Finally! An Affordable Alternative to Rodan & Fields Unblemish

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After literally YEARS of searching, I finally found an acne product line that works even better than Rodan and Fields Unblemish. Guess what the best news is? It’s only $46 for all three products. No, this isn’t sponsored – it’s just that good. My skin hasn’t been this consistently clear ever.

Although I wish I could tell you the solution I found is organic, it’s not. I had zero luck with all the organic products I tried. Some seemed promising at first, only to let me down weeks later. Instead I started searching for similar products to R&F. That led me to Paula’s Choice. I’d heard about the brand on several of my favorite vloggers’ channels, but never thought much of it. I was dedicated to my R&F. The products DO work; I’m not hating on them (my mom sells them after all). The price is insane though, especially after purchasing our first home. I just couldn’t keep throwing away $100 on my fave acne lotion that barely has any product in it.

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Simple Organic Swaps

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Going organic can be daunting! There are so many things that we use every day that have healthier, organic alternatives. I haven’t totally transitioned (and might never to be honest), but here are a few swaps that have been amazing and easy to stick with!

Tampons - If you only swap one thing, LET IT BE THIS. Traditional tampons are gross AF (read more here) thanks to all the pesticides and other chemicals that get sprayed on the cotton. Companies aren’t required to disclose this, even though this is something you put inside your body. Just think about it!! I switched to an organic tampon subscription years ago with Lola and haven’t looked back. It’s safer, easier, and does not cost any more than regular tampons. They also make pads, liners, and a line of sexual health products.

Body Wash - Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Dial body wash sometimes, but my absolute fave is Wash by Crude Personal Care. It’s organic, soap-free, and doesn’t make your bath all sudsy (duh). That’s something I really appreciate now having a jetted tub! Too many bubbles are obnoxious.

Lipstick/Gloss - Organic lipsticks and glosses are wonderful! They’re even better than traditional ones since they have ingredients that actually improve your lips. My favorites are the lipsticks from Axiology (they make the BEST lip balm too) and the lip serums from Fitglow Beauty.

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Five Fall-Inspired Beauty Products

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HAPPY OCTOBER!! It’s finally the best month of the year. It’s time for caramel apple cider, pumpkin everything, and non-stop Halloween movies/TV series. BTW, if you haven’t binged Castle Rock on Hulu yet, you need to immediately. It’s creepy without being overly so, is based on all things Stephen King, and has Bill Skarsgard in it. That’s all you need to know.

Below are some of my must-have fall beauty products this year!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar - This old $2 classic can’t be beat! Apple cider vinegar is not only great for your health, it’s great for your beauty routine. On days when my skin is really being a douchelord, I wet a cotton round and use a little ACV as a toner. You’ll smell like vinegar (obviously), but it’s super effective at killing any breakouts. In fact, it’s rumored to be one of Scarlett Johansson’s favorite skin care secrets.

ACV doesn’t just affect your internal health; it has also been shown to treat acne and reduce scarring. Certain strains of bacteria often contribute to the development of acne. Vinegar is well-known for its antibacterial properties and has been shown to be effective against many strains of harmful bacteria. ACV also contains specific components like acetic acid, lactic acid, succinic acid and citric acid, all of which have been shown to inhibit the growth of Propionibacterium acnes, the specific strain of bacteria responsible for causing acne. – Dr. Axe

2. Avalon Organics ACV Shampoo - Given my obsession with plain ACV, I couldn’t pass up this shampoo when I saw it at Sprouts last week! It smells like apples instead of vinegar and lathers up pretty well for an organic shampoo. It’s best on days when your hair is super greasy or has too much build up. When I first used it, I thought I’d hate it because my hair felt almost too clean and stripped of oils, but it looked and felt nice after it air dried.

3. MyChelle Dermaceuticals Pumpkin Peel - This is something I buy almost every fall! It literally smells like you’re putting pumpkin pie all over your face. It’s great for acne and post-acne scars. It does tingle a bit and make your face red at first, but don’t worry – it goes away.

After a summer of harsh sun exposure, a pumpkin peel presents a gentle, soothing and hydrating solution to improve the texture of your skin. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and zinc. It’s also loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals, as well as hydroxyl acids and natural enzymes that exfoliate and improve skin tone. If you have acne, a pumpkin peel is a great way to stimulate circulation and promote healing without the use of chemicals, which can irritate sensitive skin. The key ingredients in a pumpkin peel are formulated to penetrate deep into your pores to remove debris and dissolve dead skin cells, all while strengthening collagen beneath the skin’s surface and calming any existing flare-ups. – Siti Med Spa

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How Blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller’s Death Highlights a Major Societal Flaw

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The news of Mac Miller’s untimely passing this month struck me. It’s not just because of how incredibly sad it is that the world keeps losing talented people to addiction; it’s because of the undeserved hate toward his ex Ariana Grande that followed. People are cruel, especially online, and they are out for blood. They always need someone to blame.

I can’t think of a single person who hasn’t tried to “save” someone from alcohol or drug addiction. It’s an epidemic that has swallowed America whole and spit it back out into pieces.

Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Drugs change the brain in ways that make quitting hard, even for those who want to. – National Institute on Drug Abuse

It’s practically inevitable that someone you love will have a problem with substance abuse. It’s heartbreaking and only natural to want to help them, or to think that your love will be enough to save them – that your love is somehow special enough to be all they need. Let me be clear though: you cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. Their wanting to be clean has to be more than just words; it has to come from their soul. And let me be even more clear: that is not ON YOU to know if or when that time is. Someone’s addiction is not your fault. Someone’s overdose is not your fault. If they get clean and fully recover, they found the strength within them and were finally ready to do that.

Ariana breaking up with Mac didn’t cause his death – his addiction did. And we need to stop blaming other people for things that they have zero control over. Period.

i adored you from the day i met you when i was nineteen and i always will. i can’t believe you aren’t here anymore. i really can’t wrap my head around it. we talked about this. so many times. i’m so mad, i’m so sad i don’t know what to do. you were my dearest friend. for so long. above anything else. i’m so sorry i couldn’t fix or take your pain away. i really wanted to. the kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. i hope you’re okay now. rest. – Ariana Grande in Instagram tribute to Mac Miller

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7 Must-Haves to Elevate Your Bath Game

Aside from sleeping, bathing is my favorite activity on this earth. It’s sacred, it requires basically no effort, and lets your mind shut down without being unconscious. It’s even better if you have a jetted tub, which was one of my major must-haves when we were house hunting. I’ll never live without a jetted tub again. Even if you don’t have jets, you can still make your bath time more magical. Here are some of the best products to elevate your bath game.

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1. Bath Pillow – YES. Baths and pillows? The ultimate combination. I’m not sure why it took me so long to purchase one because it is the greatest thing. I got this one on Amazon and love it.

2. JaxKelly CandlesI’m obsessed with literally everything from JaxKelly – from candles, to earrings, to sage. They have all the new age stuff your heart desires. Their candles are the BEST. They’re organic and have a cute little crystal hidden inside. So far, my favorites are the blue chalcedony and rose quartz candles.

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3. Crystals – Speaking of crystals, you need them. Even if you don’t believe in all the woo woo surrounding crystals’ healing properties, there’s no denying that chilling in a bath surrounded by crystals and candlelight is the meaning of life. I have several different ones from my JaxKelly candles (they also sell crystals by themselves), a giant quartz from my husband, an angel aura crystal from this Etsy shop,  a rainbow pyramid, and an amethyst that my cousin brought back from Brazil. If you want to hear more about the science behind crystals, check out this episode from the Lively Show podcast.

4. Essential Oils – You already know, I love oils especially for my bath. That’s how I use them the most actually! Rose, lavender, geranium, and envision are constantly in my bath rotation. They instantly chill me out.

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