5 Face Cleansers that Won’t Disappoint


Last month I made a few promises to myself that some people call resolutions, but I like to think of as self-improvement intentions. These are a far milder version of a resolution because I hate to disappoint myself with resolutions I can’t keep. (I tend to be a slacker, what can I say?)

One of these self-improvement intentions is to honor my rituals. And by rituals, I really mean any task that I do on a regular basis. I call them rituals to give them more meaning: a ceremony of sorts. I mean, doesn’t “I need to honor my nighttime ritual” sound so much more grandiose and formal (and therefore make you more willing to actually  DO IT) than “yeah I guess I should wash my face but I’m super tired and a little dirt never hurt anyone…”

In honor of honoring my rituals, here are five of my favorite facial cleansers that are part of my most essential morning and nighttime rituals:

Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser ($14.99) This is the face wash that I most often repurchase at my local CVS. It targets excess oil and leaves my skin squeaky clean without being tight or dry. Even thought this gel cleanser has 2% salicylic acid to help with breakouts, the formula is really mild and suitable for sensitive skin.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel ($24.00) While this gel cleanser is probably my most favorite daytime cleanser, it’s not readily available on the island where I live so when I run out I need to order it online. This slight inconvenience means I don’t use it as often as I might otherwise. What I love about this formula is the papaya and grapefruit extracts that contain exfoliating AHAs. These natural acids help prevent buildup that clogs pores and causes blackheads and breakouts. Also, it comes in mini sizes which is super convenient for travel.

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash ($6.50) For the price you really can’t beat Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. The hypoallergenic formula of this face wash is super gentle and removes dirt and oil without stripping skin. It’s great for removing eye makeup as it won’t sting eyes. I keep one at the sink and in the shower.


Dermalogica Precleanse ($38.00) So this isn’t really a cleanser, but I especially like to use Dermalogica Precleanse as part of my nighttime ritual prior to cleanser. This is great for removing waterproof mascara, sunblock and any surface oil and dirt that builds up on your face throughout the day. To use, massage into dry skin to breakdown makeup and impurities. Wet hands and continue massaging to create a lightweight, milky emulsion. Rinse clean and then wash face with regular cleanser as usual.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser ($38.00) Several years ago I couldn’t tolerate this face wash because I didn’t like the scent but I’ve warmed up to it over the years. Maybe they reformulated or maybe my nose is less sensitive to the fragrance but I’m totally into this face wash now. The rosewater and cucumber extracts are soothing and balancing and I love how it leaves my skin feeling super supple without leaving a residue.


Kauai Life: Week In Review


Here’s a few random pictures from my phone this week:

large succulent

I’m desperately trying to learn how to care for and grow succulents. Over the last year or so I’ve managed to kill off more plants than I care to admit and the ones that have survived have stretched out (due to lack of sunlight I’ve learned, after much googling).

So I’m on a mission with some new succulent cuttings I purchased last weekend at @kauaisucculents. This beautiful bloom is an Echeveria. I love the variation in color you see here. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the progress of this guy as well as all the other succulent clippings I’m currently propagating.


west elm screenshot

After a crazy five-year stint of not much else but living and breathing the family business, I’ve recently cut back on work and have had more time to try and settle into my home. My phone is full of screen shots of home decor inspiration and organizing ideas I want to implement. I’m especially fond of this raw Mango wood dresser with inlaid brass geometric details from West Elm.  The detail is so unique and whimsical. I can’t get it out of my head.


And heres a shot of my backyard from the balcony. I was watching the whales go off and tried to get a picture but I need a telephoto lens to see that far away.

Hope you’re having a great week and it’s not too cold or snowy where you are.

Thursday Mind Games: GOLD FORKS


I can’t explain why my obsession with tableware has reached unfathomable heights for the last several months but visions of vintage floral porcelain, crisp table linens and brushed gold cutlery have taken up permanent real estate in my brain and they have no intention of moving out.


I’m particularly enamored with this gold flatware I ordered from Cutipol in Portugal:


The chatter in my head about this flatware went on for days. I tried to convince myself time and time again that I don’t need this sleek, long-handled brushed gold amazingness in my life (these are the games I like to play with myself). However, after the third night in a row of waking up at 2am pining for gold forks, I showed myself who is boss and placed my order.



Everything about this gold cutlery is perfection and my tabletop couldn’t be happier.

The butter knife is surprisingly sharp even though the blade seems short in comparison to the handle. The tea spoon is super small and so adorable I have been making myself tea every afternoon just so I can use it.

The sleek handles on this flatware set are so comfortable to hold and the beautiful brushed gold finish makes every meal feel special and elegant.

This set of Cutipol Moon Brushed Gold Cutlery comes in a set of 24 (6 dinner forks, 6 dinner knives, 6 table spoons and 6 tea spoons).

My tabletop details:

Crate & Barrel Dinner Plates in Blush

Vintage scalloped edge pink dessert plates with gold detail

Lenox Champagne glasses

Anthropology Fleur-de-Lys Tumblers in Pink

Vintage Irish linen table runner

How to care for your Cutipol Gold Cutlery:

To maintain the look of your Cutipol Gold Cutlery throughout the years, follow these recommendations.

  • After each use, wash in warm water and mild detergent. Avoid using detergents with chlorine or anti-limestone agents.
  • Avoid using abrasive cloths or scrubs when hand washing.
  • Be sure to wash off any food remains as soon as possible after use.
  • Remove from dishwasher immediately to avoid exposure with steam. Hand dry with soft cloth even if it appears dry.
  • Take extra care with knife blades. Knife blades are made of 420 steel to give them more cutting power and hardness. This means they are less resistant to oxidation. Make sure they are washed straight after use and well-dried before putting them away.
  • Store all gold Cutipol cutlery in a dry place.

When Ironing Your Sheets is Not What it Seems

bedside detail

I’ve often fantasized about seemingly ridiculous things I’m sure only my time-strapped, over-scheduled, crazy-busy friends can appreciate.

Things like keeping an impeccable refrigerator (sans fingerprints, week-old take out containers and open cans of half-used refried beans), a highly functional linen closet where all the towels are organized by color and linens are categorized by use, and crisply ironed bed sheets.

I hope I’m not outing myself as a ridiculous Mrs. Cleaver wanna-be but I always imagined that freshly pressed sheets would make bedtime feel more special and bring with it the most lovely, restful sleep. (I suppose that’s why a weekend in a luxurious hotel typically makes one feel renewed upon checkout.) As much as the idea of a crisp hotel bed in my own bedroom sounds beyond amazing, I’ve never actually made the effort to get out my iron while making the bed. Until now.

pink chair

In keeping with my resolution to be kinder to myself in 2016, I decided to iron my bed sheets this weekend.

First I have to admit ironing sheets is HARD. Like, impossible hard. I have a king size bed and as I pressed the wrinkles out in sections across my ironing board the finished work was pooling up in a heap on the floor, forcing me to repeat the process several times over. The whole ordeal was sort of a joke until I finally decided this task was not at all a way to be kind to myself, and ended up just pressing the most exposed areas.



sheet detail

Even this modified ironing job was difficult and time-consuming. I decided it would be kinder to myself to just appreciate the Pottery Barn-styled beds from afar, and embrace the wrinkles in my bedding. No matter how hard I try, my bed will never look like this perfectly pressed bed:

crisp bed

Also, I realized that fine Italian sheets make for an amazing night’s rest, even with wrinkles. My new Restoration Hardware Egyptian cotton 600 TC sheets are even better than my favorite Hotel Collection sheets. I’m ditching the iron and being kind to myself at the spa.

bedside ring dish

Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream



Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish is an industry favorite for its ability to slough off skin while simultaneously leaving its universally adored sweet fragrance and silky-smooth skin in its wake.

Now fresh added this Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream to their lineup. Packed with citrus fruit acids and skin-firming apple extracts, this cream will leave your skin hydrated, soft and smelling delectable.

Fresh Sugar Acai Age-Delay Body Cream $65.