Charcoal + Aloe Cleanser Review

Hi lovelies! Hope you are all doing well. It’s been a while since my last skincare post so I figured now is the best time than ever because I’ve just found a product that I absolutely love! After using this for several weeks, I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you all about it. If you follow me on Instagram, I have mentioned this brand a few times. You guys, ♡ honestly, I’m so in love. ♡ Below, I’ll talk more in-depth about my thoughts about the cleanser, but if you want to skip that – I’ve created a little break down for you at the very end that gets right to the point. Anyway, if you’d like to read more about my new favorite cleanser, please keep reading!

To start, if you are a fan of LUSH Cosmetics, there is no doubt in my mind that you would love this brand too! The Little Barn Apothecary claims to be a safe, organic, wild harvest, natural, and simple skin/body care line for all sorts of skin types. They are curated with no fillers, toxic or chemical ingredients. And best of all, they are animal cruelty-free!!!! To be honest, when I first saw the Charcoal + Aloe cleanser at The Perish Trust in SF, I was mostly intrigued by the packaging; yep, this was an impulse buy. While I did work at LUSH Cosmetics for some time, and I knew what would work for my skin type (which is combination/acne-prone/sensitive), I was still hesitant about trying this. You never really know how your skin will react to a product if you are even slightly sensitive. After the first night of using it though, you guys, I was blown away. I’ve found that it does a great job at lifting impurities from my skin, being deep cleansing, oily controlling, soothing, all without being stripping for my skin. It’s seriously so amazing! I’m so glad I’ve found a product that can do all of this for my skin. Above are several photos that will give you a sense of what the texture is like. As you can see, the cleanser starts off as very liquidy. When mixed with water, don’t be alarmed but it doesn’t bubble or sud; typically there are chemicals needed in order to make soaps bubbles, so that’s why it doesn’t lather. A lot of times, cleansers that do bubble tend to be very stripping for the skin – even oily skin. And unbalanced skin can over produce oil causing congestion in pores that then lead to break outs.

What’s great about this cleanser is the quality and balance of the ingredients in this cleanser. It contains organic charcoal which helps draw out bacteria and impurities to the surface so that they are easily washed away, and it does this without stripping the skin. The organic aloe vera in this cleanser helps calm, soothe and hydrate the skin. I find that these two ingredients work together in harmony for a perfectly balanced skin/complexion. Since using this cleanser, I’ve noticed that my sebum (facial oil) production has reduced while not drying out my skin. And the amount of redness in my skin has reduced too. Given the effectiveness of this cleanser, I’m excited to try out more products from The Little Barn Apothecary. I can’t wait to see how my skin continues to benefit from this cleanser! You can check out this cleanser and the rest of the line here.

The Breakdown 

My Skin Type: combination, acne prone, and sensitive. Yeah, it sucks.

Is this cleanser cruelty free? Yes!!!!!!!

Is this brand organic? Yes

Claims: Activated charcoal draws out skin pollutants, helps heal and prevent breakouts, while aloe gently hydrates to prevent over drying.

Directions: Used daily or as needed for treatment. Gently lather a few pumps (I use 2) in pal and massage over wet face. Rinse well.

Texture: Watery/Liquidy/Serum-like

Effectiveness: 5/5

Packaging: 4/5 – It’s gorgeous! Love the frosted glass and pump, but I am worried about dropping it and it shattering.

Would you recommend this to a friend? Yes, yes, yes! A thousand times yes. For those who have combination/oily/sensitive skin – just don’t forget to hydrate/moisturize after!

LBA was kind enough to reach out to me and give you guys a discount code! Please enjoy 15% off your purchase when you enter the code: ‘LINDALIEU’ at check out.

*expires 8/31/17*

Smile Brilliant Whitening Kit: First Impression

Hi lovelies! Happy Friday! How are you all today? August is just breezing by I feel – like the rest of the summer. Can you believe there is only a few more months of 2017 left?! Some of you have Back-To-School pretty soon so I thought this would be a great time to talk about a whitening kit I got the opportunity to try from Smile Brilliant! Why not start the school year off with a bright, new smile, right? As some of you may know, I worked with Smile Brilliant a while back. The first time we worked together, I let my sister test out the kit because she has been interested in a whitening kit for some time, so I let her try it out. If you would like to read how it works in more detail and see her before and after pictures, check out this post. I was fortunate enough to work with them again and so this time I got a kit for myself so I wanted to share my personal thoughts with you. Before the Smile Brilliant kit, I would whiten my teeth by brushing with baking soda. I did this a few times a week and it worked for a while, but after some time I stopped seeing results. I still do this to deep clean my teeth but not for whitening anymore. This kit works wonders for whitening. I’ve continued to see results after each session. If you would like to see how it works, keep reading! 🙂

So after you send in your impressions, Smile Brilliant will send you a second box which will include your trays and the whitening and desensitizing applicators. There will be instructions of course, but I’ll give you a little break down of how it works. You’ll want to brush your teeth first before every session and then you apply the smallest amount of product along the front/bottom of the impressions.  You can wear them for as short as 45 mins but no longer than 3 hours. I normally just keep them in for 1 hour but it’s totally up to you and how comfortable you are! After you use the whitening gel, you will need to rinse your mouth and repeat the steps with the desensitizing gel. The desensitizing gel is only kept on for about 15-30 mins – but it is very important! Do not skip the desensitizing step, even if you are not sensitive. Also, do not use too much product. I’ve experienced this first hand and you will experience some gum discomfort if you use too much. It’s very unpleasant so just remember that a little goes a long way! It takes a couple of tries to find the right ratio that you are comfortable with but with anything, just be patient with it; it’s worth it in the end! If you do experience any discomfort, just remove the trays, wipe the product away and try it again. Each syringe/applicator gives you a few sessions (about 3-4) so I feel like even in getting the smallest kit, it is worth the money; especially if you spread out your sessions. Of course daily use will sessions will give you quicker results though but I like to do mine every week or so to make the transition more gradual. If you run out of gels, you can always buy refills too! I’m super happy with how white my teeth are. It’s silly to think that something as simple as whiter teeth can boost your confidence, but I feel like because I am more comfortable with my teeth,  it definitely does help! And I just wanted to create this post in case any of you are interested in whitening your teeth. There’s a lot of different kinds of whitening kits out on the market, but this is the one I like to use :). If you give it a go, let me know! I want to see your guys’s results! And I can give you some tips and trips on how to use it too. These also make great gifts too. ♡

Weekend Snippet x8

Hi lovelies! Hope you are all doing well. I for one, was not feeling well this weekend. But I did manage to pull myself together on Saturday and attend the monthly Treasure Island Flea Market! I have been waiting for so long to go to this! The clinic I work at is open on weekends too, so it has been difficult trying to go so when I found an open weekend, I knew I couldn’t let my sickness keep me from going! I paid for it the next day of course but, I was able to get a few good shoots to share with you all! If you live in the Bay Area, I highly recommend attending, at least once, so you can see what it’s all about! There’s parking there, so for those who get anxiety driving (especially by the city), have no fear, parking is right there – and it’s free. There is an entry fee though, so be sure to bring $3 CASH with you. Cash is helpful in the market too. A lot of vendors have card readers but some don’t so I definitely wish I brought cash and encourage you to as well! The shops ranged from thrifted/vintage clothing and furniture, to handmade jewelry, lots of homemade soaps, skincare, and snacks! Seriously, I wanted to buy something from every booth – it was so dangerous. Luckily, a lot of the vendors come back every month, so that’s cool – no need to break the bank all in one day. There’s drinks and food there as well – in case you get hungry – because you will. It took a lot out of me to not get myself a Bloody Mary, but I knew it wouldn’t sit well in my stomach since I already wasn’t feeling well. And if that doesn’t sell you on the worth of this flea market, well this will – there were plenty of dogs walking around with their hoomans. Cute shops, good food, and dogs – what’s not to LOVE?! My bf and I wanted to bring his little dog, but she gets really anxious in big crowds so we figured best not to. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little snippet of (pretty much) the only time I left my house this weekend. (●´ω`●)

Details – Top: Forever 21 | Cardigan: Urban Outfitters | Jeans: Zara | Chain-link purse: Therapy SF | Boots: n/a 

Taurean Sanctuary

img_0594Hello lovelies! I know, it’s been quite some time. If you follow me on Instagram, I mentioned how I would be going on a short break (and if you don’t, feel free to! I try to keep you guys pretty updated). Thank you to all who were so understanding. Sometimes you just need a break in order to find inspiration again. Blogging began to feel like I chore, and I just needed to step back for a bit and remember why I started. But I’m back! And I’ve been really excited to put this post together for you. My boyfriend and I went to visit the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco several weekends ago; it was glorious! It was actually difficult for me to select the order of these photos because I didn’t want one to overshadow another. I loved all the photos we took that day so I hope you go through each and every one and enjoy them too!

Just some little notes: adult admissions cost $8, but if you bring your student ID, it’s only $6! It’s SO worth it. Just be aware that it’s a but humid in there. Thankfully, I wore a loose and airy dress, otherwise, if you guys know me – I hate the heat. But if you are prepared, this is a great place to visit! You can even make it a full day and picnic outside of the building. A lot of people were laid out on the lawn. There’s a beautiful bed of flowers outside as well, but what’s inside is what made this visit worth it. My little Taurean self was so happy to be surrounded by greenery and little peaks of sunbeams here and there.  It sort of reminded me of the photos I’ve been seeing recently of bloggers visiting Thailand, and so of course I wanted to go even more after seeing this place. Have you ever been? Anyway, if you’d like to see more green, you’re at the right place; keep scrolling!img_0611img_0615img_0610I mean – can you get more “Taurus Vibes” than this? I think not.img_0605img_0612img_0609img_0614img_0622

img_0620 Just so we are clear, I TOLD HIM NOT TO TOUCH IT. img_0608img_0621img_0606img_0617This top photo is probably my favorite. Let’s just take a moment to appreciate how the light is shining through the ceiling, the stained glass window’s reflection on the ground, and how there. is. so. much. GREENERY!!!!img_0607Details – Dress: Forever21 | Sandals + Bag: Urban Outfitters |Necklace: DIY + Etsy

If you made it to the end, I hope you enjoyed this post! Have a wonderful week. ♡

Father’s Day Giveaway ft. Jord Watches

img_0463Hi loveslies! Hope you’re all doing well. I’m happy to announce that I am once again working with Jord Wood Watches! As you may know, I’ve worked with them in the past and our project consisted of a contest where one of you got to win a $75 off voucher for anything in their collection. Anyone who entered also got a complementary $20 off just for entering! This time around it’ll be a little bit different but the perks are even better! Keep reading for details! Feel free to also DM me on Instagram or comment below for any questions/requests you may have! Since Father’s Day is this weekend, I thought it would be perfect to present to guys the pieces I picked out from Jord! I think watches make great gifts, for just about anyone. There’s a wide range of styles, and let’s be real, the best part is that it’s practical and is handy to have at all times – see what I did there? Okay I’ll stop. This particular piece is for my boyfriend. I mean he’s a dog-father, does that count? It counts. But I promise you I picked one out for my dad too haha. I’ll be posting pictures of that on Instagram soon so you’ll be able to see! (This is the one I got my dad if you’re curious) This little beauty is their Fieldcrest wood watch in Zebrawood & Maple. This is a unisex watch but I find that it’s a great size for guys with smaller wrists. (39mm) It’s a smaller face, but definitely does not go unrecognized due to the uniquely built wood style – it still makes a great statement. This one will be one of the watches you can win for the giveaway! Details are listed on the bottom 🙂 img_0468

img_0466Giveaway Details

– Follow me on Instagram: boohoolindalieu (optional)

– Follow Jord Wood Watches on Instagram: Jordwatches (optional)

– One person will be able to pick a Jord Wood Watch of their own (from styles $180 and under)

– You can also use the code: boohoolindalieu to receive an immediate $25 off AND a free watch engraving option (some models excluded). You do not need to enter the contest to use this code, but hey, why not?

Enter Giveaway

Good luck everyone! xoxo

Fitness Favorites

Hi lovelies! Hope you are all doing well today. I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to post this week, and then my new Nike Macaron Flyknits came in! So I figured it would be perfect to share some of my current fitness favorites with you all! Fitness has been a big part of my life since high school. It mainly started when I wanted take control of my body/physical health, and let me tell you, that is STILL a journey. Here and there, I will take a break from exercising (life gets in the way), but all in all, I know that fitness is something that I will always incorporate in my ideal lifestyle. Over the years, I’ve definitely learned what I like and need to work on about myself, as well as what works and what doesn’t – gym-wise, so today I wanted to show you some of my staples/favorites!

Let me know what are some of yours too 🙂

I’m thinking about doing a What’s In My Gym Bag post, so let me know if you’d like to see that as well! Nike ‘Macaron Flyknits’ – my new bbs! I got these in the Lavender shade. Aren’t they just the cutest?! They match my Fitbit Flex 2 band too! I’m so obsessed. I do wish that the swoosh was black (it’s a dark purple), but that doesn’t bother me that much. It also fits really well with a majority of my workout gear since I mostly wear purples, pinks, and black. These are my second pair of Flyknits but definitely not my last because they’re great for long distance running. What I like most about them is how light they are. Don’t get me wrong, I will still wear my Adidas Ultraboosts every now and then when I feel like my feet need the extra cushion, but sometimes they can feel quite heavy and bulky on my feet. I didn’t really think the weight of shoes would make that much of a difference, but it really does. I ran 5 miles yesterday with these baby’s, my first time breaking them in, and got no blisters afterwards! Electrolyte tablets from Nuun – My coworker introduced me to these tablets and I have to say, they are super convenient and portable! I started off with the energy one which has natural caffeine in it. I used to use it as a “pre-workout” tablet, but after I wanted to try another flavor so that’s why I got this one, it’s Strawberry lemonade ♡. This one isn’t caffeinated, instead, it has a boost of electrolytes in it. You may be wondering, what are electrolytes and what are they even good for? Electrolytes are what’s in a lot of sports drinks. They help keep your body balanced and hydrated. During a 1hr workout session, the average person can lose up to 1 liter (or more) of water through sweating! So it is important to give your body back what it has lost in order to maintain balance. These are fizzy and taste like strawberry lemonade, but there are a bunch of other flavors! They’re also way more compact and transportable than sports drinks. If you’re interested in trying them out, I got these at Sprouts. S’Well water canteen – Like I said, it’s super important to stay hydrated! Especially at the gym. I used to hate drinking water, but I find that if you have a canteen by you at all times, it’s a lot easier to reach for it. If you’re really bad at it, try setting an alarm on your phone every hour to take a big sip. To figure out how much water you should drink, just multiply your weight by 2/3 and that is how many ounces you should drink per day!Vega Sport Protein Powder – Protein powder is a new thing that I have recently incorporated into my routine. I don’t drink it after every workout, mainly just the days where I do extra lifting or run extra long. Like many others, I used to be scared it would make me gain weight, but when used correctly, it shouldn’t do that. It is a huge help with muscle recovery. Especially now that I’m older, I can’t run 8 miles every day, my joints would just crumble. This helps me perform better and recover quicker! I went for a plant based protein powder because I hear that it is more easily absorbed into the body and has less side-effects than what other protein powders may have (ex. less boating or stomach aches). Having that said, it’s also doesn’t have the most friendly taste. They tend to be a bit more chalky. This one is okay though! The flavor is super sweet. It’s not a Vanilla milkshake by any means, but it is better than the one I tried prior to this (Sun Warrior Vanilla protein powder – it was so nasty).  Let me know if you guys have any suggestions of other plant based protein powders!Fitbit – I wasn’t able to get a good photo of my fitbit, but here is what the app looks like! If you’re curious, I have the Fitbit Flex 2 in a lilac band. It is somewhat discouraging to wear on days that I don’t exercise, if I’m honest (sometimes I don’t even make my daily goal), but it’s super helpful for numerous reasons! I love using it to track my exercise and sleep. What’s great is that the Flex2 has a lot more exercises that you can track, and it’s waterproof! You can also set weekly goals for yourself too. My goal is to be active (go to the gym) at least 3 days a week. I try to do 4, but for the most part, 3 is what has been more manageable lately.

Thank you guys for reading! If you have any fitness favorites, let me know! I love trying out new products and such. Also let me know if you have any post recommendations! Hope you all have a wonderful week. ♡

A Day From my Phone

Hi lovelies! Hope you are all doing well. Did you all have a nice holiday? With graduation season, my sister moving into her new house, and the holiday, this past weekend was super busy for me if I’m honest. Although I had 4 days off, it didn’t feel much like a break because of all the things I had to get checked off my list. I had appointments to get taken care of, chores to do, errands to run, and on top of that, family events to go to. In hindsight, I feel like the only downtime I did have was when I was in the car, driving to my next destination. It was just a lot. Being around family was a lot, in a good and bad way. My parents and I butt heads a lot, so being around them can be draining. But it was nice to be around my sister and my cousins before they all head back to school. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this little snippet of the few hours I did have to relax on Sunday.

On Sunday, we started our day from San Jose (after my cousin’s graduation), we first had to go furniture shopping for my sister, and then after, we caught the last of Picnic at the Presidio before it ended. I’m so happy that it’s getting warmer because my boyfriend and I would always go! I went with my sister this past Sunday and we got BBQ parfaits. Sorry I forgot to get a photo of it! But if you follow me on Instagram you would’ve seen it on my Instagram story! After some sun and the picnic, we went to get ice cream at Smitten (I got the Almond Coconut Macaroon – my new favorite there!), and then boba at Boba Guys – what a day right? Full of foodies galore! 

Boba Guys has quickly become my favorite place to get boba! They are intricate and creative with their drinks, and I love that. Pretty much everything from here is great! I especially love their Strawberry Matcha. If you have a sweet tooth but like matcha, it’s the perfect collaboration of the two.

Have you ever been to Boba Guys? What’s your favorite bubble tea drink?

Hope you all have a great rest of your week! 🙂