Product Review: T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial

sukari babyfacial

Having always struggled with my skin, I’m frequently looking for the next best skincare product or ways to improve my makeup techniques. I’m a sucker for anything claiming it will prevent wrinkles, smooth, de-puff, cover up, lengthen, brighten, whiten, etc. Do they all work? No. Do I still try because I am a victim of marketing? Yes.

I started wearing makeup and getting regular facials in middle school, around 13 years old. To this day, I rarely ever leave the house without at least some concealer and mascara on. Putting on makeup and taking good care of my skin helped me feel confident in the skin I wasn’t confident about.

I guess that’s why I started loving skincare products. I knew that if I could improve my skin, I would feel more confident in my skin. I’ve tried a million products over the last few years but have only remained loyal to a few tried-and-true.

One of my newest holy grail skincare products that I’ve been using 2-3x  weekly since the day it arrived in my mailbox:

The T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial by Drunk Elephant.

Here’s the backstory:

Starting five weeks out from our wedding, I was getting some sort of facial/skincare treatment every Saturday. I walked out of the spa feeling confident and had no desire to wear makeup. Angelo even noticed and dropped a “your face is glowing” comment. Whaaaat?

Then, we got married and just like that – I stopped going for my treatments. I know going for facials every few weeks is important. But after our wedding, I went into this weird “I feel like marinating on the couch for a few weeks and doing nothing” mode.

While I was marinating on the couch scrolling through the skincare section of Sephora’s website, the Sukari Babyfacial appeared. It had unusually good claims and I was a bit skeptical, but since I buy things solely based on reviews, I threw this product into my cart and checked out.

Within 3 days I had it on my face. It tingled a bit, but I impatiently waited the required 20 minutes until I rinsed it off. I looked in the mirror and literally gasped.

I was glowing.

My face was clear and radiant – like I had just walked out of one of my facial appointments. My pores were smaller. I looked hydrated. My skin felt smooth and soft, like…a baby. Could you even imagine?! I couldn’t either but here I am. Someone with skincare issues talking about how their face felt like a baby – from the Sukari Babyfacial.

My best friend, Nicole, came over a few weeks later and I forced this stuff onto her face. “You have to try this.” She also had the same initial reaction as I did. Drunk Elephant had won over another Babyfacial lover.

Anywho, I’m not saying I’m never going to get a professional facial again, but if this product can save me the money and time of going to regular facial appointments while still providing the same results, I’m all for it.

What’s your holy grail facial treatment? I would love to know!

*This post is not sponsored. I just love sharing products that have worked for me in hopes that someone else will benefit from them too!

Digging the Dark Side: Rooms that Inspire

I’ve recently been drawn to dark walls which is concerning because I just spent an entire summer at Sherwin Williams choosing the perfect “light grays.”

Let me be clear – I’m not referring to darker gray walls. I’m referring to black walls.

After our wedding, we spent a few days at a cozy little lodge in the Catskills, Scribners, and since then I have not gotten the idea of black walls out of my head. According to Sherwin Williams, black walls are considered “threatening or dramatic” yet, associated with sophistication. So, if I want to paint my walls black, my house will be portrayed as threatening and dramatic yet, sophisticated? Shut up and take my money, Sherwin.

I’m not talking about my entire house here, I’m talking about an accent wall (or two), one of our bathrooms (planning to do this within the next month, actually) and our bedroom. If you’re thinking “she’s crazy,” you’re certainly not wrong.

In my search for room inspiration, here are a few of my favorite, most inspiring images of elegant black walls

Drooling over these pictures from Home & Fabulous. I love the black accent wall – especially since it’s surrounded by the same color gray that my walls are, further reassuring that I can pull this off.

Upon further research for “black wall” inspo, I stumbled across The Decorista’sall black house. AND a post on why to paint your walls black. Again, further reassures my black wall desires.

Anddd before I could even finish this blog post I ran to and from Sherwin Williams for some black paint…

Would you ever paint your walls black (or another dramatic color)?

 

4 Ways: How to Be More Productive

Louis Vuitton Agenda

Lately, I’ve been thinking about productivity. Specifically, how can I maximize my time and make the most out of my day? We allll get lazy therefore making us unproductive, but what if we could prevent feeling lazy in the first place? Here are some of my tried-and-true ways of being productive when I’m feeling less-than-motivated:

1. Purge your clutter: I never feel so mentally clear and ready to get shit done as I do when I “purge” the clutter in my life. We know we should be getting rid of “things” as often as we can – but have you ever had a long, intense few hours of throwing away everything you don’t need and all of a sudden feel so much better and ready to conquer your nearest city? I recommend reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up – it really is life changing. Creating a clean and organized space is truly the key to a clear mind and being overall more productive.

Here’s a before and after photo of clutter that I may have purposely created just so I could organize everything. Shockingly enough, doing this lit a fire under my ass which led to cleaning the rest of the house afterward.

*magic*

2. Use a planner: Whether you prefer a digital calendar or paper calendar – use it and use it often. One of the best purchases I ever made was my Louise Vuitton agenda. I’m not sure what it is, but having a beautiful, high-quality planner makes me so much more motivated to have my shit together all the time (even when I don’t have my shit together). Invest in a planner, whether digital or paper, that works for you and utilize it to plan your schedule, track important dates (bills, events, appointments, etc.) and even your thoughts and ideas. I don’t know about you, but if I don’t write down/keep track of something – it’s gone forever. Never to be thought of or certainly not ever accomplished.

3. Know when you’re most productive: Plan your day based on when you know you’re the most productive. When do you accomplish more – in the morning, afternoon or evening? Prioritize your schedule and tackle the most challenging tasks during your “peak productive” times while saving the less challenging stuff for your low-energy time.

Louis Vuitton Agenda

4. Reward yourself: This one’s easy and always works. Use a motivation – a reward to get you through a task. A great example…I reward myself with dark chocolate and a trip to Home Goods every day when I finish work. Semi-serious.

How do you stay productive?

Chat soon!

-Alisa

DIY Kitchen Cabinet Transformation

Painting our kitchen cabinets: the biggest DIY project of my life (thus far).

I love DIY-ing. That “after” feeling is amazing and the process of DIY is therapeutic. However, this wasn’t completely therapeutic. At times it was stressful, exhausting and really damn hard. But I would do it over and over again if I knew that my kitchen was going to come out the way it did.

When we closed on our house last June, our realtor asked: “what’s the first thing you’re going to change?”

I knew without question that the first thing I would do is paint every single room… and then the cabinets. When we were handed the keys to our house the kitchen walls were yellow and the cabinets were an old oak brown. Who decided this was OK??

Here’s the kitchen the day we closed on the house:

DIY, DIY Kitchen Cabinets, DIY Cabinet Paint, Cabinet Transformation, Home DIY, Painting, Benjamin Moore Paint, Chantilly Lace

Anyway, after spending a few weeks painting the rooms (I insisted to Angelo that I wanted to paint myself because I actually enjoy it) and the kitchen three times (too dark, too light, just right) I confirmed with myself that I was a skilled and experienced painting professional and could absolutely paint our cabinets. So I began my research, read every blog and watched every Youtube video I could find on painting cabinets yourself. The total time it took from start to finish was 3 weeks (2 full weekends in a row followed by a full 4 day weekend). I should mention that there apparently there are many ways to do this, but I’ll be showing you how I did it and the products I used

PRODUCTS

PROCESS

PART I: REMOVE THE DOORS AND SEPARATE HARDWARE

Materials required:

  • Power driver
  • Small containers/ziploc bags

Using a power driver, remove all the cabinet doors and set aside the handles and hardware. I placed the hardware in separate containers so it would be easier to find each piece when I was done painting. If you’re keeping the handles/hardware, clean each piece with soap and water. I soaked mine in a bucket for a few hours then scrubbed with an old toothbrush. If you’re planning on getting new hardware, you can skip this step

PART II: CLEAN THE SHIT OUT OF YOUR CABINETS

Materials required:

  • TSP
  • Lint free cloth/old t-shirt
  • Bucket

I mixed part TSP and part water in a bucket (**read the label on the TSP bottle**) and old t-shirts to clean every crevice of the cabinets. It’s important to use a lint-free rag or an old t-shirt to ensure you don’t leave lint/residue behind. I recommend doing this in a ventilated area as the TSP chemicals are harsh. You can also use a mixture of dishwashing soap, vinegar and water if you want to avoid the harsh chemicals

PART III: CREATE A WORKING SPACE AND TAPE THE CABINET FIXTURES

Materials required:

  • Painters tape
  • Drop cloths
  • Long wood planks
  • Sawhorses
  • Thin nails
  • Hammer

Once you’re done cleaning the cabinet fixtures, use painters tape around the edges to protect surrounding walls/appliances/etc.

To set up a working station for painting the doors – choose an open area, lay down drop cloths and set up sawhorses. Place two rows of long wood planks across the sawhorses and hammer thin nails into the wood about 6 inches away from each other and all about equal height. Once the nails are hammered into the wood, gently place the cabinet doors on top of the nails leaving about 4-6 inches of space between each door

I actually didn’t place the nailed planks on sawhorses at first because we didn’t have any yet (my lower back definitely paid for it – I was bent over for three days straight). This was a dumb move on my end, and I highly recommend setting the doors on a high surface so you don’t break your back 🙂

Here’s what my setup looked like before sawhorses:

And here’s what it looked like after (unfortunately I had already primed with 2 coats and painted one coat before I had the luxury of the sawhorses):

PART IV: SAND THE CABINETS

Materials required:

  • 150-200 grit hand sander
  • Lint-free rag/old t-shirt

I was torn between sanding and deglossing. I decided to sand because I read mixed reviews on deglossers, so I bought a small handheld sander and 200 grit sandpaper. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing anything below 150 grit, otherwise you’ll start creating an uneven surface. Before you sand, you should fill in any small holes with wood filler. I didn’t do this, but I should have (oops). I spent probably 3 minutes sanding each cabinet door (front and back) to ensure there was absolutely no finish or shine left. The cabinets should look dull after this step.

Once you’re done sanding, wipe off excess residue with an old t-shirt or lint-free cloth

PART V: PRIME

Materials required:

  • Paint roller
  • Zinsser primer
  • Small foam brush
  • Rubber gloves

Put on gloves, grab the Zinsser primer, a paint roller, a small foam brush (I used a foam brush and noticed this made the angled areas look smoother versus using a brush which created stroke lines) or small angled brush for the crevices and start priming! I painted the backs of the doors first, then painted the cabinet fixtures. Once I was done with the fixtures, I flipped over the doors and painted the front. I repeated the same process with a second coat 24 hours later.

Here’s what the cabinets looked like after the first coat of primer:

Side note…we knocked down the wall between the kitchen and dining room a few weeks prior. It made the kitchen/dining area feel so much more open!

PART VI: PAINT

Materials required:

  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Small angled paintbrush/foam paint brush,
  • Painters mask

This step is similar to priming, except it’s the real deal. Using gloves, a paint roller and a small angled brush/foam brush (per above, I used a foam brush to avoid stroke marks), begin painting the backs of the cabinet doors, then the fixtures. Once you’re done painting the fixtures, flip over the doors and paint the front of the doors. Wait 24 hours between coats.

I painted 3 coats of paint on the cabinets. In addition to the primer coats, that’s 5 coats total…and many hours of painting/stress eating.

Look at the shine on those doors!

THE FINAL CHAPTER: Wait

This step actually requires the most amount of patience and is the most mentally torturous because all you’ll want to do is hang the doors up and gasp/cry/scream at the dramatic transformation. But let me be very clear – you must wait at least 1.5 weeks (the term is called “curing”) before putting the doors and hardware back on, or else you’ll compromise everything. I waited 8 days and wish I waited longer. At the time I painted my cabinets it was 1000% humidity outside therefore making the cabinets take a lot longer to dry. If you live in a dryer, cooler area then you could probably get away with 1 week but trust me, the longer you wait the better. I have -O patience and I can honestly say this was worth the wait. I noticed my cabinets didn’t fully “cure” until about two months later.

So, after waiting for what felt like years, here is the final product:

DIY, DIY Kitchen Cabinets, DIY Cabinet Paint, Cabinet Transformation, Home DIY, Painting, Benjamin Moore Paint, Chantilly Lace

DIY, DIY Kitchen Cabinets, DIY Cabinet Paint, Cabinet Transformation, Home DIY, Painting, Benjamin Moore Paint, Chantilly Lace

DIY, DIY Kitchen Cabinets, DIY Cabinet Paint, Cabinet Transformation, Home DIY, Painting, Benjamin Moore Paint, Chantilly Lace

Side by side comparison:

 What do you guys think? Would you ever paint your cabinets?