As I find myself traveling around the world more and more, I have decided to share beauty finds from each place I visit. I recently went to Sri Lanka and I went to a spice garden. I thought a spice garden had spices for cooking. But the main focus of the one I went to was for medicinal purposes. I didn’t know this prior to going, but I was so glad I went.
I learned about all sorts of different plants and trees that have many different benefits for your body. I was amazed that it was all found in nature. I couldn’t believe how many natural remedies are made from the different combinations of plants, tree saps, roots, etc. One in particular that sparked my interest is the Sandalwood tree. At the spice garden, they made a cream made of sandalwood that can help with the worst acne. It helps with acne from small pimples to cystic acne. Over time it’ll clear it up, but it’s not for sure it’ll rid it for good. I have struggled so much with adult acne these past few years and I am willing to try anything, apart from internal medicine, to clear it up. So I’ll let you know how that goes. I can’t wait to share what other beauty products I found in Sri Lanka. I also am going to share a skin update after I try the Sandalwood a few times. Lately my skin has been fluctuating and I’m nervous it’ll break out but I won’t know until I try!
What are some of your favorite beauty products you’ve found while traveling?
Hey y’all, so about a week ago I did something craaaazy! I cut my own hair at home! I didn’t even own a pair of hair cutting scissors. I had to make a special trip to the store for a pair of scissors just so I can attempt this madness. Let me explain, just hear me out. I am extremely particular about who cuts my hair and how they cut my hair. Cutting and shaping curly hair is not easy. There’s strategy and planning behind it. Since moving overseas, I just have not seen anyone with hair like mine and when I finally did step foot in a salon, I asked what is their process for cutting curly hair and the first thing they said was flat iron. Uh, nope! That’s pretty much a recipe for a bad hair cut. Feeling super discouraged and frustrated I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally. So here is a video of me cutting my own hair, LIVE! I show you step by step so you can cut your own hair at home also. Please note that you will do this method if you’re looking to achieve a similar look (rounded & full hair). Subscribe to my channel here –> Love Marcella for more curly hair, beauty and lifestyle videos.
My experience with Turkish baths, or Hamams, was an interesting one to stay the least. I’ve experienced an Arabic bath when I was in Spain. I figured this would be pretty much the same, but I was so wrong. In a good way. I went to the Ayasofoya Hamam which was originally constructed in 1556. Here’s a little background:
“The Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam in Istanbul was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the chief Ottoman architect. It was built at the request of Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), the wife of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century (1556-1557 AD). It was built where the ancient public baths of Zeuxippus (100-200 AD) used to stand, between the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. The area is also particularly significant as the site where the Temple of Zeus once stood.”
The men and women entrances are completely separate and on opposite ends of the building. I started the experience by entering the Hamam on the far end closest to the Blue Mosque.
I went in and was greeted by the manager. She led me in to the very quiet and dim room with relaxing, soft Turkish music playing and I filled out the standard “do you have any injuries” paperwork. Once I was done with that, I went to the changing area where you remove everything. When I say everything, I mean EV-ER-Y-THING. They do provide you with disposable underwear that feel more like a loose peace of cotton than underwear. And I got a purple peshtamal (turkish hand woven towel) to wrap around myself. I then met the attendant who would be performing the bath on me. She took my hand, and while holding hands, she led me to the next room. That was different for me. Usually they say something like “come with me” and you follow behind them. But she took my hand, and led me to the next destination. It’s subtle, but was very noticeable for me. I thought it was nice and immediately indicated to me that this would be a very different experience. We went into the all-white marble room and she instructed me to sit next to the fountain with the gold spout. I sat down, she ran the water and made sure it was a nice temperature. She handed me a gold bowl and told me to sit back against the wall and relax. I sat against the wall, to attention, and she said, “no relax”. I still didn’t understand what she meant, so she sat next to me and sat down against the wall and completely let herself relax. Every single muscle, down to her posture was almost limp. Then I had the “oooooh” moment, and understood what I needed to do. The whole point is to completely let go, and cleanse your body and mind. So I did just that, and used the gold bowl to pour water over myself as I waited for her to return.
When she returned, she also changed into just the towel and some flip flops so she doesn’t get her clothes wet while she baths me. She took the special exfoliating mit and scrubbed my whole body from my face down to my feet. She did everything. My butt, my legs, my boobs, feet, everything. I remember thinking “this must be what it feels like to a baby when they get a bath”! Once she was done exfoliating, she walked me over the the center of the room and then unwrapped my peshtamal and laid it on top of the heated marble. I laid down on top of it, face up, wondering “what the heck is she about to do?!”. She then took a bucket and dipped a cloth inside, flipped it around and then rung it out. When she rung it out, a huge blanket of foam soap covered my body. She did this 3 times and my whole body was covered in the soapy foam. Then she washed and massaged my whole body, I turned over and she did the same. Then we went back to the fountain and she rinsed my body and she washed my hair for me. It was literally the most relaxing thing ever. I thought we were done, and apparently we weren’t! We went up 2 flights of stairs and in to a small room with a massage bed. She then gave me a nice medium-pressure massage for about 30 minutes.
When I was done I went back downstairs, put on a robe and relaxed with my choice of Turkish coffee or Turkish tea. The experience was seriously unforgettable. I have never had anything like this happen to me before and it’s something I would love to do again. I felt like Royalty!
You guys, this is a must-do activity when traveling to Istanbul. Why is this the best-kept beauty secret? Because it is a full body exfoliation and moisturizing event! For days my skin felt incredibly soft and glowing. Have you ever been to a Turkish Hamam? Have you ever been to Turkey? xoxo
Hey y’all, with Spring and Summer upon us, I don’t know about you, but my skin doesn’t do well with heat and humidity. As soon as it’s hot or humidity gets past 50%, my skin goes crazy with breakouts. Your skin products more oils due to the humidity and you’re also just simply sweating because of the heat. Dirt latches on to those oils and has more of an opportunity to seep into the pores and cause a breakout. As a teenager and in college I never had issues with my skin. I rarely had breakouts, and when I did, it was maybe only 1 or 2. I have had issues with Adult Acne for the past few years. I have suffered from cystic acne, skin congestion especially in my cheeks, and all over redness. I have done so many different things over the years to try and obtain tamed and smooth skin again. I have done everything from getting shots into the blemishes from the dermatologist, chemical peels, hydro-facials, regular facials, intense facials, retin A, etc. I have done everything except for taking internal medication. I am determined to achieve good skin without the assistance or help from internal medication (i.e. pills or shots). It’s just my personal preference. One of the major things I had to change was my overall stress levels and my diet. Once I got that under control, I believe I was dealing with normal hormonal acne from that point on. After all the products and trial and error, I have found the products that help me keep my acne at bay. I do this regimen weekly to do a deep clean of my skin. Check out the video I made explaining it all below! Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel Here ->Love Marcella Your support means everything to me!
Here are the steps I take to keep my skin in good condition:
Step 1: Cleanse
If I am wearing makeup, I start by doing a pre-cleanse on my skin using Coconut Oil. It is excellent at breaking up all the makeup on your skin (even waterproof mascara) without having to be rough on your skin. Then after that I cleanse with my Dermalogica MediBac Skin Wash. This wash contains Salicylic Acid, which aids in reducing the amount of sebum that is produced by your skin. Sebum is good, but too much production can lead to congested pores and blackheads and lead to breakouts.
Step 2: Exfoliate
I like to exfoliate after cleansing, but it’s important to use a gentle exfoliant. If you use an exfoliant with too big of beads, or too gritty you can actually make your skin worse since you are causing an excessive amount of irritation. I love the Botanical Exfoliator from Mario Badescu. You’ll want to make sure you use a light hand when using your exfoliating product. It’s already doing the work for you, and you don’t want to irritate your skin too much by using a heavy hand and scrubbing your face too hard.
Step 3: Clay Mask
This is my FAVORITE part of the process. I love The Problem Solver clay mask from May Lindstrom. The smell is indescribable, but I love the smell. It’s just a fresh, spa feeling smell. You’ll want to take a tea spoon amount in a small bowl and mix it with equal parts water. I just use an old foundation brush to mix it and also use it to apply the mask to my face. I leave it on for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. I think you’re only supposed to leave it on for about half an hour, but I personally love to leave it on for longer because I believe it penetrates much better. I need all the help I can get! I then use a wash cloth that I run under warm water to remove the mask. Try to not be rough when removing because the mask turns hard when dried and it can be a little uncomfortable and feel kind of scratchy if you don’t use a wet warm rag and go slowly.
Step 4: Honey Mask
Honey is believed to be calming and repairing. So I love using the May Lindstrom The Honey Mud mask after the clay mask. Another option is to mix together The Problem Solver mask with The Honey Mud mask, but I love the separate process. It feels more like an ‘at-home-spa-day’ when I do it this way. Use a clean spoon to scoop out a little product, spread it all over your skin and leave it for half an hour. I however leave mine on for an hour. Again, I need all the help I can get haha! Then take a brand new wash cloth and run it under warm water. Use the wash cloth to remove the mask from your face.
Step 5: Face Mist
I love the Jasmine Garden face mist from May Lindstrom but another that I also love is the Caudalie face mist. I go between the two. Just depends on my mood that day. But the mist contains anti-oxidants which are crucial to preventing blackheads and white heads. It’s also calming to your skin and in my opinion from several uses, seems to reduce redness.
Step 6: Moisturize
I use the Blue Cocoon beauty balm by May Lindstrom in this process. I can write an entire post raving about this moisturizer. You guys, you literally need half a pea-sized amount. When you apply the balm to your skin, it warms up and turns into a spreadable moisturizer. When I first used it, I made the mistake of using maybe a little more than a pea sized amount and I had so much product I had to spread it over my neck and hands and elbows and knees haha! I do this routine at night just for this moisturizer. It is so moisturizing, that when I apply it, sleep and then wake up, my skin looks so radiant and healthy and glowing.
Let me know how this regimen worked out for y’all. As far as the products, I suggest trying to get samples of the products and try them out. The May Lindstrom products are a little on the pricier side, but if you think of cost per use, how long it’ll last you and the cost of going to a spa for this treatment, it’s actually very worth it! Let me know how you liked the regimen in the comments below or what products you used as your Clay Mask or Honey Mask. I love trying out new products! xo
Hey y’all! I want to share with you my current favorites for fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I won’t be doing a monthly favorites, but rather a periodic compilation of my favorite items. Watch the video and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel! For more blog posts to come straight to you, subscribe to my blog on the right hand side! It’s easy, all you need is your email! xo
Hey y’all, I want to share some of my favorite go-to curly hairstyles. You can actually wear these for any type hair. Please watch the video and subscribe to my channel for more beauty and lifestyle videos!
Style #1: High Ponytail
Style #2: High Bun (top knot)
Style #3: Half Up, Half Down
Style #4: Half Up Top Knot, Half Down
Style #5: Twisted Fronts
I hope you enjoy and please comment below your thoughts! Thank you all for your support. Starting this blog hasn’t been easy and I appreciate all the view, likes, subscriptions, etc.! xo