HELLO, my friends. Long time, no talk.
I haven’t posted on the blog ( or YouTube ) in a hot sec because, well, if I’m honest: depression. Not to be a downer, I actually look at depression rather objectively, as it’s something I’ve dealt with my whole life. I’ll go more into detail on this topic in an upcoming YouTube video!
But, today I’m feeling up to the task of, idk, actually doing my job, so HI, HELLO, HOW ARE Y’ALL? I hope everyone is staying healthy, of course.
This week’s Friday Favorites are products I’ve been using daily. Here are 5 things I consider STAPLES for elevating my quality of life every day. I’ll get into detail about each product, because you must understand why I’m sharing them with you: I want YOUR quality of life to improve as much as mine has.
TOO GOOD. Worth Every $.
Let’s get started.
New Balance Sneakers
16-year-old me is living for the recent revival of the New Balance sneaker. It has become an international fashion blogger trend I’ve seen all over instagram. I would assume this revival is the result of everyone emulating Princess Diana’s style once again ( a la Hailey Bieber ). I have no complaints.
These are TRUE Dad shoes. & there’s a reason why: they’re actually GOOD for your feet. My little sister, a professional athlete, stocked up on New Balance sneakers after her postural restoration specialist raved about the stability of NB’s sneakers! For this reason, they aren’t the cheapest, but it’s a purchase you can feel good about.
Plus, they give every look an afternoon-at-the-country-club vibe, which is definitely on-trend right now. I wear these sneakers with tennis skirts/crop tanks & oversized sweatshorts/crop tees constantly.
LED Anti-Aging & Acne Mask
I’ve heard beauty professionals & bloggers RAVE about the benefits of light therapy for fighting aging, preventing acne, calming inflammation, increasing circulation, etc. My favorite celebrity skincare guru on Instagram, Shani Darden, is known for her Pro Mask ( as well as her well-formulated skincare products ), an LED mask celebrities swear by to cure a multitude of skin ailments.
The issue? The mask costs a cool $1,900. Uhhhhh…. for that price, it better give me an entirely new face.
Luckily, I found a dupe on Amazon that costs 1/10th of the price. I first discovered this mask via Lauren Elizabeth on YouTube, a person I generally trust with beauty & wellness recommendations.
Of course, $120 is still a solid amount of money to spend on a beauty device, IMO, so I did some further research. With over 500 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon, I realized this mask is the real deal for a fraction of the average price of its competitors.
The mask contains medical-grade LED beads that switch between 7 different therapeutic light settings. I use the blue light to treat acne, red light to prevent aging, & the yellow light to reduce redness ( the setting that begets the most obvious result ). Some notes: the mask must be plugged in during use, don’t use it for more than 20 mins a day, & remember to clean it regularly!
My nighttime skincare routine: cleanse, LED light mask ( while I watch tiktok for 20 mins, fav part of my night ), tone, exfoliate, moisturize. Et Voila!
Sexy Swimsuit Cover-Up
I’ve gotten a number of requests to do a post on cute swimsuit cover-ups ( while I’m dreaming up this post, you can view this post that contains a few cover-ups in the meantime ), so I’m adding my fav AFFORDABLE-yet-elevated cover-up to this list.
It’s SO CUTE. &– HELLO??? It’s under $15!
I own this set in both a size 2 & a 4, and in this case, the 2 fits better on me, for size reference.
Nasty Gal needs to make this in more color options pronto.
Use code PAYTON60 for 60% off site-wide!
Kristen Ess Air Dry Creme
In my quest to get the healthiest, longest hair possible ( more on exactly how I’m doing that here ), I’m doing my best to limit heat styling. At the same time, air drying my hair often yields a greasy, disheveled outcome that makes me question WHY I washed my hair in the first place.
Enter: Kirsten Ess Air Dry Creme.
This product works with my natural wave pattern to give me the beachy waves of my dreams ( something I can usually only accomplish with a waver hot tool ).
Here’s what I do: Towel-dry wet hair. Flip my head back & forth ( think head-banger vibes ) to dry it out a bit, and maybe hit the roots with a blow-dryer on the lowest heat setting. Take a small amount of product in hand, & starting at the bottom of the hair, scrunch the hair in an upward motion as you apply the product! I do lots of scrunching. Then, let air dry. LOVE.
The Daily Stoic
I start every day with a passage from this book ( each “lesson” is dated, so you can follow along daily ), and it’s a nice, calm, centering moment in the mornings.
I discovered Ryan Holiday via The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast, and I now own entirely too many of his books.
Each passage is wrought with philosophic insights & simple-but-significant life themes to think on throughout the day. I like that the passages are short and to-the-point. It’s an easy way to learn something new or re-discover a life truth on a daily basis!
I’ll be spending the day editing video, creating content, & brainstorming upcoming projects for H+H and YouTube. I’m finally feeling fresh & ready to enter the blog world again!
Sometimes, you just need to be gentle with yourself and let yourself take a much-needed break from obligations. We all go through it sometimes.
Anywho, love y’all. Talk soon. x