Halloween Fun – Wish Formula Bat Eye Essence Mask

Well, this is a first… I mean, I’ve seen sheet masks with character faces, but one in the shape of a bat…not until now. The glam-goth girl in me thinks it’s absolutely precious (and I’m not sure I’d ever want to use any other eye mask again!)  

If you’re feeling (or looking) a little fatigued, Wish Formula Bat Eye Essence Mask will swoop in to the rescue. Combining soothing licorice, brightening vitamin C, hydrating fermented honey…and a kiss of mistletoe…these sassy little wings will perk you right up, leaving you with a wakeful look, and plump-ified peepers.

If you love Halloween as much as I do, the marketers might well have you snookered.

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Aging Gracefully Looks Different For Everyone

I came across this image the other day and found it to be incredibly inspiring (I have head of these ladies before but I am always impressed.)

As we age, it takes longer to recover, and we may not be able to handle the intense training of our youth.  (I sure as shit can’t!!) Our bodies change beyond that too – we may not look the same as we did when we were younger. We may also not be as able to achieve those results without more work than it once took.

One of my biggest pet peeves, though, is when people say it’s impossible to stay fit, healthy and strong as we age – they dismiss it with an apathetic resignation that doesn’t resonate for some of us. . . Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we can’t stay active, continue to be an athlete, or stay in good shape.

I am a strong proponent of setting ourselves up for success, and believe that unreasonable goals are a fast track to disappointment. I also believe we can achieve anything we put our hearts to provided we are smart about it. If we want to achieve a healthy body, we CAN…and without having to work until we are horribly run down – that is a more than realistic scenario.

Staying fit isn’t about the OUTSIDE appearance – for many of us it is a lifestyle because it permeates every aspect of our lives…not just the exterior. It means having more energy, and feeling proud of little accomplishments along the way.  It means being able to participate in activities we enjoy without feeling horrendous doing them, as well as having a clearer mind, and more self confidence. It may also mean staving off some unnecessary (and unkind) illnesses as well.

We don’t have to force ourselves into the box of looking the way we did at 20 – we’d not only be disheartened, but it also isn’t going to happen (unless, of course, you find a genie in a bottle.) I struggle with this sometimes too – it’s hard to see those changes and know there isn’t a ton we can do about them.  I don’t think it’s necessary to beat ourselves up for feeling that way either, ps – it isn’t about vanity all the time.  For those of us who have been active our whole lives, and fueled our bodies with healthy foods, we might identify with certain conditions (internal as much as external.)

In this way, it might feel all the more overwhelming to lose the control we might have *thought* (wrongly!) we had.  In order to stay on a track to success we need only allow that “fit” may look a little different in our older age, and continue working towards incorporating healthy choices in our lives. That includes eating healthy, whole foods, staying hydrated, staying active, and at least *trying* to get a solid amount of sleep.

Remember that deviations once in a while are okay – living life behind bars isn’t exactly the point! It’s the overall attitude, approach, and consistency that will get you where you want to go…and keep you in that vicinity.

I was definitely more “fit” when I was younger – who wasn’t!?  I’ve backed off a lot of activities, as well as the duration an intensity of the ones I’m doing. I need more time to recover, and there are days when rest is more in line with keeping me healthy than going to lift or to class. I may also have days where I need to eat more…or less…depending on what my body is telling me. But the short of it is…I’m thankful beyond words to be healthy, to have the ability to be active, and to better recognize my body’s cues. There is such a thing as aging gracefully…and staying badass while you’re at it (however you choose to define it.) Never let anyone tell you what is…or isn’t…possible – that, my dear, is up to YOU.

 

 

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Vintage Halloween Fun

Unique Vintage’s Halloween Collection is absolutely adorable on every level…and totally my speed, as 50s fabulousness is concerned. ❤ 

#love 

The bat and web sweaters might be my favorite but when Hallows is involved, it’s awfully hard to choose…

 

 

Summer 2017 – Garnier Skinactive Honey Flower

I often see new skincare crop up overseas before it comes to the States, which means that I at least get enough time to read reviews and see if it’s worth tracking down (before our stores decide to give us the option!)

As a Martial Artist and athlete – not to mention, a fair-skinned woman who is as subject to time and the elements as we all are – skincare is a big deal.  I’m pretty religious – and devoted – to my regimen and products, but I’m ever curious, as the skincare world is rapidly innovating (particularly with more and more exposure to other cultures and markets.  I have a plethora of posts (and there are more!) about Asian skincare, a personal favorite topic.)

Anyway, the Garnier Skinactive Honey Flower range appears to be in the UK presently – you can check it out here on superdrug.com and a variety of other UK web retailers. I learned about the newbies via Reallyree.com, where you can also read what the products are like.

Why bother with this new collection?  (Always the question I ask myself because I have a TON of products already. I am, essentially, my own store – but, ladies, the investment IS worth it.  Trust me.) Per superdrug.com’s description:

Garnier’s first toner made of 96% ingredients of natural origin, enriched with Honey Flower, known for its nourishing properties. 

reallyree.com

These products, therefore, are designed to be gentle with your skin, and less filled with things you can’t pronounce – both are big pluses. They are also specifically helpful to dry or very dry skin – come the colder months, that might be really important for most of us!

That said, if you already use such products, and find that they work nicely for you, I don’t know whether these are totally necessary.  But again, they’re out online at least, which means you can also snoop through the reviews and see if they make sense for you.  More and more companies are going the more-natural-less-harsh route so you certainly have a fair share of options.

Summer Martial Arts Essential? – Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels

Back when I did an endurance bicycling event (my ONLY one in life, but 300 miles counts), it happened to fall during the dead of summer.  And, apparently, on the hottest days – the first 100 + miles was in 110 degree heat.

As a non-heat, and non-endurance athlete, I HAD prepared somewhat.  I searched high and low for cooling apparel, wipes, sprays, really anything that could help lower my body temp.  While I was somewhat successful (thank you FrogTogs), and though I’m not planning any rigorous outdoor events for mid-summer, I am always up for learning about new products that bring a little heat relief.

Duke Cannon Supply Co Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels are designed not only to get you clean (a necessary feature if you are training – at any time – but especially during sweat-laden summer months), but also to give a cooling, refreshing feel. 

ulta.com

Per Ulta’s description:

The mountains of Afghanistan are not exactly equipped with state of the art plumbing, so a cold shower to escape the dirt, grime, and oppressive heat was never an option. Such was the inspiration behind Cold Shower Cooling Field Towels. Developed in concert with our military advisory panel, these face and body towels are manufactured with menthol, aloe, and jojoba to provide a chilling blast as they cleanse and protect. The perfect way to cool down and recover after 12-hour shifts, covert field missions, or back alley boxing matches.

As for the formulation, there are hydrating, exfoliating, calming and cooling ingredients throughout – these are definitely no bullshit:

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Aloe Vera Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Althaea Officinalis Extract, Oat Kernal Extract, Menthol, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Sucrose Cocoate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Lactic Acid, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethyhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Phenxyethanol, Fragrance.

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Martial Artists Hand Balm?!

Duke Cannon Supply Co Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm is probably the first hand repair balm I’ve ever seen developed for Martial Artists (or fighters, hands-on hard workers, and “world champions” at least.)

ulta.com

We often joke about the white marks we leave on heavy bags…because basically that “white” is our skin!  While we aren’t making ourselves bleed (it happens from time to time, but this isn’t Blood Sport!) our hands do get very dry…as do our feet.

In Martial Arts, we are often in close quarters – for me that means we all need to be even more conscientious. Hygiene *should* (let’s hope) be a top priority anyway, but at the Dojo, it is especially so.  Lanolin is one of those ingredients known to be ultra moisturizing, even in the tough cases – I wouldn’t use all forms of it on my face, necessarily, but for hands, elbows and feet, it’s brilliant.

Per Ulta (including the jab at Bag Balm):

Details:

Dry, cracked hands are like living testaments to a man’s hard work and ingenuity. And while hard-working hands are to be celebrated, let’s be honest; dry, cracked hands feel awful. That’s why Duke Cannon introduced Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm. Made with lanolin, it provides much-needed moisture without leaving the hands feeling sticky or greasy (like that stuff in the green jar.)

At 5 oz., this is a hearty serving that will last a good long time. Formulated to repair the hands of workers, fighter, and world champions.

Ingredients aren’t too lengthy, and have several super hydrating substances:

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Shea Butter, Emulsifying Wax, Caprylic/Capric Trigliceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Tribehenin, Allantoin, Jojoba Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Lanolin, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide.
I haven’t seen this in store, and do make a habit to carry around a heavy-hitting hand cream with urea in my bag, but I may snag some should I come across it – lord knows it will come in handy (no pun intended!)

Skin Ink Multi-Masking Treatment Mask

Only a matter of time for a skincare company to come out with a customizable sheet mask, right?  

We all have different skincare needs and, frankly, our own needs can change not only with seasons, but from day-to-day depending on climate, our activities, our cycles, etc…  

iloveskininc Instagram

I love that these masks – while not 100% customizable in the sense of whatever ultra-specific permutation you need – allow some freedom to mix between the lower jaw line and the upper face, two broad areas that often are doing different things. Instead of countless variations, there are only nine combinations you can create…but that’s 8 more than just any ol’ sheet mask!

I love seeing the continued innovations, and the taking-a-nod-from-overseas beauty by companies NOT originating there – I’ve been going on about Asian skincare since the 90’s, when I was in my later teens, so for me, it’s like a miracle the US and other countries are FINALLY following suit.  “Porcelain doll” skin has been on my radar my whole life and with the consistent drive for cutting-edge that comes from the East, it’s a lot easier to come by these days.