar)
riding boots: Franco Sarto (similar)
glasses: Burberry c/o SmartBuyGlasses (exact)

how to style a faux fur vest

Build and maintain a minimalist wardrobe
I’m going to keep this one 25% unchecked because it’s still a work in progress. There’s been a lot of progress made in terms of understanding how my personal style has evolved and started to mature, but I’m still learning how to pair down on the pieces that I own. After many, many bags of clothing being donated to Goodwill in 2015, my closet is down to less than 50% of what I originally owned at the beginning of the year. I’ll be continuing to work through this in 2016, with a goal of having a working minimalist wardrobe by the end of this year.

Listen to my body
YES! This one was huge for me in 2015. As someone who has trouble sitting still and knowing when to take a break, I forced myself to sleep in on the days that I knew my body needed it and changed up my eating habits to fit the lifestyle that I want to live moving forward. I won’t even feel bad for all of the trips to McDonald’s while training for the Seattle to Portland bike ride either, since the carb loading was really necessary to keep my body fueled while training.

Bike from Seattle to Portland
HUGE YES TO THIS ONE!! I almost convinced myself to not show up for the day of this event because of the weather. I had hit so many bumps in the road (pun intended, hehe) during training that made me doubt my own abilities. As much of a physical challenge this bike ride was, it was even more of a mental challenge to even be able to picture myself being able to ride 200+ miles in two days. It was a grueling two days of being on a bike (recap of day 1 and day 2 of the ride), but I am really proud of myself for seeing this one through.

Perform an open mic night
Umm… so, this one definitely did not happen. There were like 2 band practices for the entirety of 2015, none of which included guitar practice for me. Will this be attempted again in 2016? Not sure. Considering that I can barely even remember the differences in fingering for C and G-chords, maybe not?

Go to hip hop class once
Hahaha, ok definitely failed hard on this one. All of my weekends leading up to the Seattle to Portland bike ride were spent training on the road, which meant that hip hop classes couldn’t happen (classes are only offered on the weekend for the studio I was hoping to attend). Does this mean hip hop classes will happen in 2016 for me? Probably not. As time has gone by, my personal desire to learn how to dance has exponentially declined… I guess I’ll be awkwardly dancing like Taylor Swift forever! Good thing I got those Drake Hotline Bling moves down! ;)

Start a joint project with Kim
Technically, this one is checked off. Kim and I did start a project together in 2015, called Hello Kim and Kat. It’s a joint style blog that showcased how we both styled the same pieces in our own aesthetic. At first, it was really fun, but then as work picked up and we both had to balance our day jobs, blogs, and extra curricular activities, it fell to the wayside. We still love working together, so we’re going to try to find some sort of project to work on together in 2016!

Sketch, prototype, and build a mini collection
Originally, this goal was intended to be for a mini clothing collection. Instead of clothing, I ended up designing jewelry under Rogue T&K, and pursing this avenue of creativity towards the end of 2015. It was such an exciting adventure to conceptualize, build, and launch something tangible! Being able to do a first in-person show just weeks after starting also really kicked things into high gear super fast. I cannot wait to keep going with designing and see where it takes us in 2016!

Recapping 2015 goals and seeing that 5 out of 7 goals were achieved in 2015blows my mind. Even though I went through huge waves of personal doubt throughout the year, I am really glad that I had friends along the way who helped support me and remind me to continue to test my limits and constantly push my personal comfort levels.

It feels weird to write this, but I am truly proud of myself for my personal accomplishments this year! Not sure if 2016 can out-do all of this from 2015, but I’m going to try! Goal setting for this year starts soon…

Pops of colour on a gloomy day

Just can’t seem to catch a break from the overcast skies and cloud coverage, can we? To battle with the non-stop gloominess for the next three months, I’m finally breaking out of the all-neutral palette and going for some colour. I’ve been all about building a minimalist working wardrobe for 2015 and am breaking the rules one last time before the new year. This time, the rule breaking is for a good reason and not for some impulse buy!

I wanted to work with Closet Barcode for this post because of their mission to make independent labels with small collections easy to find and more accessible. I’ve always been a big supporter of small businesses and my support for this one is no different. They have a great selection of unique clothing and accessories which are intriguing from both a style standpoint, as well as a material mixing one (which I am currently obsessed with because of my personal dabbles in metal and material mixing for Rogue T&K).

closet-barcode-outfit
outfit details:
asymmetric zip coat: Calvin Klein (exact)
mesh pocket tee: c/o Closet Barcode (exact)
suede and wood purse: c/o Closet Barcode (exact)
riding boots: Franco Sarto (similar)

closet barcode purse
closet barcode mesh pocket tee

Admittedly, this purse is outside of my usual comfort zone. Just the colour palette alone is not something I would have considered had it not been for the wood and suede material mixing. The bag is sturdy, roomy, and a definite conversation piece from when out and about.

The biggest reason I love supporting independent businesses is because of the fact that I know the profits go directly to helping the business grow, which means bringing the opportunity of exposure for new artists to be discovered. The second biggest reason is being able to find unique pieces that won’t be seen on every person on the street. It’s exciting to think where Closet Barcode will be in a few years and I can’t wait to discover new artists through their shop!

LBTD: Little black turtleneck dress

To all that celebrate this holiday: Merry Christmas!! Hope your day is filled with lots of time spent with family and/or loved ones. It’s been hard for me to be away from my east coast roots, and I always look forward to the holidays because it means getting to see my family! As much as I’d like you to think that I’m wearing a little black turtleneck dress at this very moment, the truth is that I’m lounging in a onesie with a crazy cow-lick-mixed-with-bedhead hairdo, and trying to recover from a hot chocolate coma.

This was an outfit that I trialed as a potential option for holiday parties that felt glamorous in my mind, but ended up being too casual in reality.

black turtleneck dress
outfit details:
black turtleneck dress: H&M (exact)
houndstooth tights: American Eagle (similar)
Circus by Sam Edelman booties: c/o Aeropostale (exact)
wooden necklace: Rogue T&K
glasses: c/o SEE Eyewear

One thing that I was nervous about was the clingy nature of this dress. It’s important to me to be able to eat a million desserts and cookies at social gatherings without a dessert baby showing under the dress. For my lack of willpower when it comes to sweet treats, I decided to try a piece of shape wear. I specifically wanted to wear a pair of patterned tights with this dress so that I didn’t look like a walking brick of opaque black fabric, which led me to the houndstooth tights that have managed to stay snag-free (*knock on wood*) in my wardrobe for 6 years and running! To accommodate being able to wear an existing pair of tights in my closet, I chose these Hanes No Hose Power Shapers to wear over the tights. It’s also nice to have this no hose option for future tights-free dresses.

how to style a turtleneck dress

I really appreciated the fact that these no hose shapers provided firm control, without feeling like I was walking around in a human-sized sausage casing. It was also nice that this particular pair of shapers wasn’t extremely high-waisted (aka not under-the-boob high) which made them comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

I got these in a size small, even though I was a smidge over the upper end of the recommended size bracket for a small. Why did I do this? I figured that even though I usually buy size medium for tights, the medium is usually to accommodate for my legs. Being that these shapers were hose-free, I decided to give the smalls a try and they worked out just fine. Like said, I didn’t feel like I was walking around in insufferable sausage casing, so that was awesome!

Long story short: I really like this turtleneck dress. I’ve also learned that shape wear isn’t the scariest thing ever. Now that I know I can wear these two things together, while also being able to make the most of my existing collection of tights, I am going to kick this dress up into high rotation come January!