Verb Products for the Perfect Air-Dry Hair

When it comes to hair, I have always had a love/hate relationship with mine. The extremely thick, wavy and frizzy texture that sits atop my head rarely decided to cooperate throughout most of my life. I was that girl that, even after a good hour of blowout, walks out the door to find immediate pouf and waves despite how stick straight I worked it (hello 90s).

I had seemed to try everything. Hairspray galore, drugstore creams that claimed to solve all my problems, keratin infused shampoos. Nothing seemed to help until I changed the way I approached the whole act of washing and taking care of my hair. And of course, from finding the perfect products.

This post is going to detail the in’s and out’s of my hair and how I manage it to let it air-dry most days of the week.

The Foundation

It’s important to note that my hair is color treated (highlighted) and because I live a very active lifestyle I wash more often than I should. I wash my hair about every other day and sometimes every day. The naturally frizzy and wavy texture means it is drier than most to begin with, not to mention the frequent washing and lightener which help to dry it out.

In The Shower

I use Verb Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner daily on my hair. The formulas are rich but weightless and won’t make my hair greasy. To make matters more complicated, I walk a tight balance between greasy top and dry ends. When I shampoo I mostly apply the formula to my roots only, and I apply the conditioner mostly to my ends only. No exceptions to this rule.

Once a week I use the Verb Hydrating Mask to help add even more hydration and lock in moisture for the week. I don’t skimp out on this and use it all over my head (roots included) and let it set for about 30 min before washing it out. The formula is amazingly weightless.

Out of The Shower

It’s important to use a microfiber towel, and though I have not upgraded yet I want to also invest in silk pillowcases for sleeping. On the days that I haven’t used the Hydrating Mask, I apply a combination of a dime size of Verb Styling Cream plus two pumps of Verb Ghost Oil mixed together from roots to ends of my hair.

Overall, I really think the key to letting your natural texture shine through is being able to accept who you are. Sure, your hair isn’t going to lay right every day but isn’t that the amazing part about it? Your natural waves, crazy as they may be, tell a story about who you are as a person. And that is the best part of all.

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I Tried The Ordinary’s Serums

I want to preface this by saying: I used to know very little about serums, acids, toners, and the like. All of the skincare regimens these days (thanks Korea) involve so many steps and products it can make my head spin. The one morning I woke up after a particularly exhausting week and just felt like my skin knew it too. I felt dry and dull, and knew I could do something to step up my game to prevent this next time. And, in comes The Ordinary.

For those of you who are considered skincare moguls, you probably have already heard of this line. For me, it was my first time reading about the Canadian brand and it all seemed too good to be true. The Ordinary is a brand under the DECEIM umbrella of beauty companies.

What I love is that the products are meant to cut out the noise of high-end packaging, marketing, etc to just bring you the down and dirty: pure scientific ingredients that are proven to work. They want to bring quality concentrated products to the market without over-inflating price and are fully transparent about what you are getting for your money.

I knew enough about what I was looking for to pick out four different serums to try and share for all of you. I never in my life would have thought I ordered four serums at once, but wait until you see these prices. The most expensive serum I purchased was around $12, and most were around $5. I use them after cleansing and before moisturizing once, sometimes twice, a day. Let’s talk about what I picked and why.

Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%    $12.90

Many popular skincare brands offer Vitamin C serums due to it’s well-known benefits. Vitamin C has been known to have anti-aging properties and helps to fight dullness and evens tone of the skin. The Ordinary offers several types of Vitamin C solutions, but this one in particular I picked because it is easy for beginners (make sure to read up on why before buying a product with high concentrations of Vitamin C).

The serum itself is watery and cooling to the touch. Be careful not to use too much in order to not appear greasy afterwards! A few drops goes a long way. Overall I really enjoy using this serum. It can be used AM or PM and after consistent use it does seem to brighten my skin tone (or maybe that’s the good night’s sleep).

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5    $6.80

Probably the most recognizable name of the products, Hyaluronic Acid is advertised everywhere these days even in many drugstore products (I see you, Olay). Able to hold up to 1,000 times it’s weight in water, this molecule is super hydrating and is considered one of the best. I have always fought with dry skin and so this serum was a no-brainer purchase for me.

This formula is more gel-like and isn’t too watery. Out of all of these serums, I like how this one feels on my skin the best. It’s fast absorbing and doesn’t leave you feeling greasy. After a week straight of using this product (AM or PM), I can definitely tell I am not running for my lotion nearly as often.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%    $5.90

I hadn’t heard of these active ingredients before researching, but probably because I don’t suffer from oily or acne prone skin on a regular basis. Particularly at certain times of the month or after long stressful weeks I will tend to break out. This serum is used to help control redness and reduce blemishes. It actually works by controlling sebum production in the skin and reduces the appearance of pores, while Zinc helps with redness.

This serum is probably the most impressive of the bunch. I like to use it at night (it makes your skin feel tight), but one application over my entire face before bed and I wake up the next day with visibly reduced blemishes. I honestly haven’t seen anything work this well for acne before!

Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG    $6.70

“It’s like coffee for your eyes!” I swear I’ve seen some sort of slogan like this on Pinterest somewhere. Many home remedies for eye masks include adding coffee grounds in to reap the benefits of caffeine for eye puffiness and dark circles. The Ordinary supports this research as well with this eye serum!

I have mixed feelings about this serum. You have to be careful applying it because it is slightly watery and getting it into your eyes will burn. On the bright side, the instant feeling on your skin is that of energy and awake-ness so I love applying it before work. Hard to say yet whether or not it really is reducing my dark circles (they are big) but I will keep using this in the hopes of a change!

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Grand Banks on a Summer Saturday

When a fierce rainstorm decided to roll through to cancel our Pinknic plans, my friends and I last minute had to throw something together instead for our Saturday. We had been eyeing up Grand Banks at Pier 25 in Tribeca for awhile and decided this was the perfect savior plan for the day.

The atmosphere at this small but beautiful boat is top-notch. Grand Banks boasts amazing cocktails and soft island music. You almost feel that any minute the boat could take off for a tropical island, or even Nantucket. The menu is small but features really good oysters and upscale American summer fare. We all opted to go for the lobster roll which definitely did not disappoint. To drink, I recommend ordering the Skipper Key (made with rose, cucumber and strawberry).

We all left with a great buzz and some sunburns, but were overall really impressed with this place. As opposed to the party atmosphere of The Frying Pan this is definitely more of a date spot or a place to impress parents when they visit the city. I can only imagine how great it is at night when the sun is setting and it gets cooler on the water.

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Summer Nights at Citi Field

They call baseball “America’s Past-time” but most of the games I go to involve ice cream and beer rather than sport watching. Baseball games in the summer are undeniably fun. I’m slowly in the works of putting together a comprehensive guide to my favorite places in New York. Citi Field is bound to make this list.

Citi Field (where the Mets play) is super easy to get to by the 7 train on the NYC subway line and tickets are much cheaper than at the more touristy Yankee Stadium. Last summer, I purchased tickets in the lower level section for $30 each. After the games MTA offers express 7 trains back to Manhattan so you can easily get to the stops at Grand Central and Times Square without much difficulty. Express trains are also available on weekdays to the stadium.

The stadium feels brand-new and clean. They have all the food you could possibly want like Nathan’s and Mister Softee. My friends and I when we went recently were impressed at the beer selection they offer. Citi Field had everything from basic Bud Light to Shocktop to Brooklyn Summer Ale. They just so happened to also stock one of my favorite craft beers Victory’s Summer Love from a local PA based brewery.

Next time you are planning a trip to NYC in the summer, consider riding out to Citi Field.

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Wide Leg Jeans for Summer

As I’ve grown older I more frequently stay away from shorts even on the hottest days of summer. Being a 5’8″ human can make shorts seem inappropriate in some cases, and they don’t necessarily fit me well. When choosing jeans in the summer it’s important to buy pieces you feel comfortable in but can stay relatively cool in as well.

I’ve had my eye on the wide leg jean trend for awhile. You can find them at nearly every denim retailer these days. While I wasn’t ready to splurge on this pair of Madewell jeans, the pair I found from Uniqlo satisfied my craving and also are one of the most comfortable pieces in my closet. They fit like a glove and look fantastic with dressier tops or with tucked-in casual T shirts.

I know what you’re thinking: sure it looks cute, but wasn’t she sweating all day? The key is breathability. Uniqlo denim is made from a super soft lightweight fabric and the wide leg gives a breezy feel without being too constricting. They are super stretchy as well so you don’t feel like you are suffocating when sitting down. They check off nearly every criteria on my list, and being wallet-friendly isn’t a problem either!

Top is Anthropologie [Similar Here]. Bottoms are Uniqlo [Here]. Shoes are Steve Madden [Similar Here].

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How to Use Succulents to Dress up a Space

I am happy to say that I officially signed the lease on my new apartment! Could not be happier. Now that the first step is done, the next part is where the fun begins; decorating!

Especially in NYC, having green things inside your apartment can help a space feel like an oasis and home-y. It creates a welcoming respite to the chaos and concrete outside. Browsing through the Union Square Greenmarket recently I couldn’t help myself at one of the flower vendors who had an amazing array of succulents and cacti for the home. I thought it would be fitting to talk about a few tips to help pull off green in your home.

Quantity: When it comes to house plants, grouping them in places that make sense are key. Choose a few of each variety that you like, and style them together in groups of 3 around your home.

Placement: Because they don’t necessarily need much light there is no need to put them near a window, but I still recommend placing them around the outskirts of your living room rather than smack dab in the middle. On the work desk in the corner or around the TV on your TV stand are a couple of great places to start. This way it can help pull your eye out to the green, and make your space look bigger!

Maintain: I love the idea of having succulents or cacti in the kitchen for added style, but you don’t want any mess in your food! Using floating shelves can be super beneficial in any room to keep your plants away from your nice furniture and avoid messes. [Try this shelf from Ikea].

Do you have any other tips on using succulents in the home? More to come will be the reveal of the inside of the apartment (once it’s FINALLY done of course)!

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Do-It-Yourself Headboard

While deep in the midst of apartment hunting, I can’t stop thinking about interior design options almost as obsessively as trying to find a place. Home decor has been a bittersweet topic for me ever since graduating and “becoming an adult”. Options are expensive and the amount of decor and furniture you need to fill a space can be overwhelming not just in price but also in finding that perfect piece.

I’ve been browsing West Elm and CB2 for inspiration lately, but figured I would talk about one of the most innovative and inexpensive home design moves I ever pulled: making my own headboard! Since I was bringing my old bed from home when moving into my first apartment, and it didn’t have a gorgeous headboard to elevate the style, my parents and I got creative and made our own.

Step 1

Form the base for the headboard with four 2×4’s and use a drill to combine them into a rectangle with extra hanging off the end pieces for the legs. [We had measured out the width of my full length bed before starting this endeavor]. We then added a flat piece of plywood to the top and bottom to solidify the “box” we had just made.

Step 2

Next hit the craft store. I picked up a couple yards of batting (like you use for quilt making) and some plain color fabric that would match my design ideas. Batting is basically the inside of the quilt that makes it puffy, so using it on my headboard made it soft and comfortable so that I could still lean up against it while sitting around in bed.

Step 3

Next we grabbed the staple gun and proceeded to stretch the batting first and fabric second around the headboard to secure it. The result was clean and chic and added the right pop of color to the apartment space. The whole project cost me around $30.

Would love to hear about more of your creative apartment DIY ideas!

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Pulling off the Neck Tie Trend

I know, I know, more pictures of Spring flowers. But can you really see too much of this stuff? My friend and I snuck into Brooklyn Botanical Garden just before the annual Sakura Matsuri festival to check out the cherry blossoms before they got all trashed and trampled on. [Pro Tip: the Sakura Matsuri festival gets outrageously crowded and I really wouldn’t recommend going, in my opinion].

As far as this outfit goes, I saw this scarf at Zara and knew I couldn’t resist the tropical but sophisticated pattern. The other way I would love to wear this neck tie is with a simple striped sleeveless tank for a play with patterns. My glowy skin is courtesy of Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Dusk. [This post talks about this amazing product]. Pairing the look with ripped denim shorts and Stan Smith’s kept the outfit not overly girly and comfortable for a day of exploring.

P.S. shoutout to my amazing and beautiful friend for her amazing photography skills.

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White Lace

While exploring near Washington Square Park I knew I had to make a stop into my favorite coffee shop in NYC, Stumptown. Coffee in hand, my friend and I are making our way over to the West Village when she exclaims “I made myself a promise to get my wedding dress from this store!” and there is no denying why. Spina Bride is one of those small non-flashy stores tucked away in the corner on MacDougal Street. The space is clean, refreshing and comfortable. But, best of all, the dresses are just a dream.

Even from the window you can see all of the styles. Princess tulle, bohemian floral, simple and elegant. The store is unique and beautiful without being tacky like some certain wedding traditions can be.

I think it’s natural for us as women to fantasize about our wedding once in a while, especially when we grow up with Disney princesses as our main form of inspiration. We all have a wedding Pinterest board even if we know marriage is 5 or even 10 years away. Even lately I seem to be obsessively scrolling through engagement rings though I really don’t want one quite yet. Even my friend proudly claimed it doesn’t matter where in the country she lives at that time, she is traveling back to this little store for her wedding dress when that day comes.

There are a few things I also have set in my mind for how I would like my wedding to be. Something not too formal. I want my dress to be simple with a slight bohemian flair. I want my guests to feel like they are coming to a family reunion. It should be comfortable and easy-going, and not stuffy. I want the color scheme to be light and fresh. I want plenty of green to pair with the colorful florals.

What does your dream wedding look like?

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Shimmer and Glossier

Without realizing it, my Instagram account probably subconsciously made me hungry for Glossier’s products with all of the low-key advertising popping up in my feed lately. How could I not know they even had a showroom right here in NYC?! I couldn’t help myself.

Glossier has already prided itself for some time now as being a “beauty brand for real life” and providing high quality skincare basics with natural-looking and easy to apply makeup to go on top. It’s actually quite a shock I haven’t jumped into this brand sooner, considering that their core values align perfectly with my aesthetic. Simple, easy, natural, beautiful. What’s not to love? Plus they have an affordable price point (always a bonus).

I went to their showroom in search of the new Cloud Paint, a cream blush that got a huge seat in the spotlight when makeup artists put in on the celebrities at the 2017 Oscars. It looked too amazing to pass up, even for a girl who NEVER wears blush. I ended up walking out with several different products so I wanted to tell you about them!

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser: I had heard great things about this cleanser months ago when I was doing research on the best products for my super dry skin. Turns out this cleanser is great for getting makeup off, especially eye makeup. It’s made with the same cleaning products as contact lens solution, so I don’t have to worry about irritating my eyes when I rub it all over to get that tricky mascara off!

Glossier Stretch Concealer: I don’t think I am ever going back to any other concealer; this stuff is fantastic. They design the product to blend in seamlessly with all skin colors even though the range of options is small. The formula has a thick consistency but rubs on lightweight, which provides super long lasting color that doesn’t look cakey.

Glossier Cloud Paint: Okay, do yourself a favor and try this stuff out. After the first day of wearing it to work, I got so many compliments on my skin on how glowing I looked, and when I let my BFF in on the secret she was shocked. The colors are so natural and blend in extremely well you just have to be careful to use only a tiny amount since it’s so concentrated. It dries into a beautiful texture and lasts all day. The Dusk color that I chose is the most amazing everyday skin enhancer/highlighter but the Haze would also be good for a bigger pop of color.

[If you live in NYC I suggest going to the showroom because I was completely off about what color I was going to order online for the Cloud Paint]

Have you already loved Glossier for years? New to their line? Tell me what you think!

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