A Date with Caudalie, Tatcha and Fresh

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by this absurd winter weather. *Knocks over my Fenty foundation as I raise both hands.* Yeah. Me too.

I’m not sure where you live, but I’ll give you a brief rundown on Virginia weather. Last week it was snowing one day then nearly 70 degrees the next. And no. I am not exaggerating.

So, with all of this finicky weather, my skin has been having a complete meltdown. That’s why I was so grateful to be invited by the lovely Laura to go visit the Sephora in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for another skincare event. This time featuring Caudalie, Fresh and Tatcha.

My first stop was with Fresh Beauty, where I got to try out two masks. The first was the Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask, which I might pick up later. It contains lotus seeds, seaweed flakes and red algae. I noticed that it gave my face a beautiful radiance, without a greasy feeling. The best thing–it only takes 5 minutes to work its magic.

The second mask we used was one of my favorites–the Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. This was another hydrating mask because my skin has been feeling pretty dry recently. The “cool” thing about this mask is the fact that it has a cooling effect to it. (I have to admit that it freaked me out the first time I used it.) I found that I noticed clearer skin after using it as well. That was the case this time around as well!

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Picture taken by Laura Arzate

Next, I got pampered by the wonderful Amanda Lefaive from Tatcha, who taught me all about the brand. Did you know that all the products were inspired by ancient Japanese beauty rituals of geishas? You should know that geishas take much time to maintain the quality of their skin.

They have six steps to achieving their youthful glowing skin. These include purifying, polishing, brightening, nourishing, blotting and drinking Sake. The latter of which is optional, which means, I’ll be grabbing my glass of wine.

This heavily inspired products like the Rice Enzyme Powder. It’s an innovative powder product is actually a cleanser. It’s a powder that is activated by water. When you work it into your skin, it transforms into a beautiful lather that gently exfoliates your skin. After rinsing off, I felt clean and hydrated.

For moisturizing and treatment, I got to sit with the lovely Amy Schaeffer at Caudalie. Before starting, she had me give a brief rundown on some of my skin concerns. After going on and on about how shocked I was to learn that I had combination skin with some dry patches, she was able to give me some recommendations.

We started with the Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum. It was a perfect choice for my skin. While it contains hydrating ingredients like, Hyaluronic Acid and grape water, I didn’t feel like it left a greasy layer over my skin. My skin just felt plump and hydrated.

Next, we hydrated with the Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet. This is another interesting product from Caudalie. It starts off as a gel and as you work it into your skin, it melts almost into water. The Vinosource line is really amazing because it all really sinks into your skin, without leaving you feel greasy or sticky.

We wrapped everything up with the Premier Cru Eye Cream, which she described as the “crème de la crème” of eye creams. She wasn’t lying. I have dark circles under my eyes, both hereditary and from lack of sleep. When we applied the cream,  I noticed that everything looked a bit brighter. I’ve been using it ever since.

What I love so much about these events is the fact that each of the reps of each brand are so knowledgable about their products. It’s so important to make sure you understand the products and ingredients you’re putting into your skin, which is why these events are so important. I even had some good friends of mine join in on the fun and they said they felt the same.

If you want to join Laura for a Skin Soirée, a little birdie told me she’ll be in Short Pump this Saturday, January 27th.

What are your thoughts on the Skin Soirées? What about your favorite products from these brands? Let me know in the comments!

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10 Books I Will Fight to Read

***Originally posted on HerCampus.com.

I have no problem with someone disliking a book, but when they attempt to hinder me from reading something, there’s an issue. I refuse to allow anyone to stop me from reading a particular book and I encourage everyone else to fight for their right to read. This week VCU Cabell Library has been talking all about banned and challenged books.

There are some things worth fighting for, and I have many books that I will always fight to read.

Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

If you haven’t heard of the wizarding world, I’m highly concerned. Harry Potter looks at the life of the wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends. It’s been challenged for supernatural themes.

Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner tells the story of a friendship between a wealthy boy and his father’s servant. It’s an emotionally beautiful story that you can learn a lot from. It has been banned for offensive language, being too mature for the age group and violence.

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a controversial coming-of-age novel that follows the life of Holden Caulfield. Though originally published for adults, it’s very popular among adolescents.  It was challenged for offensive language, sexual content and being too mature for the age group.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

If you haven’t read this, you’re missing an amazing coming-of-age story that is told by the protagonist, Charlie, who writes letters to a stranger. It’s been challenged several times for offensive language, nudity, drugs and more.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter looks at the life of Hester Prynne, who is shammed by her town in Boston after she conceives a child through an affair. It has been challenged by school districts for being “obscene.”

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

The Satanic Verses follows two Indian Muslims who miraculously lived after they were trapped on a hijacked plane that exploded. Salman was accused of misusing his freedom of speech throughout the text and consequentially, the book was banned for being blasphemous.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men tells the story of two men on the search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression. It’s been challenged numerous times because of vulgarity and racist language.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

If this wasn’t an assigned reading for one of your classes, go out and read it now. To Kill a Mockingbird deals with racial issues in America. It’s been banned for offensive language and racism.

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This novel is about a girl named Alice that falls in a rabbit hole into a magical world. It was banned its portrayal of animals with human qualities.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

American Psycho is a novel that looks through the eyes of a serial killer. It’s been challenged in several countries for violence towards women and being harmful to minors.

Every day, books are challenged and even banned from schools and public libraries. Books have been challenged by critics, individuals and groups that have deemed them as unfit for the public because of their beliefs.

For the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, VCU Libraries has provided a series of interactive events centered around fighting for the right to read. Events will include selfies, a video booth, green screen photos and a lecture from VCU professor, Tom De Haven. For a complete listing of events, visit the VCU Libraries events page.

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