* Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and am only sharing my own thoughts, experiences, and opinions. Please consult with a doctor before using any medicinal/herbal supplements or beauty products.

I think it’s safe to assume that approximately 75.58% of you have heard of the ice cube facial. For those who haven’t, read this article. For those who have, well, I’m here to step up the game and introduce you to the next level of ice cube facials.

Ice Cube Facial

Ice is a phenomenal (and quick!) way to prime your skin for the day. Not only does it reduce any puffiness and inflammation (us runners know this better than many), but it also refreshes the skin in ways that even some of the best facial creams cannot.

I truly believe in eating wholesome foods for optimal health, and do my best to steer clear of chemical-heavy beauty products for the same reason. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the same foods going into my stomach also occasionally end up doubling up as DIY beauty products. Skin is an organ too after all, it deserves equal care and consideration!

Ice Cube Facial

Now let’s chat about some of these magical versatile foods! Green tea is a popular drink embraced by foodies, hipsters, and health nuts alike, but it can easily be used as an effective beauty aid. Yet we’re not stopping there…we only want the best for our skin! Enter: matcha green tea powder.

Matcha is a type of potent green tea. It’s been said that it has over 100 times the antioxidants of regular green tea. Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves that are later dried and ground into a fine powder.

Ice Cube Facial

So hopefully it’s now crystal clear why matcha powder is the perfect addition to any medicine cabinet. But why mint? This extraordinary herb provides much more than just a lovely smell! It serves it’s purpose as an exfoliant in this ice cube facial, but it also helps sooth the skin and reduce any lingering redness.

Ice Cube Facial

Green tea and mint and ice, oh my!

ice cube facial

What You’ll Need:
– 2 Tbs. matcha green tea powder
– 1 Tbs. dried & finely crushed mint leaves
– 2 cups warm water

Directions:
1.) Use a whisk to mix together all ingredients. Make sure that you use warm water to ensure the matcha powder doesn’t clump together.

2.) Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least 4 hours until completely frozen solid.

3.) Pop the cubes out of the tray as you would with regular ice. Run the back of the tray under hot water for a few seconds if the ice cubes are difficult to remove.

4.) When ready to use: simply gently rub the ice cube around your face in a circular motion! Focus on your acne-prone areas, blackheads, under-eye circles, and any wrinkles. Use the top portion of the ice cube to gently scrub your skin, the bottom portion to exfoliate rough patches, and the middle smoother portion for calming relief. Take a look at the image below for more details.

Ice Cube Facial

The best part of this facial-in-the-palm-of-your-hand is that physics + gravity make it the perfect 3-in-1 tool. How cool is that?!? No pun intended…

Ice Cube Facial

After completely frozen, I prefer to remove the ice cubes from the tray and store them in a plastic baggie in the freezer. This way they’re quick and easy to grab every morning! Yes, it’s safe to ice once a day.

Ice Cube Facial

Fair warning – this facial can and will get messy! I suggest covering up your clothes with a towel and staying close to the sink to catch all drips.

Ice Cube Facial

Useful Tips:
– Don’t use an ice cube directly from the freezer! It can damage the sensitive capillaries in your skin. Allow the ice cube to sit for a few minutes before using.
– Be gentle with the skin below the eyes…dark circles are not pretty but hurting the sensitive skin is worse!
– If you can’t handle holding the ice cube directly, hold it with a plastic bag or paper towel to prevent frostbite
– Avoid icing for more than 5 minutes…facial skin is super sensitive and you don’t want to cause damage or frostbite

I hope you love this simple DIY beauty trick as much as I do!

♥ Irina

I’m a creature of habit when it comes to many aspects of my life – food, morning routines, clothes – the list gets quite lengthy. It’s normal for preferences to change over the course of days/months/years, but one thing has always remained consistent for me – my confidence colors. And I have two of them!

A confidence color is that gorgeous shade (or shades) that instantly makes you feel sexy, powerful, and simply gorgeous. It’s the color that makes you do a double-take in the mirror because you like what you see. Your wardrobe and makeup drawer are dripping in your go-to shade, yet you continue adding to the collection. It’s effortless and chic, it’s the color that gives you life!

~~~> nails: red <~~~

My favorite nail color will always be ‘Lotus Rouge‘ by Chanel:

Chanel Lotus Rouge

The luxurious blood-red color is a striking touch to any outfit. The nail polish is pricey but I haven’t been able to hunt down a cheaper alternative that matches it’s beauty.

A close second is ‘Big Apple Red‘ by O.P.I – it’s a brighter, more traditional red

Noteworthy thirds are ‘Vamp‘ by Chanel and ‘Wicked‘ by Essie – both are stunning deep, dark reds

I’m wearing one of these colors 95% of the time. There is something so sexy, mysterious, and bold about a red hue that I can’t seem to get enough of regardless of the season. A classic red is always in style!

~~~> clothes: black <~~~

Black has been my go-to color of choice for as long as I can remember. For a while I did my best to adorn my closet with colorful clothing, but I eventually accepted the fact that I look best in the color that rules over all others.

black clothing

It’s no stereotype that New Yorkers love dressing in all black, and I’m no exception. Black is universally flattering, instantly classy, and extraordinarily versatile. Why avoid such a color powerhouse? Interestingly enough, I rarely wear black polish on my nails.

So there you have it, red and black, my power colors of choice!

Your turn: name your confidence color(s)!

♥ Irina

When it comes to makeup I always prefer a minimalistic approach. A stroke of eyeliner, coat of mascara, dusting of powder, pinch of blush, and smear of colored lipgloss basically sums up my daily 5-minute beauty routine. Because I don’t lust after all.the.makeup, I have no problem splurging on quality versions of my daily favorites. The quality is really noticeable, I promise!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Mascara

Tarte mascara

I’ve tried countless mascaras in my life, everything ranging from drug store brands to fancier “designer” ones. At one point I completely freaked out about the chemicals harming my eyelashes so I turned to Tarte for a more natural alternative. I’ll never look back! The Tarte Amazonian clay mascara keeps my eyelashes healthy without sacrificing their appearance. I’ve converted all my friends (no joke), mom, and sister to this mascara and everyone adores it as much as I do. The only downside is that it dries out faster than most mascaras but this won’t stop me from restocking.

Lancome Lip Liner

Lancome lip liner

I only recently got into lipliner and it’s quickly becoming a staple in my beauty routine. The key is to use a color that is lighter than your favorite lipstick. This Lancome ‘Rosy’ color is neutral enough to wear even with clear lipgloss while providing a killer plump lip appearance at the same time.

Chanel Intense Black Eyeliner

Chanel eyeliner

I was obsessed with Cover Girl black eyeliner when I first started wearing makeup. This dedication lasted for almost a decade until I decided I could no longer tolerate the smears, so I splurged on a fancier version of an old favorite and purchased the waterproof Chanel eyeliner. The only downside is that this pencil is very soft and breaks quite easily, especially if you carry it around or try to use the sharpener attached to the other end. Nowadays, to avoid breakage I keep the eyeliner mostly at home and carry my old Cover Girl favorite around instead. Luckily, this eyeliner stays on well so reapplication is often not needed!

OPI ‘Big Apple Red’ Nail Polish

OPI Big Apple Red nail polish

I have a tendency to fall in love with a nail polish color and use it on repeat. My newest color craving is this (appropriately named) summertime red called ‘Big Apple Red’ by OPI. It’s not dark enough to be considered a fall/winter shade but it’s just bold enough to celebrate summer while maintaining a sexy pop of confident color. I’m actually wearing the no-chip version of the polish in the above photo, so please ignore the apparent nail growth!

Do you splurge or save on makeup?

What are some current beauty products you’ve been loving?

♥ Irina

Hi there! Happy weekend, it’s about time! With the coming of spring, my makeup choices naturally shift towards lighter colors and a “less is more” mentality. I wanted to share some of my new beauty staples this season in hopes of adding some spring inspiration to your lives as well!

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint

Tarte Lip Tint

Tarte is easily one of my favorite makeup brands. Their products are natural and free of harsh chemicals, and quality is not sacrificed! I bought this lip tint on a whim a few weeks ago and have been using it daily ever since. Think of this lip tint as the gorgeous love child of lipstick and lip liner.

Tarte Lip Tint

Spring inspired me to choose a light pink color called ‘Hope’ – it adds the perfect amount of color without overwhelming your face. I’ve worn this lip tint solo and even occasionally use it as a base for darker colors or gloss.

Clinique Healing Concealer

Concealer

My sister gave me this concealer, along with a handful of praises for it, as a holiday gift in January. While most other concealers simply hide acne, this concealer has medication in it that helps heal the acne while simultaneously hiding it from the world. It’s a two-for-one special!

Concealer

It takes a bit of time to get accustomed to applying the liquid, but the pointed tip helps make the entire process effortless. And this little tube goes a long way! All you need is a tiny dab of liquid to complete the job.

What makeup products are you loving lately?

♥ Irina