August POPSUGAR Must Have Box



I have to admit POPSUGAR Must Have Boxes are one of my favorite types of packages. The element of surprise and the assurance that whatever is inside is going to be good definitely keeps me wanting to collaborate 🙂

This August the box is all about celebrations, gratitude, loyalty and friendship. Just like life should be!

So what’s in my box this month?

1. Cheers Tray by Pastel ($28! I have wanted a tray like this for a long time, just to use as home decor, but also to help celebrate special days with friends and family!

2. 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask by First Aid Beauty ($38 I have to admit this quickly became one of my favorite masks, and I have a lot of those 🙂 After about 10 minutes my skin looks brighter and firmer. I have actually used it in the mornings before work, especially on days when I have to get up extra early!

3. Heart Bracelet ($34 is so delicate and small it’s barely noticeable, and I appreciate the POPSUGAR team for sending it to me as a sign of their appreciation. It also reminds me to keep an open heart everywhere I go.

4. Gold Glitter Candles by Meri Meri ($7.50 I can’t wait to bring these to the office! September is a big Birthday month on our team!

5. Free Spirit Journal ($16 About 2 weeks ago I started a 30 Days of Yoga Challenge. I am not following any specific program, I just find time during the day to do anywhere from 10-60 minutes of yoga, and attend yoga classes at the gym several times a week, but I am using this journal to write down any thoughts that are bothering me, or any reflections that I have during my practice! Want to learn more about my 30 day experience? I will have a post up soon!

6. giftcard ( This is such a cool gift and a great idea! This website allows you to shop boutiques from all over the world! I can’t stop!

I have to confess there were also Goodie Girl Cookies, but Sam devoured those in less than 5 minutes!

Love this post? Use the code PARTY (expires 8/31) to get $10 off your FIRST Must Have Box!

Facing Acne

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Summer is my favorite season, hands down. But my skin breaks out the most during this season. All the time I spent sailing, or hanging outside at the beach can negatively impact my skin. Fortunately, I have a go-to product when it comes to dealing with breakouts – Proactiv.

I partnered up with to talk about this product with you today. The three step system helps take care of everything, from cleansing, to toning to moisturizing. They even have an SPF containing moisturizer for those of us concerned with sun damage. I have found out that Proactive works best for me when I use it once a day, or as a week-long treatment. My skin is sensitive, so using it for more than 7 days dries it out.

Having worked in a beauty industry, I’ve learned the importance of a 3-step program. A lot of people skip out on the toner, or substitute it with serum. And that’s not okay. I would recommend using the toner at least once a day before going to sleep, because that’s whats really going to help remove the dead skin cells and help the skin absorb moisturizer better. And that to me is the best anti-aging tip out there! (Coming from a girl who turns 29 next week!)

What are some of your favorite skin care products? How do you fight acne?

Disclosure: Facing Acne provided me with the product, all opinions are my own. does not sell any of the products mentioned above.

Personal Microderm Device – My experience


It’s been 3 weeks since I started using a Personal Microderm Device. I remember when I first heard about it after one of the seasons of The Bachelor ended (yes, back in the day I used to watch that show), and thought to myself – Wow! That’s a neat product. I am so excited to actually own it and share my thoughts and experience with you. And as you may have guessed, this is a sponsored post, but I wouldn’t be sharing it, if I didn’t think you’d find this review useful, and as always – all opinions are my own!


So what is PMD Personal Microderm device?

“PMD is an amazing device that helps women uncover their most vibrant, radiant complexion through an easy series of treatments. It replicates the treatment given by professionals by using the same Aluminum Oxide crystals on the patented spinning discs. The hand-held tool uses vacuum action to gently pull skin towards the disc for optimum exfoliation. Once it removes the dead skin cells and reveals a clear, healthy complexion, your skin is able to absorb products much more effectively. It works will all skin types and unclogs pores, smooths, evens tone, reduces blemishes and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.” 

How do you use it?

This is a very helpful video that talks about the device. It covers everything from plugging it in, to cleaning it, to avoiding the eye area. It talks about the do’s and don’ts and helps you find your way to a clear complexion.

How do I use it?

I use my device once a week, usually on Saturday night, before bed. I like using my device at night, because it allows me not to worry whether I am wearing enough sunscreen or not. Plus I use a thicker, richer cream at night time, and I want that to absorb quickly.
The first time I used the device was a little funny and awkward, it almost felt like I was vacuuming my face. But I got the hang of it soon enough. And no, it doesn’t hurt at all!
I am still on my white training disk and am loving it. I will probably replace it after one more treatment and switch to the green one.
I have only tried PMD Personal Microderm Device on my face, with an exception of testing it out on my arm. I am kind of nervous and excited to try it on my elbows or heels.

Have I noticed any results?

Absolutely! I noticed that my skin is a lot smoother, especially on my cheeks (that’s always been my problem area). My acne scars heal faster, and if I pop a pimple (let’s be honest here! Who doesn’t do that?) it goes away faster too.
I am paying special attention to my nose when I treat my skin, I am really hoping it will help with black heads!

Skincare with PMD

As interesting as it’s going to sound, PMD offers a 3 step skin care system along with the device. Having worked in cosmetics, I am a huge fan of a 3 step system. So that definitely earned them some points with me!

Special Offer 

Not only am I sharing my experience and review with you today, but I am also excited to share this discount code! It’s good through the end of May and will help you save on your own PMD Personal Microderm Device. Just enter pmdbeauty25 at checkout!

I am definitely planning on using my device for a couple more weeks, and then taking a break. I want to make sure I do what’s best for my skin. I will probably cut back on the microdermabrasion during the summer, since I spend a lot of time outside.

Overall the device is easy to use, it’s effective and extremely helpful. I can see it becoming an important part of my weekly skincare routine. 

Have you ever gotten a microdermabrasion? What about a PMD Device? Do tell!

Check out Personal Microderm on Facebook and Twitter as well!

And don’t forget to connect with me, I love talking to you:

Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Minneapolis a la Mode // Bloglovin’


New Skin Care Favorites/Новые любимчики по уходу за кожей

About a month ago I bought quiet a few new skincare products. We all need to umpf our skincare routine every once in a while. Besides I really got into the whole peel concept, and since I haven’t posted anything under the “Beauty” category in a while, so here it goes:

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1. Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Overnight Peel– $14.99

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– Great packaging – much better than Garnier’s Dark Spot Corrector – easier to get the product out!

– No harsh scent

– Works well when it comes to removing acne scars (that’s the main reason why I buy such products)

– Loosens dead skin cells and helps to better exfoliate skin!

I don’t use this product every night, like it recommends. If you don’t have bad dark spots, just use it a couple times a week, like I do!

2. Alba Hawaiian Facial Mask – $12.95

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– Light gel-like texture

– Hypo-allergenic and pH balanced, plus all of the ingredients are 100% vegetarian

– Smells great

– Papaya and pineapple enzymes help loosen dead skin cells and reveal bright, vibrant skin

– Made in the US!

I only use it once a week, mainly because I want to make it last! There are only 3 oz of product in the jar :/

3. Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus – $10.48 on Clearance

– Brightens and tones, improves skin tone with enzymes, contained in the Hibiscus flower and Songyi Mushroom.

– It also moisturizes

– Contains a blend of mineral clays that help detoxify skin

The only thing I dislike about this mask is it’s consistency, it seems to be separating (water gathers on top, leaving the clay layer underneath) so every time I use it, I make sure to mix it up before applying it!

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4. Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Facial Mask with Frankincense & Myrrh – $10.48 on Clearance

I am in love with this product! It is absolutely amazing!

– Soft, buttery consistency that melts as it touches your skin, leaving a short tingly feeling behind

– Purifies and softens to improve skins radiance

– Contains anti-oxidants

– Deeply moisturizes and repairs

This mask works better for me than Clinique’s Moisture Surge and Origin’s Make a Difference + put together times 10!

5. Eclos Anti-Aging Serum – $13.99 on Clearance

I didn’t know what to expect when I bought this serum. I was looking for a new anti-aging treatment though, and this serum looked interesting, plus it was on clearance, so I got 1.7 oz of product for a pretty decent price!

– It’s very fast absorbent, I think it’s my favorite part about this product, doesn’t leave your skin feeling too tight or uncomfortable, even if you don’t apply moisturizer right away!

– Has a nice natural scent to it

– Contains plant stem cells that promote cell renovation

– Rich in anti-oxidants, including Green Tea and Turmeric

I am glad I got this product when I did, it doesn’t go on clearance every day! And is still listed at $19.99 on Target’s website. But to be completely honest with you, after having tried this product, I am ready to pay the full price for it!

And that’s it, here are all the products that have been helping my skin stay exfoliated, vibrant and refreshed. I can’t emphasize how important exfoliation is for younger healthy looking skin!

What beauty products have you been loving lately?Do tell!



PS. All products have been purchased with my own money

Около месяца назад я прикупила достаточно большое количество новых продуктов по уходу за кожей лица. Иногда нужно сменить или обновить уход за кожей, тем более, я давно ничего не писала про косметику. Итак,

1. Ночной пилинг от пигментных пятен от Garnier – $14.99

– Отличная упоковка – намного лучше чем сыворотка от потемнений на коже – продукт очень легко дозируются с помощью помпы

– Нет резкого запаха

– Отлично подходит для избавления от следов от акне (для этого я и покупаю такие средства)

– Растворяет омертвевшие клетки кожи и отлично эксфолиирует!

Я бы не рекомендовала использовать этот продукт каждый вечер, особенно если у вас нет ярко видимых пигментных пятен. Для пилинга такое средство достаточно использовать пару раз в неделю.

2. Гавайская маска для лица от Alba – $12.95

– Легкая гелевая текстура

– Данное средство гиппо-аллергенно, pH сбалансировано, к тому же все ингредиенты на 100% вегетарианские

– Отлично пахнет

– Энзимы папайи и ананаса помогают растворить омертвевшие клетки кожи и делают кожу ярче и моложе

– Сделана эта маска в США!

Пользуюсь я этим средством раз в неделю, потому что хочу, чтобы мне его хватило на более долгий срок! В банке всего около 85 грамм.

3. Маска с кокосом и гибискусом от Shea Moisture  – $10.48 на распродаже

– Делает кожу ярче, сужает поры, улучшает цвет лица с помощью энзимов, содержащихся в цветах гибискуса и грибах Songyi

– Увлажняет кожу

– Содержить смесь минеральных глин, которые очищают кожу от вредных веществ

Единственное, что мне не нравится в этой маске, это ее консистенция (ну или ее отсутствие), такое впечатление, что маска оседает (вода собирается с верху, а слой глины остается снизу), поэтому перед использованием маску приходится перемешивать!

4. Маска с маслом Ши с Ладаном и Миррой от Shea Moisture – $10.48 на распродаже

Я просто влюблена в это средство! Это чудо, а не маска!

– Мягкая масляная текстура, создается впечатление, что средство тает при соприкосновении с кожей, оставляя лекгое ощущение покалывания

– Очищает и смягчает кожу, придает ей сияние

– Содержит анти-оксиданты

– Глубоко увлажняет и восстанавливает

Эта маска действует на много раз лучше, чем Moisture Surge от Клиник и Make a Difference Plus от Origins!

5. Анти возрастная сыворотка от Eclos – $13.99 на распродаже

Я не знала чего ожидать от этого продукта. Но, будучи в поисках новой анти-возрастной сыворотки, решилась его попробовать. Выглядела эта сыворотка интересно, и продавалась со скидкой. В итоге я приобрела 50 мл средства за очень хорошую цену.

– Сыворотка очень быстро впитывается, и за это я ее уже люблю. Даже если вы не сразу нанесете увлажняющий крем, она не стянет вашу кожу!

– Приятный натуральный растительный запаз

– Содержит клетки раcтительные стволовые клетки, который способствуют обновлению клеток вашей кожи

– Продукт богат антиоксидантами, включая зеленый чай и куркуму

Я очень довольна этой сывороткой, и рада, что купила ее пока она шла на распродаже. На сайте Target она стоит $19.99. Но если уж говорить на чистоту, то я готова заплатить за нее полную цену, после того, как я ее попробовала!

Ну вот и все, я рассказала о всех продуктах, которые купила, и как вы заметили, они все тем или иным образом удаляют омертвевшие клетки кожи! Не забывайте насколько важна эксфолиация, особенно если вы хотите, чтобы ваша кожа выглядела моложе и красивее!

А какими масками пользуетесь вы? Очень интересно узнать!

Всего хорошего,


PS. Все упомянутые выше продукты были куплены на мои деньги

Skin Care Tips 101

These are some tips that I think are rather interesting, I am not necessarily agreeing with all of it. So think of it as the Skin Care tips that you shouldn’t follow, or pick and choose the ones that work for you!


Having good skin is an underrated facet of looking good, as many females will smother their faces with products to cover any blemishes or marks, but beautiful skin starts from beneath.

Beautiful skin needs three things in order to thrive and be beautiful, you need to understand your skin in a way that you can match products, washes and moisturisers to your skin type. Whether your skin is dark, dry, normal, oily, sensitive or combination skin, finding out which class your skin comes under can only serve to help you find the right products as to complement your skin.

Step 1

The first step to think about when you are putting in a regime to look after your skin is to make sure your skin is as clean as possible. That doesn’t mean using all the harsh cleansers that are around twice a day as they can end up stripping your face and could quite possible give you rashes. The best way to look after your skin is to wash with a mild cleanser 3 times a day.

Step 2

The food you eat is used by your body to replenish the broken skin cells. Looking at your own diet when considering how best to look after your skin is one of the fundamental issues that can really swing the end result either way.

If you eat a lot of oily foods then inevitably you will have oily skin and develop acne, whereas if you eat a lot of natural and healthy foods, your skin will replenish a lot cleaner. It also helps to drink a lot of water as this will help cleanse your body of toxins.

Step 3

As clichéd as it sounds, the third essential step to keep healthy skin is to exercise regularly. Exercise improves the circulation of blood around the body and as your skin relies on circulation to stay healthy. Another advantage of being active and exercising is that you sweat more, sweating more helps flush out your pores and contributes to healthy looking skin too.


At the end of the day, you can buy as many expensive products as are on the market, but without these three fundamental skin care routines, no matter how expensive the products you use are, the best facial care product you can spend your money on is a moisturiser that also doubles up as a sun screen as we all know the effects of the sun on the skin.

Andy suffered for years until he found some high quality dry skincare and moisturiser after a lot of research. Follow him on twitter for some good advice @andym23.

Let me know what you think,

Homemade Face Toner

Yay, I am back with a new DIY. And today’s DIY is a beauty/health project. Don’t you love those? I do! I am always looking for some homemade recipes to try out, and the best thing is – you already have most of the ingredients!

Today I am going to share a recipe of a homemade rosewater, glycerin, witch hazel and rosemary toner. Here’s what you’ll need:

– a bottle (made out of dark glass, or any bottle that doesn’t let the sun rays through, or just keep this toner in a dark place 🙂 )

– a measuring cup! (love my PYREX one!)

– 1/2 cup Witch hazel

– 1 cup Rose Water with Glycerin (if you only have rose water, you will need 2 tbsp of glycerin)

– 10 drops of rosemary oil (The benefits of rosemary oil are: Rosemary oil has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. When applied on the skin, it rejuvenates the skin condition by improving blood circulation and fortifying the blood capillaries present in the skin. It can fight inflammation and skin irritations and is useful in treating acne, dermatitis, eczema and other skin diseases. Regular massaging with rosemary oil can make your skin smooth and glowing).

I chose rosemary oil for two main reasons:

1. That is the only essential oil that I currently have 🙂

2. I firmly believe that it helps with acne!

Now here is what you do!

Step 1: Prepare your bottle (mine came from Marshall’s and it actually came with water 🙂 ) – make sure it’s clean and the lid goes on well.

Step 2: Measure 1 cup of Rose water and pour into the bottle:

Step 3: Measure 1/2 cup Witch hazel and pour into the bottle:

Step 3: Now add the rosemary oil (or any other essential oil of your choice – as long as it benefits your skin!)

And you are done! Enjoy your amazing home made face toner. And let me know how it works on your skin!

Essential Oils, Essential in My Life

Today I wanted to talk a little about essential oils, and how to use them in your everyday life. When you say essential oils, a lot of people think – Aromatherapy. And yes, those oils are used first and foremost in this area of body care. But being the freak of nature that I am, I can’t last through a massage session. Ask my best friend, she will tell you all about my giggles and twitches!


How do I use essential oils in aromatherapy? I simply add them to the water that I pour into my humidifier, so it turns into an air refreshner as well! I use peppermint or tea tree oils to increase productivity (I work from home, and we all know how lazy one can sometimes get), lemon when I want to freshen up the air in the room, and lavender when I want to sleep well at night.

This is a very safe and easy way to use essential oils, and you only need a few drops of whatever oil you choose. So for the frugal person inside of all of us – Essential oils last a very long time, definitely worth the buck. I just wanted to brag that in Russia Essential Oils are a lot a lot cheaper than in the US, so if you get a chance, or if you know someone, ask them to bring you oils from there.

How do I use Essential Oils in body care? Those of you who know me, know about my frugal side, and the fact that I don’t like spending extra, unless I have to. In my personal opinion mouthwashes are a waste of money, unless you buy in bulk, which I don’t do. Now I have nothing against the American Mouthwashes (Crest and Act will always be my favorites), but in Russia mouthwash is extremely overpriced, and honestly – not worth it! So I created my own. I saved a bottle from one of the mouthwashes, you could also use a glass jar, or a plastic water bottle (but those bottles can’t be used for over 2 weeks, so be careful!), poured some water into it (can be tap if you have clean water, or filtered, water from the fridge is good!) and added 7 drops of tea tree oil and peppermint oil. The best mouthwash I’ve used in years, cheap too. A great option for those of you living in countries, where good brands aren’t available. I even got my mom hooked on it 🙂 !

A lot of people say that Orange Essential Oil helps fight cellulite, but I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know. In my opinion the two things that fight cellulite the best are: Workouts and Healthy Food!

How do I use Essential oils in Hair care? I have recently come across some great articles on A great resource for everyone, who wants to make their life healthier and use natural products. I followed some of their advice on hair care. First one was about adding lavender oil to your shampoo or conditioner. You will need about 30 drops per bottle. I use a very big Nexxus bottle, I believe it’s 14 oz, and I have less than 1/4 left, so I used about 15 drops or so. Why lavender oil? It triggers hair growth. And I am trying to outgrow my hair for the wedding! Rosemary oil is also used for that exact same purpose. I will share a recipe that I use for my hair, a little modified from the one I read on You will need one cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 30 drops of rosemary oil and cold water. I poured all the ingredients into a spray bottle (you can buy one or save one from a hair care treatment, or whatever you have that has a little sprayer on top) apple cider vinegar and rosemary oil first, and the rest of the bottle – filled with water. I use it every night on my roots. Spraying and rubbing in every night before bed! The mix works magically, love love love it! But the smell, oh the smell… Don’t worry it washes away just fine. Just remember – you have to do it religiously!

And finally Skin Care! I had a lot of skin problems. “My skin looks like @#$% !” was my usual expression. The problem is – I had both black heads and under skin acne or cysts. Those weren’t only ugly, but also extremely painful. The essential oils I used to treat my cysts in particular were – tea tree oil and rosemary oil. Rosemary worked better! Way better! I used Atlantic Cedar oil to treat blackheads. It worked alright, but I am not the fan of the smell!

Important Facts to Remember:

It’s important to remember never to use pure oil directly on your skin (I wouldn’t break this rule, but I have used pure Rosemary oil on my face, and the result was outstanding. I wouldn’t use pure oils on my scalp or along the hairline.)

– Make sure you close the bottles tightly, keep them away from direct sunlight, and heat.

– Be careful when you buy essential oils, they need to come in glass jars, not plastic bottles!

– Always read the instructions!

LIVESTRONG Zhenya – Day 5

As we are coming to an end on my LIVESTRONG Zhenya project, I wanted to reassure you, that I am going to continue eating healthy, working out, and using my homemade remedies (for skin, hair, etc.). I probably won’t be blogging about them everyday. This past week I felt like I was extremely overloading my blog with 3-4 daily posts. I will leave you a link to my profile, and you will be able to follow me there!

Today was great, I got a lot of exercise in. That’s all because I went to the mall to buy a new skin lotion. I ended up purchasing Lumene, so if anyone has any thoughts on this particular brand, let me know. In Russia Lumene is sold in Sephora-like stores, not in CVS (just an FYI). Then I went to my shoe guy to pick up a pair of shoes I recently gave him to repair, but he forgot to do one part, so my shoes are held hostage there until tomorrow. That’s okay, I have plenty of other pairs.

Food wise – salad, yogurt, beans and rice, some bananas and oranges, and my fav cream cheese dessert! Yum!

I also did a 20 minute workout for legs and butt! And here I am at 2 AM blogging!

Good news to share – my bathroom tiles are in, I gave myself a salary raise, and mom is coming tomorrow!

I have also started a new project called Love and Lace Flowers (more about the policy tomorrow!)

Live strong,