Beauty: DIY Body Scrub

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I have a friend who is really into essential oils. She was always asking if I had ever used any and I hadn’t, so out of curiosity, I ordered some samples. The samples sat around for for a few months until I finally decided to make body scrubs.

The first one I made was with sugar and although it did work as an exfoliator- I just didn’t love the sugar part. As most of you know, I have a puppy who is almost 7 months old and I love him but…. I don’t love when he licks my legs nonstop. So the sugar scrub did not work out for me.

On to the salt scrub! Most of the recipes I read called for 1 cup of oil (I used extra virgin olive oil because that is what I had around the house) for every 2 cups of salt. I added a bit more salt because it seemed too oily to me. As for the essential oil, 5-15 drops was recommended but this was just not enough and the olive oil scent was overpowering. I wound up adding around 25-30 drops of the lavender scent and then mixing in some dried lavender buds.

DIY Salt Body Scrub

1.5 Cups Epsom Salt

2 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil

25 drops essential oil

Dried buds (optional)

Container

Mix everything together and that’s it!

I must admit, I was skeptical at first. It just seemed strange to be using olive oil on my skin and even with 25 drops of lavender, the smell of the olive oil was still a bit too strong. I tried it anyway and to my surprise, it smelled much better after the application. I can definitely smell the lavender now and thanks to the salt and olive oil exfoliation, my skin is super soft!

Have you made any body scrubs? What kind of oils do you use?

Victoria

DIY Body Scrub

DIY Salt Body Scrub

DIY Body Scrub

Quinoa Tabbouleh Recipe

Quinoa Recipe

As a part-time vegetarian (if that isn’t already a thing, well now it is!) I try to eat mainly plant based meals.  One staple in my diet is Quinoa. If you aren’t familiar with it- Quinoa is considered a “superfood” as it is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.

Since it has been a part of my diet for years now, I don’t really think about “recipes”- normally I just throw a bunch of vegetables in and mix it up. However, someone on Instagram had asked for a quinoa recipe so today I decided I would post one of my all time favorites – Quinoa Tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh is a Lebanese Dish that is typically made with Bulgur- a cracked whole wheat grain. The only difference in this non-traditional dish if of course, substituting quinoa for bulgur. Most recipes for Tabbouleh are very similar and can usually be found on the backs of the bags of quinoa or bulgur.

Anyway, here it is…

Quinoa Tabbouleh

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1 medium sized tomato cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1/2 medium sized cucumber, seeded and diced

1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

Dash of pepper

Mix together all ingredients, chill for an hour or more.

I make this as a side dish so it serves about 4 people.

Enjoy!

xx Victoria

JCrew Dress

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When I started planning my post-college wardrobe, I wasn’t really sure what direction I was going to take with my personal style. My budget was tight- I was living in Boston, I had an entry level job, and I really wanted to spend money on experiences, not clothing. I also wanted quality, not quantity. I knew I wouldn’t be in Boston for more than two years so I always thought about how I could minimize stress on moving day by having fewer items. It was important that I would be able to wear my new clothes to work but of course, to brunch if necessary. With these parameters in mind, I decided to go with classic pieces that had more of a timeless look.

I got this dress at a JCrew outlet store for $15. The necklace was a gift. It is by Studio DuArte, which is located in the east village (nyc).

My name is not Charlene.

Chair

If you were wondering where I have been- I apologize. So much has changed over the past few months and I just felt like I needed to take some time to figure out a new path.  After many difficult decisions, I am excited to announce that I have moved back to NYC.  I am taking what will hopefully be an indefinite break from the corporate world to spend my time blogging and starting a business that I have always dreamed of creating.

When I started this blog, I had just moved to Boston and I was in the middle of applying for jobs. To maintain anonymity, I chose to blog under the pseudonym, “Charlene.”  I thought it sort of went with Chic (pronounced shēk or “sheik”) – and no surprise here- it seemed as if every other name was taken.

As I continued blogging, I began to feel like I was part of a community, but it was strange to be known as Charlene instead of by my actual name. So after a three-month break, I am so happy to be back – as myself.

For the first time in a really long time, I am so excited about life, and I hope you will join me on this new adventure.

Victoria

Chic shirt, fur coatYeti jacket: Target, Chic shirt: Lord and Taylor, Jeans: Banana Republic, Boots:Frye

Tea in bed on Sundays. DIY

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My weekdays and weeknights are packed with work, events, and classes. Sometimes I leave the house at 8 am and don’t return until after 11 pm so I take weekend resting time very seriously. On Sunday mornings, my favorite thing to do is stay in bed, drink tea, and read the papers/magazines.

Recently, I decided I absolutely had to have a breakfast tray so I ordered on one on Amazon. However, when it arrived, it looked a bit too sterile so I decided to add a some color using decoupage.

If you are not familiar with Decoupage, it is really simple and all you need are a pair of scissors, a foam brush, Decoupage Glue (Mod Podge), paper (mine is from Paper Source but you can also just cut things out of magazines), and whatever it is you are covering – which in this case, is the breakfast tray.

papers teatray

If you want to cover the entire top first like I did, measure and cut your paper to the correct size. Then put a thin layer of modpodge directly on the tray.  Next, line up your paper and press it on to the tray, smoothening out the edges and getting rid of any bubbles.

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If you like the way it looks with just one layer of paper then go over the entire thing with modpodge to seal the paper and let it dry overnight (or two nights depending on how glue happy you were).

You can also cut out your favorite pictures/random artwork, put a thin layer of modpodge on the table and place your pictures on top of the glue. When you have finished placing your pictures, wait a few minutes for it to dry and then cover the entire table top with modpodge and again, give it a night or two to dry.

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The beauty of decoupage is that if you screw it up, you can just start over. I had this design for a while but then got bored so I just covered the old paper with a new one (top photo).

I hope you are having a great weekend and let me know if you decide to try this. :)

xx

My 15 Travel Beauty Must Haves

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As the weather warms up, my schedule becomes filled with weekend trips. This of course means lots of packing and traveling. I have always struggled to keep my weekend makeup bag light however, I think I have finally narrowed it down to my must haves. I was hoping to have a much shorter list – maybe 5 or 10 items, but for right now, that just isn’t realistic because I am a total makeup junkie.

Skin

1. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Rather than packing actual moisturizer, I have recently just been taking this with me. I put it on before I go to sleep and I sometimes put on a drop on before applying my makeup. I’m not really sure if I am supposed to do that but it works for me!

2. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer
I have been using this product for years and I doubt I will be changing it anytime soon. I usually get the one with spf so that I don’t have to use sunblock under my makeup.

3. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation
This is one of my favorite foundations. It is a little thick but it gives excellent coverage and doesn’t look cake-y.

4. Clarin’s Blush Prodige Miami Pink
This is another one of those “been using it for years” products. The colors work well with my complexion so I haven’t been using much else.

5. Benefit Watts App Highlighter
I have used all sorts of highlighters but this one is my current favorite. It adds a light shimmer and is just so easy to use because it isn’t liquid.

Eyes

6. Maybelline Waterproof Ultra Liner
For whatever reason, makeup does not like to stay on my skin. I would love to use only pencil eyeliner but it rubs off within minutes. I started using this eyeliner in college because at the time, I could only afford drugstore makeup. Since then, I have tried a bunch of different “fancier” brands but nothing else has been as reliable as this one.

7. Trish McEvoy Classic Eye Pencil
To make the liquid eyeliner line a bit smoother, I go over it with pencil. I like this particular pencil because it is soft and does not peel off my liquid eyeliner when I am going over it.

8. Ecobrow Defining Wax
I love this stuff. I am a little bummed that they no longer sell it at Sephora but it is available on the ecobrow website.

9. Lancome Color Design Eyeshadow Palette
I got this palette not too long ago and I have been loving it. I think if I could change one thing, I would want some colors to not be as sparkly but otherwise, it is great because it includes base colors, as well as colors for definition.

10. Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
This mascara does a great job lengthening the eyelashes and does not get clumpy.

Lips
11. Color Sensational Lip Liner
My lips are naturally on the fuller side and since my eyes are blue, I try not to overdo both my eye and lip makeup. However, I like to just use this lipliner to add a little color. Most of the time I just apply it under Chapstick but sometimes I use it with…

12. Sephora Glossy Gloss
This gloss has been great because it is not too sticky. I hate when my hair gets stuck on my gloss.

Freshen Up

13. Caudalie Beauty Elixir
This product can be used as setting spray but I use it mostly when I am reapplying makeup throughout the day. It is an instant pick-me-up and leaves my skin feeling fresh.

14. Palladio Rice Paper
This one was on sale and has worked the way rice paper normally does- great for getting rid of midday oily skin.

Perfume

15. Fragonard Belle Cherie Perfume
If I had to choose only one perfume, this would be it. It smells wonderful and I love that it came with a refillable travel bottle.

What’s in your travel beauty bag??

Victoria

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