One thing LuxeWise has a desire for is to create a sense of empowerment and community among women. We know you. We love you. We think you are beautiful. So, we have decided to start a series highlighting everyday women we admire and some of their tips and tricks when it comes to beauty, health, and beyond. It is fun when we get to show you things we know, so now we are excited to get to learn from others!
First up, one of my best friends, Karissa!
I met Karissa through a friend back in 2007 and admired her style from the moment I met her. She is one of the most effortlessly beautiful people I know, and I even had the pleasure of photographing her wedding in 2008. She and her husband, Ryan, also share my wanderlust: they are world travelers who even taught English in South Korea for three years. Nowadays she and her husband live in the Nashville area (after living in Florida and Colorado), and she uses the influence of her travels to create beautiful jewelry. Onward to her philosophy!
In the issue of bath vs. shower, where do you stand?
When I'm tired and wanting to relax at the end of a stressful work day, I love to take epsom salt baths. I sometimes use ginger for a detox bath or a few drops of lavender oil for a little aromatherapy. Light a few candles, put on Pandora's Indian Classical station, throw in a glass of wine, and my bathroom is a straight up spa! However, if I've been exercising and sweating or I'm in a hurry, then I definitely prefer a shower.
What is your favorite drug store find?
I really like Revlon's Colorstay Suede in Supermodel. I will put it on without much of anything else, and it will stay on all day; I won't even think about it!
What are your most used products?
I always put on SPF before I go anywhere. I love NYX products because they're cruelty-free and inexpensive. I really like their Dark Circle Concealer. I love this stuff because it's made with coconut oil and is extremely thin, so it moisturizes while also helping my tired Sicilian eye circles look a little less tired. I also love Pacifica mascara. It's made with coconut oil and is all-natural as well. I like to wear Mac's Rubenesque paint pot on my eyelids because it's light and subtle but gives a little shine and stays on all day. It also lasts me well over a year. My favorite scents are by Pacifica. I love their Sandalwood, Island Vanilla and Indian Coconut Nectar. They smell great and are all natural and cruelty-free. My husband really doesn't like perfumes because they give him headaches, but he doesn't mind these because they don't have all the chemicals that normal perfumes have.
Do you have a before bed ritual?
At night before bed, I like to use Burt's Bees face wipes to remove any makeup, use vitamin e oil as my moisturizer, and either Dr. Bronner's Peppermint lip balm or R.L Linden & Co's La Bamba Rosa Healing Balm. I started this combination a year ago and since then, my skin has generally been clear and healthy looking when I wake up everyday. I like to use baking soda a couple times a week to exfoliate. It works really well and is also very cheap. If I'm feeling fancy and a little less lazy, I like to use Aztec Indian Healing clay mask. I mix it with a little organic apple cider vinegar and wait as my face pulsates and detoxifies!
Since you are well traveled, I was wondering if you have any tips or tricks you picked up in your time overseas?
I learned how to moisturize and take better care of my skin when I was living in Korea. They are really into skin care there, and I was constantly being gifted with fancy moisturizers by my students' parents. One interesting thing I noticed in my travels is that, much like here in the U.S., there is almost always a beauty standard that is projected in advertisements and television that does NOT represent the majority of women. Many of the places I've been, especially in Asia, I noticed that many of the women were aspiring to possess features in which they didn't have and couldn't possibly have unless they chose to have cosmetic surgery. There is such incredible beauty in our diversity. I am alright with my big Italian nose because it represents my heritage. Years ago I was insecure about this feature, and then I moved to Asia where people told me they wanted my 'mountain nose' because they had smaller noses. We are so conditioned to want what we don't have. Beauty is embracing and appreciating our differences, not trying to fit a mold or adhere to standards set by media or corporate entities.
And lastly, what is your personal beauty philosophy?
Aside from what I spoke about above, I personally try to practice simplicity. I'm too lazy to invest a lot of time or money in my appearance. I have found that when I overthink and spend too much of my time getting ready, I don't feel nearly as confident as times where I've only thought about it minimally. All of that said, I have beautiful friends who are makeup artists or just are genuinely happy putting the time in for themselves. I think as long as you are comfortable and not worrying too much about how others are going to perceive you, you're good to go.
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know one of my favorite people. Thanks for your time, Karissa!