Wanderful Girl, Jessie De Lowe - yoga teacher, art therapist, mother to one adorable baby girl and co-founder of “How You Glow” - talks wellness, nature and advice with contributor Susanna.Read More
When I decided to add a Beauty column to Oui We I made a commitment to you guys (and myself) that I'd share rituals and routines that are working for me and products that are making a difference for me, as well.
Like so many of us paying attention to what's happening in beauty and wellness one of the things that's been showing up differently for me is how I approach getting ready in the morning. I was once a self proclaimed black eye liner junkie - like I wouldn't leave the house without a heavy handed cat eye application. I have a signature lip color that I've worn forever too and without those two things I didn't feel fully put together. As I'm getting older caring for my skin has become more important than ever (and honestly I've always had a holistic approach to skincare) and recently my smile, including my teeth, have been an area of focus.
I was having a convo with a friend the other day about how when we were growing up the style and beauty idols were girls like Kate Moss (cigarette in hand - although I personally never smoked, plus greasy hair and late night partying - I did have those things in my life - went along with it). However, now girls like Amanda Chantal Bacon of Moon Juice, are getting adoration from the masses - beauty fanatics, wellness gurus and fashionistas too. If there's something that's important to me now versus then it's this:
I want glowing skin, bright shiny eyes, and a naturally healthy smile.
So that means I'm often foregoing the cat eye makeup and focusing on skin care, oral care and getting plenty of sleep. A few months back I connected with Smile Brilliant. After pricing out treatments with my dentist's office I decided I'd rather go with an at home whitening treatment and to be honest, I'm kind of terrified of the dentist and only like to go for cleanings. Smile Brilliant offered to send me the system in exchange for sharing my thoughts with you all! I was more than happy to do it.
The process was easy. I got an email first from the team letting me know that my custom tray kit was on it's way. When I received it the instructions gave me all the details I needed to make the molds of my teeth. I sent off my molds and within a week or so I received my clear trays custom fit to my mouth.
Here's the nightly steps from there:
1. Brush your teeth (with no tooth paste) to prepare your mouth for treatment. Fill up your tray with the whitening gel and leave it on about 20 minutes or so. The information packet I received warned to be mindful of sensitivity and to work my way into leaving it on longer. Honestly, I used the product every other night for the first week and the sensitivity wasn't unbearable at all. I saw results within those first few days.
2. Once the trays are on find something to do for the time they are on, it's not the most comfortable thing in the world, but it's really not bad either. I decided to do a 20 minute meditation and that helped pass the time.
3. Rinse and brush again (with toothpaste this time).
4. Apply the trays again, this time filled with the Desensitizing Gel. This time you can leave on for 10 minutes or so.
5. Rinse and then go to sleep and let the gel settle in.
In the morning when I get up I can't feel a thing from the treatment the night before.
The kit contains close to 20 applications and after I did the first several weeks (like 3-4 times a week) I've got plenty of gel remaining to do weekly maintenance now.
I'll be posting again to share those results, but in the meantime, as a coffee drinking (and wine drinker too) girl that's counting my smile health as a big part of my beauty routine I'm so glad to have found this product!
Want to win your own kit? Enter to win via the Giveaway link. Winner will be announced at the end of April!
Want to go ahead and buy now? Use the code ouiwegirl for 10% off.
In the meantime, scroll through to see a few other products I'm loving!
This post was compensated in partnership with FiftyTwo45 in exchange for my honest review and feedback. As always, I'll only accept compensation from brands I feel truly stellar about.
Good morning and happy March!
First! It's the day after Mardi Gras. And in days of past that would mean I'd be going on a serious cleanse or detox plan to combat all of the sugar fueled foods and drinks I'd consumed over the past several weeks.
This year, however, is different. I've been at our home in Nashville quite a bit, and traveling still too.
In Nashville the weather is still fluxing between grey cold winter vibes and hints of sunshine on occasion, and even last week in Los Angeles temperatures were cooler than I've ever experienced there. Soon, however, Spring will be here. And for a sunshine loving girl, it couldn't come soon enough. (YAY!) After days of travel and a pretty serious halt in my usual self care routine I'm committed to re-upping my health game this week.
Sugar filled foods, blasting heat, moisture sucking air travel... I've had a case of it all.
(Must I remind you of that king cake that's been on repeat at my house. Le sigh!).
If you're in the same boat and feeling like your skin is showing it, I find the fastest way to recover that healthy glow is by working nutrient rich, probiotic filled foods and drinks into the daily routine. You'd have to truly be living under a rock to have not heard of the benefits of probiotics to your over all well-being. Probiotics are the "good" kind of bacteria that help maintain total body wellness - however while you might know that probiotics keep the gut healthy they're also effective in improving our skin health. (HANDS UP!)
I honestly hear girlfriends of mine talking regularly about the topical products they're using to care for their skin. In the meantime, the wellness world is sharing more and more about the importance of what you eat and drink in regards to how your skin looks. I'm a serious advocate for considering what you're ingesting (green smoothie obsession over here) when it comes to your outer glow. However, if you're out on the road like I am so often, and skipping a day of smoothies here and there, my recommendation is to consume lots of leafy greens (challenge yourself to adding kale to every meal, and minimally order a salad when all else fails) and add probiotic rich foods to that.
Here's a list of 5 probiotic rich foods that are easy to find anywhere:
- Dark Chocolate
- Miso Soup
Each of these foods are quick menu additions and things that, as a traveler, I can get anywhere.
Want to know a little more about how it works?
A way probiotics support skin health is by aiding our natural moisture levels through the production of hyaluronic acid. HA is a "natural substance our body produces and is a major contributor to the elasticity, tightness, and strength of our skin."
According to Dr. Roshini Raj of Mind Body Green "probiotics strengthen our skin so that it can act as a physical barrier to the negative effects of winter by keeping out pathogens, bad bacteria, pollution, and other toxins."
I definitely need all of that. Count me in.
And, because, hey, I am from New Orleans and even though Mardi Gras is over we still have the oncoming Spring days to celebrate (and c'mon! cocktails are a serious part of my culture) I've got a fun little probiotic cocktail recipe for you too!
Pomegranate Blueberry Probiotic Mimosas
- 1 bottle of champagne or prosecco
- 2 - 1 liter bottles of Indian River Select Brand Prohealthy Blend Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup wild blueberries
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Oranges, sliced
- Squeeze of lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)
Add the bubbles to a large pitcher first, and then top with the OJ and stir. From there, add the berries, pomegranate and orange slices. Mix in the ACV, squeeze a bit of lemon and garnish each drink with a dash of cayenne. If you're not an OJ lover you can sub in Indian River Select Brand Prohealthy Blend Grapefruit Juice.
The ACV increases nutrient absorption, reduces water retention and has antioxidant properties.
The Indian River juices (both are available in 1 liter bottles at Harris Teeter) are non GMO and have GanedenBC30® Probiotic. I'm also stocking the 59oz grapefruit and 1 liter OJ on my brunch bar for this recipe this coming weekend (good to have extra for those that want several rounds of mimosas)!
I hope these beauty tips have been helpful to you guys. I'm seriously committed to living my healthiest life, while having a bit of fun along the way! Btw - send your ideas my way. I love hearing from you.
Here's a few probiotic skin care products I'm testing out too.
Enjoy the coming Spring days you guys. I'll see you outside!
This post is in partnership with Indian River Select Brand. As always, creative direction and content is my own.
Golden Milk: An Ayurvedic Tea
Another Ayurvedic ritual that has quickly become a favorite of mine during the cold winter months here in Nashville is Golden Milk. This recipe (below) is nourishing and has all sorts of benefits, and truly it's been a good replacement for my second cup of coffee in the morning or that second glass of wine at night. I saw celeb nutritionist, Kimberly Snyder, speak at a beauty conference a few weeks ago - she has a similar recipe to mine (although she makes hers with hemp milk, definitely worth a try) and I've been committed to trying her beauty detox recipes on the regular.
The Golden Milk warming spices aid in digestion and circulation, and turmeric, which I talked about in detail here, continues to make the lists of 2017's wellness gurus. A few other reasons to drink Golden Milk: increase your immunity, cleanse your body of toxins and beautify your complexion from the inside. (I've used AVEDA products for years with turmeric as a key ingredient, no wonder, it's like magic in reducing inflammation.)
I like mine first thing in the morning or right before bedtime.
I shared my recipe before, however, recently I've upped the quantity of turmeric. Here's how to make it:
Golden Milk Recipe
- 1/2 cup farm fresh milk, or sub almond or coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric paste**
- 1 piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ground cinnamon or cayenne pepper
Whisk coconut milk, turmeric paste, ginger, honey, coconut oil and 1/2 cup filtered water in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon or cayenne depending on your preference.
** turmeric paste is a mixture of 1/4 cup of dried turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper and 1/2 cup filtered water - heated and then stored in the refrigerator in a glass jar
As a note: the paste can be used in all sorts of dishes. I add it to pastas in the evening and egg dishes for weekend brunch.
I've loved sharing these little holistic health tips with you guys and am so glad you're enjoying them. The more time I spend in our new home the more I'm turning this place into my personal wellness sanctuary. I hope you guys are doing the same in 2017!
p.s. thanks to those of you that emailed me letting me know what you wanted more of! Health and beauty tips were second to more travel tips so I'll have more of this coming your way!
btw, can we just talk about the teacups below?!
Happy holiday countdown my friends!
I'm here today with another round of holiday help. This cheat sheet is for the beauty maven.
You know, she's that girl that had the shimmering cheekbone highlight game going before the rest of us even bought our first contour kit. She knew the full brow trend was on it's way months before your brow girl mentioned that maybe we should let these fill in a little... She somehow knows what lip color to wear for every single occasion (I, by the way, tried out a deep dark purple last night, but it was mostly because I'm feeling under the weather and perhaps that shade distracted from the circles under my eyes.) Anyways, on to the list:
Again, I have 5 categories of gifts to choose from! And, every single thing on this list is less than $200. Keeping this wallet friendly you guys.
In the beauty world there's something new just about every. single. day. I, for one, believe that the best beauty routine is plenty of sleep, lots of water, a good vitamin regimen, and eating well. So, while you won't find the latest lasers and gadgets here, you will find things to make bath time beautiful (uhm, that shower cap is kind of the best thing ever) plus a few other lovely additions.
The Eyes Have It
Lavishly soft makeup remover, a luscious lash enhancer, a dash of glitter for good measure and a few other goodies that'll keep her eyes bright all season long.
From the Inside Out
I personally start every day with a smoothie. Ben's mom sent a magic bullet to our new house and we just acquired a juicer on our last visit home and seriously - game changed. On this list I'm obsessed with Beauty Dust by Moon Juice, and most beauty maven's are already in the Caudalie cult, however this particular version is in a portable 30ml bottle - perfect for her tote or desk drawer. The glasses on the end? Well, she's got to have something cute to drink her morning smoothie in of course!
If there's one thing you can't go wrong with it's the masks. Every lady loves a good night in with a moisture mask, or a clarifying mask, or a detox mask... or a..... well you get the idea.
If she truly already has every beauty product in the book, something she'll always need one more of is a good nail color. My long time signature color has been a deep navy blue (Lauren Conrad, the Hills... blame her) however during the holidays it's fun to add a splash of sparkle. And, if she's the type that likes to keep it a bit more neutral, the sweet little pink shade is perfect too.
So, voila! There we have it ladies and gents. Beauty round up, complete. The holidaze madness is almost over you guys, and with just 10 days left to shop I've got a few more cheat sheets in store for ya.
Until then, be well wanderlusters.
In addition to traveling often, for the first time since I was super young I'm living in a climate that will actually be cold in the winter. New Orleans is so often still 75 degrees even in December and I've grown so accustomed to that humidity filled air. I'll admit I haven't typically loved colder climates, but my travels this year have given me an opportunity to grow to love spending time in cooler weather.
I shared with you last week that I've been super mindful in keeping up on my wellness routine to avoid travel related sickness and season colds and flus too. I have to say I've gotten much better at planning for snacks and supplements to travel with, as well as taking the steps to keep my beauty routine in check while traveling.
This post is specifically focused on the changing seasons! And for those of you that live in places that get cold in the winter, it's time to prepare for the environmental and seasonal changes the winter months will bring on.
Here's my tips for adapting to the cooler weather with ease (and good looking skin):
Hydration: I can't say this enough, adding in the appropriate skin care products to protect and nourish the skin in critical. I use an oil based moisturizer every morning as a pre-wash product and then layer on the serums and hydrating creams.
I've mentioned before using a hydrating spray throughout the day to refresh the skin, the 5 oz. bottle of evian® Facial Spray is my current favorite! As soon as I turn the heat on in my house this stuff is a must. It's hypo-allergenic, with a neutral 7.2 pH and is compatible with all skin types. Spray a light mist right over makeup to revive your color throughout the day. And, if you're needing a quick refresh after yoga it can also help remove perspiration.
Live Foods and Supplements: I am a regular at my local farmer's market, and as often as possible prepare my meals at home. Adding probiotics to your supplement routine will help your body to fight off toxins, so between eating right and upping your supplement ritual you're likely to give yourself an immune boost that can ward off potential illness.
Movement: I know, we all know we should continue our exercise routing no matter what the season, but I personally find it easy to want to curl up at home versus go outside for a hike. Be sure to plan some sort of physical activity, even if it's a dance party with your girlfriends to keep your blood flowing.
Focusing on self-care as the climate changes can go a long way in lifting your mood and creating an enjoyable holiday season too! Let me know what tips you guys have and if you'd like more details on products I love! I'm so committed to only sharing products that I truly believe in, so I'd love to learn more about your favorites too.
opening photo: Allister Ann
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #youtheoryturmeric #CollectiveBias
I'm not as young as I'd like to think I am - or as old, for that matter. Personally, I'm with Sophia Loren on the topic of age:
"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."
I have friends 10, oh 20 years older than me, and then others that are quite a bit younger. And it's their thoughts, wisdom, ambition, energy and humor that attracts me to them. You know those people right - "they're an old soul" wise beyond what their actual years could allow and you want to soak up so much knowledge from them. Or then there's that person who has the nonchalance of a child and you want to dance on tables and run loose in the street all night with them.
Queen B said it best: "The most alluring thing a woman can have is confidence." And there's something to be said for growing up a bit and knowing that your self worth comes from one source, and that source is you.
I was having a catch up with a group of girlfriends a while back and one of the girls who's in her mid-20's and who I absolutely adore, in mid-conversation about skincare and aging commented "Andi gives us all hope."
Hmm, "hope" ...well it hadn't occurred to me... uhm, thank you? I think? It got me thinking, I'm asked sometimes about my routine, I spent 10+ years in the beauty business so fair enough... so in support of the elusive fountain of youth and "hope" here's my guide to self care, my essentials to live a healthy life, including a few Ayurvedic techniques I live by whether out traveling (yep all of this can be done in an RV) or at home in day to day living.
Follow these tips and you'll be on track to looking the metaphorical age you already know you are.
1. Eliminate Toxins
When you wake up the first things on your list should include a few moments of detox. This may seem obvious but the first thing you should do is brush your teeth and scrape your tongue (I have a copper tongue scraper that cleans easily). Don't wait until after coffee, you need to release the toxins first.
Next wash your face with cool water and before you even cleanse your skin spend 3 minutes massaging your face with oils. The massage activates your lymphatic system and releases endorphins. If you're not sure which oils are best for you an ayurvedic practitioner can recommend the right things for you. The spa I go to has a quick quiz available with a list of oils that are appropriate for each ayurvedic energy type. Once you've detoxed follow this 4 step system to create beautiful skin:
Cleanse, Tone, Exfoliate, Moisturize
My skin is the thing I probably spend the most time on. When I worked in the beauty business I probably said this 10 times a day "cleanse, tone, exfoliate, moisturize." All the makeup in the world won't do what this 4 step process will. (And as much as possible keep it organic. If you wouldn't ingest it, why would you put it on your skin?)
The last moment of detox (again pre-coffee!) comes with drinking a warm cup of lemon water. Just 1/2 a lemon offers all sorts of benefits and will start your day with energy and a healthy body.
2. Up Your Supplement Game
There's quite a few supplements that have been in my arsenal forever. Vitamins C and B, probiotics, omega 3's and turmeric. Each of these are absolutely foundational. There's lots of others out there of course, but these are my daily must haves, in fairly decent doses. I saw a vitamin expert speak several years ago (an orthomolecular doctor, fancier term) and the evidence is real. The best bet is to get on a preventative plan.
The first several are on lots of lists, however, turmeric has started gaining attention just recently. It has antioxidant properties, helps memory and neural functions and supports healthy inflammation response. These are all major for me. My body's natural stress response is greatly improved with this mix of supplements.
I personally recommend this one:
Why take supplements versus getting your vitamins and antioxidants through your food intake you may ask.... You simply can’t get the same benefits from an orange or by sprinkling the ingredients of your kitchen’s spice rack on your food. However, if you can do both it's even better. I've got a recipe below for Golden Milk. Similar to Chai Tea but with all the benefits of turmeric, it's a great way to add even more antioxidant power into your diet.
3. Glow From the Inside Out
I've lived by the motto of practicing perfect imperfection for years! To seriously embrace the #wokeuplikethis approach, to be fresh, naturally you and a bit undone you have to start on the inside. When you're putting the right things in and on your body, your natural glow will shine through. Drink plenty of water, eliminate processed foods and sugars, meditate at least a few times a week, practice yoga or some sort of mind centering exercise and you'll be setting yourself up for beauty success. Remind yourself to laugh daily too. Laughing removes stress hormones and boosts your immune system. Like Audrey Hepburn said: "I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
I'd love to hear your beauty tips girlinas. What's your routine? And what's in your bag? Fountain of youth support all the way.
As promised, my Golden Milk Recipe is below!
Golden Milk Recipe
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 piece ginger, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Ground cinnamon
Whisk coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, honey, coconut oil and 1 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors combine, about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into mugs and top with a dash of cinnamon.
pening photo in Marfa by Ben, photos of you theory by Chelle
Ahhh pool days. It's really the only answer in the dog days of summer down in the deep south.
One of the things I love about southern living is the slow burn of summer's departure. And while it might be nice to hide away in the AC reading magazines and sipping cool drinks when the heat is barely burning off by 5 p.m. or so, I find southern locals are typically doing other things.
So if you're planning a trip down South here's what the locals are up to:
Typically it's either -
a. the aforementioned poolside hang (we've got lots of pools in New Orleans, I could write a whole post on the best pools to hit)
b. afternoon balcony parties (or a porch party depending on which Southern city you're in)
c. leisurely walks exploring the neighborhoods that are fairly tourist free in the summertime
But how does a girl keep her mascara from melting down her face during the straight up summer scorchers? Well, I've noticed that despite living in one of the most humid cities in the country, somehow my girlfriends always look impeccably chic, shine free and their clothes are surprisingly dry... They hustle about with a smile and no they don't have a magic shield that the rest of us have never heard of. Like how? ...
I decided to dig into their summer weather secrets and share a few with you guys.
1. The Hair Tricks
Every one of the girls I spoke to mentioned keeping it light in the summer. The humidity helps to define waves, and too much product would melt right out. If you're bold enough go for a shorter style, like my friend Lauren. Long hair girls, can you imagine how great that would feel? (That's me up there being jealous of Lauren's cropped locks).
No matter the length apply a light leave-in conditioner into wet hair and pair with a light hairspray. Keep a dry shampoo on hand and the style can last a few days.
2. The Beauty Routine
A liquid eyeliner will melt in the humidity. So instead, accentuate the brows. Think fresh faced with a neutral lip. Pick products with a powdery finish, something that will stay put without creasing. Stick to a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer and finish with a tinted lip balm - it's so much more low maintenance and all you need when wearing a strong brow like Michelle (below).
p.s. Blotting papers are a great secret weapon. Stash a few in your bag to keep the shine at bay.
3. Wardrobe For the Win
Let it breathe. Say it with me you guys: let. it. breathe. Any fabric that's clingy... silks and poly blends - they'll leave you showing the sweat in minutes. Choose dresses with linings, and when in doubt pick a light cotton fabric to keep things cool and breezy. And if you're like me, always on a pool hunt, layer your one piece swimsuit under a pair of shorts and keep a light sweater for dipping in and out of the AC.
4. Color Me Hydrated
Here's perhaps the most important part -- the real deal beauty trick is staying hydrated and looking good while doing it. When you're an on the go girl out in the blistering summer heat the hydration of choice in every one of my girlfriend's bags is vitaminwater zero.
vitaminwater zero is perfect for pool, balcony and neighborhood hopping all day. It's zero calories (no sugar!) and is packed with vitamins and electrolytes too. Flavors of choice:
I mean, who doesn't love an açai-blueberry-pomegranate combo?!
Now that we have that covered, let's get back to pool time.
p.s. I'll have a follow up post with the full list of the products I'm finding in my girlfriends' beauty bags next week. I've been on a serious Target shopping mission and I'm compiling a list, send me your secrets too, we're in this together you guys. Sound good?
opening photo: Hunter Holder
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #ColorMeHydrated #CollectiveBias