Making Sun Safety Sexy

Annnnnd the DC heat is back for the season. Just last week, I was reaching for a coat in the morning, and now I’m sleeping on top of my covers, waiting for my apartment building to turn on the AC. While the weather has me dreaming about grilled corn on the cob, frozen swirl margaritas at Lauriol Plaza after work, and weekend road trips to the beach, it’s also a reminder to stock up on products that will protect your skin from sun damage. Not only do I want to help you avoid peeling and tightness after a day of laying out unprotected, but skin cancer rates are up among young women–young as in 20’s. 20’s! Nobody likes a lecture, so why not make sun safety sexy and fun? Why not think of it as an excuse to shop for some beach accessories? That way, you can still go and out and do everything you want, but your body won’t be suffering. A few things on my sun list this year are new sunscreen (check the expiration date on yours, or throw it out if you’ve had it for more than three years), a cute sun hat, and a chapstick with SPF in it for each purse so I’m always covered. I’m looking for a sunscreen that is light but contains Titanium Dioxide, which is crucial for blocking UVA and UVB rays. I’m thinking of trying Origins Sunshine State ($24.50), as I have yet to try anything from Origins and not fall in love with it. This Juicy Couture floppy hat is a bit outside my price range ($68) but I do have a birthday coming up…but at only $1.89 apiece, I will be stocking up on Chapstick Ultra with SPF 30.

What’s on your sun shopping list this spring?

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Cool as a Cucumber


Leave it to DC to jump from 40 degrees and overcast over the weekend straight to 80 degrees and sunshine today. Rapid fluctuations in weather leave my skin feeling confused, but fortunately I had booked a Sunday afternoon free mini facial at Origins. I like to make appointments about once a season so I can spend some one-on-one time with a consultant going over any new concerns and of course trying out some new products. Origins consultants are always so friendly and professional, helpful without laying on the guilt trip. This time I met with Lindsay, who picked out some products that she thought I’d like to play with. Although I am a faithful user of Origins GinZing eye cream, Lindsay recommended I try Eye Doctor, available at Origins for $32. This cucumber-based eye cream is extremely gentle, and is perfect for when your eyes are feeling a little dry  and puffy after a long night out (nothing will dehydrate your skin like alcohol) or a weekend of walking around in the early spring cold air. It’s more than just soothing though–Eye Doctor also has ginseng in it, giving your eyes a kick of energy while nourishing at the same time. The scent has light, earthy undertones from the cucumber. Imagine if cucumber spa water came in cream form. Now imagine gently caressing your eyes with this cucumber spa water cream. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? While GinZing will wake you up, Eye Doctor will cool your eyes down after a long day and restore the moisture to the delicate skin in the area above and below. I also learned this trick–let eye doctor chill in the fridge while you are at work, and you’ll come home to an even more refreshing DIY cucumber spa treatment.

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Have a Nice (Mon)Day

This weekend was the official to start to DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival which means a few things: 1) the tourists are back in full force so be prepared at all times to offer directions; 2) restaurants and shops are putting themed drinks and treats on their menus (I had the most incredible cherry blossom cupcakes from Crumbs on Saturday!) and 3) you’ll be spending more time outside, so you’ll want to be extra sure that you’re applying moisturizer with SPF as part of your morning routine. I like to use SPF products even during the colder weather months to prevent damage from harmful UV rays, so I have quite a few products to recommend, and a few new ones that I’m excited to try this spring! I thought I’d start with one of my absolute favorites, Have a Nice Day from Origins ($37.50). What I love about this moisturizer in particular is that it is perfect for the late winter/early spring transition. Rich in texture, it evens out the dry skin that is left over from winter, while the Titanium Dioxide and Vitamin E protect your skin while you’re sipping a margarita at a patio happy hour or going for an early evening jog to admire the cherry blossoms. I find that many moisturizers with SPF in them make my skin feel a little greasy, but this–like so many Origins products–just feels light and refreshing. And when you start you morning on such a positive note, how can you not Have a Nice Day?

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A Double-Shot for your Eyes

The good news: after an excruciatingly long Thursday (meeting, lunch meeting, meeting, conference call…) Friday is just eight hours and one deadline away. The bad news: the weekend forecast is nothing but a mix of rain and snow. Did March come in like a lamb? Because it is certainly going out like a lion. A cold, wintry lion. I was looking forward to going for a run around the Tidal Basin to mark the official start of the Cherry Blossom Festival, but it looks like it might be more of a read in bed sort of Saturday morning. To brighten up my weekend, I am thinking of picking up some fresh spring flowers along with a loaf of  Atwater’s cranberry pecan or kalamata olive bread at the FRESHFARM farmer’s market in Dupont. To brighten up my eyes before work tomorrow morning, there is one product that I will be reaching for: Origin’s GinZing eye cream ($29.50). Origins is really great about letting you take samples with you, which is how I discovered this product. I had never faithfully used eye cream before, and was a little unsure about where to start, especially since the skin around my eyes is so sensitive. GinZing is light, but packs a very powerful punch. It actually contains caffeine! Massaging it into the tops of your cheekbones and right below your brow bones will wake you up with a refreshing tingling, and will lighten up the shadows beneath your eyes better than an actual mug of coffee (although the two go together quite nicely). I’d also suggest sticking a little sample of it in your purse and reapplying after lunch to get you through the home stretch. If we can’t have sunshine, we can at least have bright eyes!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Got a Face of the Mondays?

One of the keys to surviving the work week, other than scheduling in a happy hour at a place you’ve been dying to try, is fooling yourself into looking forward to Monday. Of course, there is no getting around some things. The train to work is still going to be crowded. The spreadsheet is still going to make your head swim. The artificial lighting above your cubicle will not have magically transformed over the weekend to a soft white that is easier on your eyes. Which makes it essential that you find some small way to treat yourself Monday night. Some weeks I make Monday my yoga night. After a busy weekend of cleaning, errands, and catching up with friends, I find this the perfect way to just be still, and regain energy for the week ahead. Occasionally I like to do a little shopping on Monday nights, avoiding the tiring weekend crowds. Tonight, I made a big batch of fusili with herbed ricotta with fresh basil, onions, black olives, and tomatoes so I can look forward to lunch for the next couple of days–even if it is at my desk.

I’m also treating myself to an Origins mask tonight. They have so many to choose from, but I decided on their Drink Up 10 minute mask, available at for $21. This mask is perfect for when your face is feeling a little dry and uneven. It’s silky smooth going on, and I tend to be generous on my cheekbones where I experience the most dryness. The fragrance is delicious–a blend of plants and fruits, with apricot and citrus and a hint of rose standing out the most to me. 10 minutes (just the right amount of time to read a few pages of your current book, make a cup of tea, or send an e-card to a friend that you’ve been thinking about) is all you need before gently rinsing.

What will you do to treat yourself on Monday nights?

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Skinsational Product of the Week: Origins White Tea Cleanser

Each week, I’ll highlight a “skinsational” skin care product that you absolutely need to know about. I mentioned in my last post how I struggle with dry skin throughout the winter. While Jergens was the solution for my hands, I consulted with the experts at Origins to find out what I was doing wrong on my face. Origins is one of my very favorite skin care lines. Not only are their products incredibly effective, but they are also  affordable. They are an earth-friendly company that is committed to keeping all those hard-to-pronounce harsh chemicals out of their products, and I always find their employees to be very knowledgeable about products without being too pushy about buying.

Last time I went in for a consultation, the expert explained that the current moisturizer I was using was too harsh for the dry winter months. She instead suggested that I turn to the “A Perfect World” line and start my cleansing routine with the white tea cleanser ($20 for a 5 oz tube). While this cleanser doesn’t foam up as much as I would like, it is very gentle while still giving you that clean, fresh sensation. Another thing I love about the A Perfect World line is that the white tea is an antioxidant, so I visualize myself putting a protective layer on my skin each morning before going out the door. While I love to start my morning with a cup of hazelnut, I am thinking about making to switch the white tea a couple mornings a week. According to this msnbc article, white tea is even more effective in fighting cancer than green tea! Now the question is what type to get. What do you think about Tazo’s White Cucumber? Mmmmmmm.

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