all in the name of beauty

As women, we do some pretty crazy things in the name of beauty. So when I first got wind that the new revolutionary skincare ingredient was SNAIL mucin, I was a little intrigued and super grossed out all at once– I mean seriously, the thought of those slimy little critters was literally making me cringe. But then I decided to do my research because these snail infused products are huge in the Korean/East Asian markets and obviously very popular for a reason, which meant there *had* to be something truly amazing about it.

What I learned was that snails naturally produce a serum that is packed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, immune modulators, proteins, and co-enzymes which are all things that help to regenerate skin cells– in others words, help keep your skin looking radiant and beautiful. Products containing snail are also known for reducing inflammation, being a major factor in anti-aging products, and helpful in acne reduction. Now I don’t know about you, but after reading that, I was pretty impressed and partial to trying products that contained snail.

Because I didn’t know where to begin in my search of which products to try or what brands to trust, the “Head to Toe Snail Bag” offered by Beauteque was the perfect introduction to snail infused skincare. Not only did they do the shopping for me, but with this bag I was able to test and try out 7 FULL sized snail beauty products that were aimed to helping me “beautify” myself from head to toe.

Pictured below are all of the products you receive in the “Head to Toe Snail Bag” and the fun part– a review and my thoughts on all of the items!

1. Secret Key “Snail + EGF Repairing Soap”
Claim: it’s supposed to reduce the size of pores and remove dead skin in addition to moisturizing the skin

Thoughts: I always use a bar soap and water to remove my makeup so this was seamlessly added into my nightly skincare routine and it totally does the trick. While the smell is a little strong (smells a little like cologne, but nothing yucky) it did leave my skin super soft and moisturized.

2. Tony Moly “Instense Care Snail Eye Mask”
Claim: a jelly textured eye mask that hydrates the area under your eyes and leaves your skin glowing

Thoughts: I have a few visible lines under my eyes and super dark under-eye bags and I must say, I was pretty impressed after taking off these bad boys. The skin under my eyes definitely felt more hydrated and a little brighter. The lines under my eyes were also noticeably smoother, but I haven’t used it enough to see any long term effects– but this is definitely something I would purchase again.

3. 3W “Clinic Snail Mucus Soothing Gel”
Claim: keeps your skin moisturized as it heals and works its magic

Thoughts: I LOVE the smell of this stuff, in addition to the snail mucus (ew, still sounds so gross) it contains aloe extract and smells so fresh! Directions say to put this on before bed, but I couldn’t wait to try it so I put it on prior to doing my makeup. It’s a little sticky so I had to wait a minute to let it dry but wow– it worked wonders for my skin! I tend to get a little oily in my t-zone and have to blot my face throughout the day, but not when I use this stuff– it totally kept my face matte and my makeup in place! I don’t know what it is and it’s probably just a serendipitous discovery but this stuff totally serves as the best makeup primer for me.

4. Tangle Teezer
Claim: snail shaped teezer is the perfect tool to take out tangles

Thoughts: It’s a cute palm sized hairbrush that is small enough to fit in my purse and even has a bristle protector that easily clips over the brush preventing any damage. +1 for getting the job done without making my hair staticky.

5. 3W “Snail Face Sheet Mask”
Claim: contains snail secretion filtrate which helps skin regeneration, increases skin elasticity and smoothes your skin

Thoughts: This 100% cotton face mask was generously soaked in essence and was very light in scent. It was cooling and definitely helped me feel really relaxed while I had it on. Once I took it off, I noticed that it instantly brightened and softened my face.

6. Freeset “Snail Foot Care Sheet Mask”
Claim: vinyl socks packed with peppermint oil, green tea, papaya extracts in addition to snail filtrate aids in healing dry damaged skin

Thoughts: Okay so not only did the ingredients listed in this foot care mask make me hungry, but after I took these socks off of my feet I seriously felt like I had just gotten a spa pedicure! My feet tend to get really dry during fall and winter so this product was like a heaven sent! I need to stockpile these foot care masks, STAT!

7. Benton “Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack”
Claim: cleanses rough and damaged skin in addition to removing wrinkles and whitening skin

Thoughts: Snail secretion AND bee venom?! I had to do a little extra research on this one because I was a little frightened by the bee venom but it turns out it’s totally safe. And I must say, I really, REALLY liked this face mask because of the high quality ingredients and also because of how effective it was in enhancing the appearance of my skin. This face mask will definitely be a regular in my beauty routine.

All in all, the items that came with Beautique‘s “Head to Toe Snail Bag” seriously left me feeling like I spent a week in the spa getting facials and pedicures. From snail mucus to snail filtrate, I never thought I’d say it, but I was pleasantly surprised with just how amazing everything work and how effective it actually was. Definitely a game changer for me!

****** BONUS: use coupon code ‘STYLEMENU’ when purchasing the Head to Toe Snail Bag on beauteque.com and receive a FREE sheet mask with your order. Enjoy dolls! Xo

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boho vibes

free people maxi dress | primark fringe bag | zara hat | bauble boutique necklace

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zucchini spaghetti

I think by now it’s pretty obvious that zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables.. I mean, this is only like the 100th time I’m featuring it in a recipe on here! But believe me when I say, this is by far one of my most favorite recipes up to date.

During a late night episode of insomnia, I resorted to watching infomercials in hopes that they would lull me to sleep but actually quite the contrary happened! An informercial for the “veggetti” (a cool contraption that transforms your vegetables into healthy spaghetti noodles) came on and I was almost instantly convinced I NEEDED one. Yes, I’m totally an advertiser’s dream come true and no, I couldn’t wait for shipping and handling, I needed it NOW. So that’s when I decided to improvise and found myself using a box grater to make zucchini noodles at 2am– and guess what? It totally did the trick, a yummy late night meal in a matter of minutes.

So don’t wait to recreate this recipe, act now within the next 15 minutes and you’ll pretty much have dinner ready before you know it! But WAIT, there’s more! …just kidding, there isn’t anything else– that was just my attempt at sounding like an informercial spokesperson haha :|

What you’ll need:

-zucchini
-box grater

Directions:

Place the box grater with the side you want to use facing upwards (I used the thickest grater) and use it just like you would use a mandoline– moving the zucchini along the top using long strokes to create noodle-like ribbons.

How you eat them totally depends on what you prefer– if you’d like more a crunch, you can totally eat it raw. If not, I quickly sauteed my noodles for about a minute with minced garlic, crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt and pepper. I topped the zucchini noodles off with a homemade tomato based meat sauce and fresh basil. I’ve also paired the zucchini noodles with fresh lemon juice and pesto and it was equally just as delicious!

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black fringe

What do you get when you pair a classic white jumpsuit with an edgy fringed jacket? Outfit magic, that’s what! I’m particularly crazy about this jumpsuit because it has short sleeves and it doesn’t have any large cutouts in the back, which means I don’t have to wear anything over/under it if I don’t want to. WIN. And aside from that, it’s simple and chic without requiring much effort. I paired it with this fringed jacket which added instant edge and a fun element to the look. Plus, it kinda reminds me of something Uncle Jesse from “Full House” in his Jesse and the Rippers day would wear– and who didn’t have a crush on Uncle Jesse growing up?!

f21 jumpsuit & jacket | zara heels | ysl tassel bag

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chartreuse obsession

Is it me or did the weather transition from summer to fall literally overnight? No complaints here though because I’ve had this chartreuse trench sitting in my closet for over a month now, just waiting for temps to cool down enough for me to actually wear it. And goodness was it worth the wait– this is by far my favorite piece in my closet right now! Although it’s been dreary almost all week long, this little treasure has been my sunshine on a cloudy day.. or rather days, considering I’ve worn it every gloomy day this week.



zara trench | h&m boxy top | levis jeans | f21 shoes | bauble boutique necklaces (here & here)

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district of columbia

Here’s hoping that the next time I’m in D.C. I run into Olivia Pope.


white house black market blouse | zara palazzo pants | ysl bag | akhira pearl bracelet

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eggs in a (hash brown) nest

I don’t like eggs. There, I said it. But just because I don’t like eggs, doesn’t mean I don’t cook them all the time, because I’m married to a man who loves breakfast and brunch foods. For yesterday’s Sunday brunch, I wanted to make something a little different than the usual omelette or frittata so I decided to take my favorite breakfast item, hash browns, and my husbands favorite, eggs, and marry the two together by baking eggs into a nest of hash browns.

This was my first time making this cutesy dish and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it (I was even prepared to make something else for myself in case I didn’t) but the crispy potato hash combined with pepper jack cheesy goodness and a perfectly runny yolk was just absolutely mouthwateringly delicious. So trust me, if a girl who doesn’t even like eggs is saying this was freaking delicious.. then you KNOW you have to try it.

Ingredients:

- shredded potatoes
- eggs
- olive oil cooking spray
- pepper jack cheese
- a diced jalapeno
- diced sweet peppers
- chopped green onions
- crushed red pepper
- salt & pepper to taste

Begin by pre-heating your oven to 350 degrees. Take a cupcake tray and spray each tin with cooking spray and then load the shredded potatoes into each tin forming a nest shape– they shrink when they bake so be sure to go higher than the edges of the tray. Spray the tops of the hash brown nest with a little more cooking spray and season with salt and black pepper. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown and crispy. Add your pepper jack cheese and jalapenos onto the bottom of the hash brown nest just before cracking an egg into each little nest. Place tray back into the oven and bake until the whites of the eggs are no longer transparent. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and top off with crushed red pepper, diced sweet peppers, and chopped green onions. Enjoy! Xo

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sequins and sparkles… it’s The Annie.

So remember the wedding in Boston I mentioned in my last blog post? Well, the outfit I wore to the main event garnered so many compliments– probably the most ever on any outfit I’ve ever worn (ZERO EXAGGERATION, by the way) that I decided it definitely deserved it’s own blog post even though I normally don’t post eastern wear on here.

My gorgeous namesake gown, “The Annie” (if you’re wondering, YES! it was totally named after me– eeek!) was designed by local Chicago designer turned friend, Subeena Z. From the stunning deep navy color to the high side slit– which I had altered to be even higher so I could channel my inner Jolie, of course– the dress exuded an effortless elegance with a hint of edge. I honestly wish you could see this evening gown in person because pictures absolutely do not do it justice.. the sparkle from the sequins is just out of this world!

I could seriously go on and on about how much I love this gown, but judging by the outpour of compliments and detail inquiries I received on my instagram after posting a picture where you couldn’t even see the full outfit, this gown speaks for itself.

For pricing and further inquiries you can contact Subeena Z via email at SubeenaZ@gmail.com.

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on the boston harbor

We were in Boston a couple weeks ago for a friend’s wedding and although the weekend was pretty jam packed with events, I still wanted to make sure we were able to squeeze in some touristy fun in the little down time that we had. Luckily, the first time we were in Boston almost a year ago, we managed to knock out pretty much everything on the “things to do in Boston” list but I still really wanted to check out the Boston harbor. So we spent Saturday afternoon at the harbor and figured it’d be fun to go on the whale watching cruise since we normally don’t do activities like that, but after waiting almost thirty minutes it wasn’t until we asked for a refund that they told us they were having delays because of a surprise inspection. I was annoyed at the precious time that was wasted but while we were waiting we managed to take some blog pictures and eat amazing lobster rolls, so I suppose not all was lost.


h&m jacket | cotton on striped tee | h&m pants | zara shoes | zara clutch

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