9 Perfume Hacks That’ll Make You Smell Gorgeous ALL Day

If you were told that you’ve been applying your perfume wrong your entire life, you probably wouldn’t believe me. Just because it’s the way you’ve always seen it be applied – in countless movies, advertisements and inside every fragrance store – doesn’t mean it’s actually right. But if you’re spritzing your fragrance onto your wrists than pressing them together, you’re actually applying your perfume all wrong! By rubbing your skin together, you’ll disturb the top notes of the fragrance, which means it won’t last as long and the scent will be altered. Mind-blowing, right?

I know how much time, money, and effort it can take to find your perfect signature fragrance, so you really don’t want to waste a single drop. Here are nine hacks that’ll help your fragrance last, and keep you smelling hella fresh all day long. And for the record, just spray your fragrance and let it sink on your skin – whatever you do, DON’T DAB.

Here’s a quick debrief on the basics…

When it comes to fragrance one of the most important things to note (no pun intended), are the layers each perfume is made up of. Usually, every fragrance contains three notes, a top note, which is the first fragrance you smell (this disappears after 20 minutes), an intense middle note (known as the heart note), which becomes noticeable after 15 minutes, and a base note (the strongest scent) that lingers for up to four hours. Of course, this is all dependant on whether you follow any of the following hacks:

1. Moisturize first

Fragrances last longer when they’re applied to oily complexions, so make sure your skin is prepped and moisturized before you douse yourself in perfume. Just make sure you apply an unscented lotion, otherwise, the lotion will mix with the notes of your perfume and the scent will change.

2. Know where to spritz

If you apply your perfume to warmer areas of the body, it’ll be more intense and be fragrant for longer. More specifically, apply it to your pulse points – where the blood vessels are at the surface on your skin (your wrists, elbows, neck, chest, the back of the knees, ankles, and calves). Your pressure points naturally radiate heat, helping the fragrance evaporate from the skin.

3. Apply Vaseline To Your Pressure Points

As mentioned, perfume lasts a lot longer if you apply it to oily, damp skin. So I like to rub some Vaseline onto our pulse points as it helps to lock in the scent.

4. The lighter the scent, the less time it’ll last

Lighter aromatic scents like citrus or jasmine will evaporate faster as they have a smaller molecular structure, whereas scents like wood and musk will linger longer on your skin. It’s important to remember this when you’re purchasing a new scent.

5. Apply Your Perfume After You Shower

If you apply your perfume to your body when it’s still damp, the moisture will lock in the scent so it’ll last a whole lot longer – plus you won’t stain any of your clothes with spray marks!

6. Spritz Your Hairbrush

Spraying your brush with a couple bursts of perfume will disperse the scent through your hair. Your hair will retain the fragrance all day, but it won’t cause damage or drying like it might if you spray it directly onto your hair.

7. Make Your Own Lotion

To create your own signature moisturizer, put a couple drops of your perfume into an unscented lotion and shake well. You’ll basically be creating the scented lotion equivalent of your fragrance, but for a fraction of the cost – it’s a total bargain! Plus, it’s the ideal lotion to apply before you spritz, for long-lasting sweetness.

8. Décor Hack

Obsessed with this super easy hack, and it’s such a cute deco feature: Spray tissue paper with your fave scent and then line your drawers with the paper. It’ll make your clothes smell great, and you’ll be remembered for your signature scent everywhere you go!

9. Store your fragrance in a cool dark place

If you keep your perfume bottles in warm, damp places, the heat will damage the molecular structure and damage the quality of the fragrance. So make sure they’re not in the bathroom or in direct sunlight. Instead, keep them safely in the box in a cool dark place.

Let me know your favorite fragrance in the comments below!

Everything You Need To Know To Get Rid Of Blackheads

There are so many amazing things in life, but blackheads are not one of them, in fact, they’re annoying AF. Plus, every time you think you’ve gotten rid of the little sucker, it comes back with more in its place. Lucky for me I don’t have that problem but you know who do – my MOM. And because I’m constantly getting asked about how to get rid of blackheads, I thought I’d do a roundup of all the tips, tricks, and hacks as well as some hero products that save the day whenever your blackheads pop up again. The first thing to remember is not to worry about them – no one really notices them besides yourself. So, here’s everything you need to know…

What causes blackheads?

A blackhead is a pore that’s blocked with oil, dead skin, and debris – ew! This blocks the pore and prevents the gland from secreting the debris, which then causes the wax plug to be pushed toward the surface of the skin. This then oxidizes causing the contents of the pore to turn black – et voila, you have a blackhead!

But sometimes, what looks like a blackhead is, in fact, a tiny hair or sebaceous filament, which are a combination of sebum and skin cells. So be careful, because that one ‘blackhead’ you’ve been trying to squeeze all week could be a hair. This is why you should avoid squeezing your blackheads (we know it’s tempting) as you’ll only bruise the skin, and it could even trigger a breakout.

How to get rid of them?

Use blackhead-busting ingredients:

When it comes to getting rid of blackheads, these skin saviors will kick ass:

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is your secret weapon when it comes to the keeping blackheads at bay. It’s super effective as it’s able to penetrate deep into the skin, dissolving the ‘glue’ that binds the debris together, and exfoliating the inside walls of your pores. I love the Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Facial Scrub with 2% Salicylic Acid, $4.47, as it exfoliates skin to lift away the trapped dirt, oil and impurities that can clog pores and lead to breakouts. As it’s amazing for unclogging pores and removing impurities.

With regular use, this exfoliating facial cleanser helps reduce the number of blackheads allowing for clearer, healthier-looking skin. Its unique formula contains natural micro-scrubbers for surface skin exfoliation. Made with 2% salicylic acid, it contains a proven acne medication that is known to treat and clear blemishes and blackheads. Clean & Clear Blackhead Eraser Scrub is recommended for daily use and features a gentle, oil-free formula that is suitable for all skin types.

Retinol: I know the prospect of using a retinol may seem a bit much, but many of the best skin specialist’s that I came across suggest incorporating a retinol-based cream into your regime from your 20s. If you’re not familiar with retinol, it’s a vitamin A derivative that boosts skin cell renewal. Retinol thickens the deeper layer of your skin and helps decrease oil production, which helps tighten pores and keep blackheads at bay.

Clay: Clay is an amazing purifying and extracting ingredient, which makes a clay mask ideal for combatting and preventing blackheads. Clay will extract oil and purify pores, while gently exfoliating the skin. I’m obsessed with the L’Oreal Clay masks; they have different masks to cater to different skin concerns, but with all of them, you can literally see the oil being extracted from your skin – totally gross but also super satisfying.

Tools and DIYs

Use a cleansing brush: If you’re prone to getting blackheads, you could consider getting a cleansing brush. This will intensify your cleansing routine, and help remove any dead skin, oil or debris from your pores. If you’re prepared to make the investment, the Soniclear Petite, $89, is amazing or Soniclear Elite, $149 which is a bit pricey but it is so worth it! Although if you have sensitive skin, limit yourself to using the brush just twice a week, and don’t use too much pressure.

Steam: A gentle steam can do amazing things for your skin. Most importantly it will hydrate your skin and open your pores so they’re more receptive to other topical products that you apply.

Silk Cocoons: Silk cocoons are a super easy way to exfoliate your skin, leaving your skin feeling soft but more importantly free of dirt, oil, and bacteria! They feel like cardboard when dry, but the silk balls contain sericin, a protein that is hailed for having anti-aging properties as well as great exfoliation power. All you do is run the ball underneath some warm water or soak it for a couple of minutes to soften it, then pop it on your finger, and using small circular motions, gently pass it over your skin. Do it twice a week to keep blackheads at bay. You can buy a pack of them here, $6.45.

Bioré Limited-Edition Deep Cleansing Pore Strips: These pore cleansing strips help extract any dirt or oil clogging your pores by extracting them. You can get them on Amazon here, $5.64.

Let me know if there are any other skin issues you need help with, or want me to discuss in the comments below.

My Experience With The Keto Diet: How It Works, How Much I Lost!

Hey my loves! So at the end of December, I decided to try the keto diet, aka the ketogenic diet. Keto is working really well for me so far and I’m super happy with my results… But, before I get into that and how it all works, I want you to know that it’s worth discussing any drastic diet changes with your doctor first, and although I have enjoyed this diet, it’s not something I recommend to everyone. I want to share with you my experience, and the advice and help I’ve had from a food consultant.

So, first of all, you’re probably wondering what the keto diet actually is, and why everyone is talking about it right now! It’s essentially a very low-carb, high-fat diet, which can lead to fast weight loss (mostly water weight in the first two weeks).

Here’s everything you need to know about what and how the keto diet works, the advantages, and also the downsides associated with this quite drastic change in diet.

Believe it or not, the ketogenic diet was developed nearly 100 years ago to help reduce epileptic seizures amongst children. Due to the nature of the diet with its low-carb, low to medium protein, and high-fat content, many people often compare it to the Atkins diet. The main difference is that the Atkins diet works in stages, and the keto diet follows a consistent meal plan. The keto diet gets its name from the process the body uses to burn energy, aka ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the main source of fuel for the body is fat.

How does ketosis work?

Our bodies are naturally used to burning glucose (sugar) as a primary source of energy and when you start to consume less of it, restricting your general carb and sugar intake (yes, sugars are also carbs), we force a switch in our metabolism – burning stored fat instead of glucose. This sometimes occurs on a lower scale when we sleep for longer periods of time, accidentally skip meals, and when we fast.

Without carbs in your system, the body starts to release fatty acids from stored fat, and they get broken down in the liver. This results in the production of ketones, and these energy molecules are then used to fuel your body.

What you should and shouldn’t eat on the keto diet:

The positives of keto:

If losing weight is something that you want to do, then the keto diet can help. Researchers have also stated that the keto diet can aid in lowering blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation of the body (if you have high amounts of insulin circulating within your system), and achieving the feeling of being ‘full’ most of the time because of the specific contents of your meals.

Many participants have also claimed that they developed a stronger sense of mental focus after a week or two of being on the diet.

The downsides of keto:

Sure, you’ll lose quite a few pounds on your initial journey, but most of the starting weight that you’ll drop will be from water weight, so remaining consistent is the key to reaping continual benefits and gradual weight loss. In the first two weeks, I lost about 4 pounds (1.81kg), and my stomach flattened out a little. This dramatic loss is mostly down to a drop in the water that your body usually stores – carbs need water to stay in your body. You also need to ensure you consume more water during this period so that your body doesn’t get dehydrated, which can lead to constipation. The first two weeks are when you’ll notice the most dramatic drop in weight, while the second two weeks will be slightly slower, but this is the point when your body will begin to burn fat.

It can be quite challenging for the body to switch metabolic states and if you’re not used to these changes, you’ll feel sluggish and tired for the first few weeks. I didn’t experienced trouble sleeping like some claim. If you’re exercising a lot or trying to build muscle, you should speak to a dietician or doctor to see if this is the right diet for you.

Due to one of three ketones being produced, acetone is the one that can be monitored when expelled from the body through urine and breath analysis. One way that many have said that they’ve noticed ketosis is from the strange taste in their mouth accompanied by an odor caused by this ketone.

So is keto worth it?

Like all diets and nutrition plans, being strict with yourself and fighting temptation from certain foods is the key to success. You can easily search the web for foods that you should and shouldn’t consume. The keto diet may assist in weight loss on a short-term basis, but there’s still more research to be done on the long-term effects, so remaining on this diet isn’t recommended. When choosing your fat sources, try and pick healthy choices like coconut and olive oil, fats from nuts, avocado, and fish. Try to compose your meals with a small amount of saturated animal fats, and if you do decide to enjoy them – it’s recommended that you consume organic and grass-fed products.

My personal experience with keto:

I was planning to do this for one month and be done with it, but I love the results so much, and I don’t find it that difficult to do, that I’m going to continue it for a little longer. I actually find it the easiest diet that I’ve done; I can have a bun-less burger (I love burgers) and although I can’t have French fries, I’m okay with that surprisingly – but I have to say I really miss macaroni and cheese! The thing with this diet is, you can eat as much cheese as you like, which definitely makes you feel like you get to cheat! You can eat Mexican food, and Greek food, but you can’t eat beans and hummus, or pasta and bread.

I’m really pleased with the results I’ve had so far, and as well as the initial weight loss, my back fat (an area I struggle with), as well as my arms, has also slimmed down. I’m naturally curvy, and I love my figure, but these are just little areas that I wanted to improve, and I’m really happy with the results so far. My clothes looks and fits better.

The other thing with the keto diet, is you can’t cheat; otherwise, it ruins the process of ketosis. I admit, I cheated a few times, and I still lost a little weight but I gained some back too– at the end of the day, you’re still cutting a lot of carbs. I think after another month of this, I’ll be able to fully eat healthy without the temptation. Now and again, I like to try these diets out, but ultimately, I think having a balanced diet, good rest, and exercising regularly is the most important thing to do. It’s okay to be naughty now and again, but I find if I eat lots of vegetables and fruit, organic meats and avoid too many simple carbs (like sugar, baked goods, pasta), that I generally feel energized and healthy.

Most importantly:

I know a lot of people have been talking about this diet lately, so I wanted to share my experience with you guys and give you as much info on it as possible. I definitely don’t recommend this diet to everyone, and if you do choose to try it, please consult your physician or doctor before starting. Also, remember that everyone’s body is different and people lose weight at different rates, so don’t feel disheartened if the results you expected take a little longer.

Keto will be different for everyone, and once you’ve consulted with a physician, you can use an online keto diet calculator, or consult a dietician to obtain your required daily intake of protein, carbs, and fats. You should also take into consideration how active you are throughout the day. A general rule of thumb would be to consume roughly 75% healthy fats, 20-25% protein, and 0-5% carbs.

Let me know in the comments if you have any personal questions you would like to ask me about the keto diet, and your experiences with keto if you’ve tried it yourself.

3 Tips For Kissable Soft Lips This Winter

We all want our lips to be as smooth and soft as possible. The problem is all the heating in our homes and offices makes the air really dry, which plays havoc with our delicately balanced skin, hair, and lips. So, to keep your lips protected – chapped lips can be seriously painful – we’ve got three tips to make sure your pout stays as gorgeous as ever, even when it’s cold as fuck outside!

Fix your surroundings

Do what you can to make the air around you as hydrating as possible. Invest in, or dig out your humidifier – it will add moisture to the air, which will benefit your skin, lips, and hair as well. The heated vapor produced by humidifiers also kills 90% if the bacteria and spores in the air, so you’re less likely to catch an annoying cold. Found a humidifier on Amazon for $16.99, which also diffuses essential oils – bonus!

Prevent chapping

Stop your lips from chapping in the first place and always keep a lip balm to hand. Look for lip balms with lanolin in, a highly moisturizing natural ingredient that comes from sheep’s fleeces (it can hold 200% it’s weight in water!). And always ensure that you apply lip balm before bed, so your lips don’t go without added moisture all night. Drinking water before bed can help too!

Lanolips has to be my all-time favorite lip balm for combatting chapped lips, it’s super protecting, and one layer lasts all day. Another lip balm I’ve been obsessed with for years is Carmex; not only does it contain lanolin, but also beeswax, shea butter, and Aloe Vera, which work together to heal chapped lips and prevent future drying. It also costs less than $2!

DIY lip mask

I love using natural ingredients to heal my skin, and honey is one of me and my mom favorite ingredients because of its moisturizing, hydrating, and repairing properties. It’s also antibacterial, which means it’ll help to prevent any infection that can occur when your lips get dry. You can apply pure honey as a mask to your lips for 15 minutes, before gently wiping it (or licking it) away. You can also make a lip oil by combining a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of sweet almond oil; stir the mix well and store it in a small plastic container or lip tin so you can use it throughout the day.

Lip Beauty Tip:

Another great alternative is the Coconut LIPS by ToGoSpa – The Kisser Fixer- 3 Lip Masks, $15.

Coconut Lips by ToGoSpa are Micro-Infused Collagen Gel Masks with Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins C & E that work to moisturize, re-hydrate and soothe  lips, creating a more full and moisturized appearance.

Each silky application is infused with a combination of natural high-density marine collagen, enzymes, amino acids, natural marine minerals, trace elements, proteins and vitamins. With just one 20 minute application, you will see improved elasticity, texture and overall appearance of the lips. Activated by the body’s temperature, the nutrients stored in ToGoSpa® gel pads work together to decrease the appearance of fine lines around the mouth. 

They added Coconut Extract and Allantoin for a SUPER DUPER moisturizing experience, with the gentle aroma of Coconut, you will be transported on your very own Tropical Staycation! (No Parabens, No Dyes, Cruelty Free)

The ToGoSpa Lip Mask + Balm make for a great combo, $25!

Organic Splash for Lips: A ripe zesty citrus scent of Brazilian Orange and Italian Grapefruit soothes the senses, and calm the mind. Organic jojoba, evening primrose, sunflower, and coconut oils deeply hydrate and protect lips from moisture loss, and Rejuvenating Shea butter and Vitamin E moisturize and condition skin, helping to soothe dry, chapped lips.

Scented with a brilliant splash of Brazilian Orange & Italian Grapefruit to invigorate and refresh; fortified with a skin-conditioning blend of healing evening primrose and grape seed oils to protect your lips from the damaging effects of daily pollution and provide long lasting moisture protection.

Energizing, invigorating and oh so moisturizing.

Organic Love Balm for Lips: Fresh and tingly on the lips, our Organic Love balm is crafted with a scrumptious formula of certified organic virgin coconut oil and ultra-softening African Shea Butter to prepare your lips for their chosen role. When our ever vigilant product crafters extraordinaire came across a report indicating that the act of kissing worldwide was on the decline they immediately cried as one, this shall not be and sprang into action with the single goal of correcting this most egregious of situations.

Lip smackingly good-for-you this unique blend of organic oils moisturize lips from within rather than sealing them off like petroleum-based lip balms. Fortified with Lavender, Peppermint and Spearmint to soothe and refresh and a super skin-conditioning blend of evening primrose and grape seed oils to revitalize dry, parched and cracked skin. Hooray for happy, healthy kissable lips! No synthetic ingredients or flavors.