Whose beauty routine needs an overhaul with this crazy, erratic weather?

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Did you raise your hand? Insert your girly one arm-raised emoji? Me too.

And guess what? The ladies at Elements Beauty Shop have read your mind, because Elements is holding a Beauty in Bloom event this Tuesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m.

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This event will include Erno Laszlo skincare expert, Julie Glazer, and the Elements Beauty Bloggers. You can sample the (animal testing-free!) products, gather recommendations based upon your skin needs and desires (always huge for me), and bond with all us skincare freaks.

Erno Laszlo via lifeofblyss.com

The Erno Laszlo brand will be highlighted at this event, and for a good reason. I’ve been sampling the products, and rest assured I’ll be snagging some full-sized bottles at the event.

Erno Laszlo was a famous eccentric dermatologist from Hungary that came to America and opened an institute in 1939. His mantra is “Beautiful skin takes commitment, not a miracle.” I love this! It’s so true. A more targeted skin regimen with specified products to what my skin needed was a huge game changer for me about a year ago. Yes, it’s more involved, but my skin looks so much different than it did when I was solely using basic drug store cleansers and moisturizer.

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I did a J Lo glowy skin dance.

Erno Laszlo’s innovative products are known to cleanse and exfoliate while replenishing and restoring your skin – giving you that famous “Laszlo Glow.”

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See that little black bottle? It’s called TranspHuse. It contains my new favorite eye cream. Coming from me and my streamlined skincare routine from my esthetician, that’s a big statement.

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The recipe for a great new cleaning ritual from Erno? The left pre-cleansing oil on the left, paired with the small back soap bar you see in the photo above, topped with the light controlling lotion on the right. I could feel my pores tightening, but my skin was moisturized and refreshed by the oil, so it wasn’t dry, like my skin is prone to be.

And I can’t sign off without highlighting a few of my all-time favorite items from Elements.

1. COOLA Face SPF 30 Makeup Setting SprayI’ve mentioned this product before, but I need to drive it home now that the weather is warming up and the sun is out. I love that I can wear whatever makeup I choose, but I’ll still be covered with SPF as long as I use this makeup setting spray. It’s a great tool against gross heat makeup-sliding, as well. Use this for the sun protection and for keeping your makeup in place.

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2. Jack Black Bump Fix Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair SolutionOkay, this one isn’t for me. But this has been a complete lifesaver for Alex’s razor burn on his neck. I got this for him for Christmas, and his itchiness and ingrown hairs have dramatically reduced. Enough that he is less bothered, and I can’t see it anymore. And he just let me know he’s running low the other night. Guess who is being dragged to the Beauty in Bloom Event!! …Kidding.

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3. The Gift Sets. I love snagging their pretty soaps paired with decorative dishes. They are perfect for when you need a small hostess or housewarming gift. Check out their fill page of gift “extras”. I love this Fringe Satomi Bouquet Tray and Soap Set and would totally put it in my guest bath.

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So, come on out to the event on Tuesday night! I’d love to see you there, chat about our skin, and peruse the products. Last year’s event was so fun, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Be sure to RSVP in the Facebook event.

Don’t forget to use the code LIFEOFBLYSS to get 10% off these and any other products  at Elementsbeautyshop.com or in their Carytown boutique.

This post is a sponsored collaboration with Elements Beauty Shop.  All opinions are my own. Thank you, as always, for supporting LOB and it’s sponsors!

 

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I’m taking a page out of Julie‘s book by posting a “Things I’m Loving Thursday”. It’s been too long since I did a round up of my favorite discoveries/favorite things. And I really like alliteration.

1. Topping the list right off the bat? Rage yoga.

WHAT?

You heard me. It’s rage yoga. It’s for people who are more into swearing than they are into sitting quietly listening to their own thoughts. I still haven’t decided if I’m not zen enough for regular yoga or if I am just too A.D.D., but anyway, this concept seems to really get me. What’s more therapeutic than $12 tickets to a vinyasa-styled yoga class filled with expletive dropping followed by a good beer from the bar?

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I don’t know about you, but I’m in there like some effing swimwear.

2. Pins 2 Kill Leggings

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Since my studio just rolled out Pure Barre Platform, I’ve been searching for more lightweight leggings. I’m known to sweat… big time, and these Pins to Kill leggings are perfect. You can select a ready-made pattern, or you can design your own leggings.

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Shown here are the blue arrow leggings, and after loving this pair, I now have my eye on the Indie Geo pattern!

The lighting isn’t great in our studio, as you can see, and this made for some really great outtakes of our trying to capture some Pure Barre Platform cardio kicks in motion.

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Note to self: Cardio kicks are a lot harder when you’re not warmed up. Get that leg straighter!

3. Invisibobble, the traceless hair ring.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 3.47.18 PMYes, that’s a hair tie.

After seeing a barre client with this in her hair one day, I asked her how it possibly stayed put. She has very fine hair, so I assumed it wouldn’t hold all my hair back.

When shopping at Sephora for my new faaaavorite NARS product (more on that next week), I saw these near the register and asked a sales associate if she thought it would keep my hair back. She recommended them, so I nabbed a three-pack of the clear Invisibobbles.

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I frequently go to barre during my lunch break or before heading somewhere, and even with the cute ribbon Emi Jay hair ties, I always get a crease in my hair. BUT, I’ve used the Invisibobble more than once now for a class, and I’ve had zero creases from it! And that’s with my wrapping this thing around my hair three times.

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I was a skeptic, but I’m glad I took the leap of faith and made the purchase. I highly recommend the Invisibobble for ponytail holding when you want no crease. I’m also a fan of using it for an easy loose, messy bun.

You can also snag these from Nordstrom, but Sephora has a wider color selection.

4. TheSkimm‘s political coverage.

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(an example of a graphic image used last week to illustrate how the primary is shaping up)

In election years past, I always felt lost in a sea of opinions and prejudices. I wasn’t really sure what thoughts were my own and which thoughts were replications of the people around me.

To form my own opinions, I’ve been following coverage of the sordid road to the White House closely. When I couldn’t catch a debate/was too busy with work/just needed a quick recap, I used TheSkimm to catch up. I love reading it every morning for my general morning news when I first wake up and walk Chloe.

You can sign up here to get TheSkimm e-mails in your inbox each morning. Wake up informed about what’s going on in the world!

5. This Buzzfeed writeup about what a real life trip to Kleinfeld is like. This girl is hilarious, and let’s be honest, we’ve all been wondering what a non-televised appointment is really like.

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She describes this as somewhat like the Nickelodeon Super ToyRun Sweepstakes, which, let’s be honest, is probably still a lifelong dream of mine.

6. BeetsBlu Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor

You all know how much I like wearing a heart rate monitor when I work out to track my exercise output.

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For a few months, I used my Orange Theory Fitness bluetooth heart rate monitor to pair with my Polar Loop 2. Suddenly, my heart rate was extremely erratic and seemingly inaccurate. Now, if I try to use the heart rate monitor, it only stays paired with something for 12 minutes tops and loses the connection. It made for a few weeks of very frustrating workouts.

Check out how strange my reading looks with the old heart rate monitor:

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Fortunately, like they had ESP that I was in need of a new HRM, BeetsBlu reached out to me. They sent me their bluetooth heart rate monitor, and it works wonderfully. I use this up to two times a day (running and barre class), and it’s delivered a much more accurate reading,

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Big difference, huh? I’m happy to have a HRM that holds up.

Beetsblu syncs with my Polar Loop 2 like a dream (so much faster and easier than the OTF one), and it’s also compatible with apps like MapMyRun, RunKeeper, and more.

I’ve recommended this heart rate monitor to all my barre clients, and I know several who are really happy with the purchase (and yes, I will be returning to OTF to see if they will trade my monitor out for a new one, since I’ve heard this happens frequently with theirs).

If you’re looking for more information on tracking my heart rate during exercise or my Polar Loop 2 (which I use for the actual tracking), check out these posts.

What are your recent loves/discoveries? Have you tried rage yoga? Have a great idea for a new legging design? In the market for a heart rate monitor? Actually been to Kleinfeld? I want to hear all about it.

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To avoid suffering the wrath of all of you, I’ve learned I need to write at least one Bachelor-related post this season. I apologize I haven’t been more on top of things, but y’all. Life be cray. Lately, once I get the time to sit and write something up, I don’t have the inspiration, and I refuse to post something half-assed. So, here we are.

Not half-assed.

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Full. Fledged. Ass.

In every understanding of the word. Thank God for that gif’s existence.

What better time than on the day of the highly-anticipated finale to finally air out the way this season has made me feel?

Firstly, I still like Ben.

And yeah, I did love him “most” in Kaitlyn’s season, and yes, I completely agreed with his being selected as The Bachelor.

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Honestly, it’s a rarity for someone to become the Bachelor/Bachelorette and for me to still like them by the end of the season. If I agreed with someone for the role, and if I liked someone at the start of the season, a lot of times, they make ridiculous decisions and quickly earn my serious judgement (coughKAITLYN). Although I don’t agree with all of Ben’s decisions (seriously, how long was Olivia actually going to stick around before the Producers let him say buh bye?), I think he has done a great job at staying true to himself and letting himself be vulnerable.

So vulnerable… he breaks the cardinal rule of The Bachelor and tells his final two girls he loves them. Uh, wut?

Not ideal, and as my mom says, “that was mean!” But I think it was a genuine stupid boy move as he let himself fall in love with two people. Dude just couldn’t keep it together.

And this is the part where I’m going to brag that I pegged JoJo and Lauren B. as my final two in The Bachelor Bracket.

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I was so full of complaints that my bracket requires you to make all your picks before the first episode even airs on television. I mean, really, who can make choices so crucial when you haven’t even gotten to hear the girl talk?

Welp, I picked JoJo to win it all. I used their headshots and their interview questions and made my pick based on who I thought Ben would be attracted to and who he would jive with best. Of course, I mistakenly grabbed a few randoms who didn’t it through the first rose ceremony to get to the final 6 or so (really… who saw the twins actually making it that far? not I). So, alas, second place I’ll take.

I’ve had JoJo here as my favorite girl in the house from the beginning. On night 1, I texted my friends, “Oh, stellar. I chose the chick in the unicorn mask to go all the way.”

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Fortunately, Ben’s into unicorns.

And what more can you expect when this is your home life?

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That’s a joke; I really like JoJo a lot, and I want her to earn 2nd place so she can be The Bachelorette. I just really want to be her friend. And when her mom drank right from the bottle there in national television, I cheered for her.

Anyone would be gaga over JoJo, but I fully feel that Ben’s real match is Lauren B. Jojo’s too cool for Ben. And I’ve said ever since Lauren’s hot tub date, I’ve been certain she’s the one for him after how quickly they connected.

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Here. Just try to tell me you feel differently.

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How about now?

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I rest my case.

I have yet to be so certain about someone’s connection on The Bachelor, and I’ve never called it that early, but I guess I could be wrong.

That happens every once in a while.

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Back to my wish that JoJo will be saved for The Bachelorette. Yes, I’ve been told that Caila has been filming some sort of intro film package in her hometown, confirming her as the next Bachelorette and I’m not a fan. Apparently, neither is anyone else.

According to Ali Fedotowsky, who is still my favorite Bachelorette to ever grace the show, Caila received “The Bachelorette treatment” on The Women Tell All. Allegedly, the women they are testing to be the next Bachelorette are styled with much less makeup to make them more relatable to viewers.

Example: Remember when Britt suddenly had hardly any eyeliner on for the first time in her life (including when she sleeps) when she and Kaitlyn were announced as The Bachelorettes last Bachelor Season Finale?

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Makes sense, but Caila looked about the same to me as she normally does.

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Don’t get me wrong, I really, really liked Caila toward the beginning of the season. I liked her spunk, and I generally gravitate toward people with a zest for life.

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Then she took it too far.

Is it just me, or is Caila in a never-ending audition for the role of our next Disney princess?

At one point around home town date territory, I wasn’t sure if I was watching Aladdin or The Bachelor. The gestures, the unfaltering smile, the constantly upturned eyebrows…

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We get it. Got it. Understood.

And that really, really awkward moment when she twirled her way to Ben’s Brooding Bench to “surprise him” while he was trying to come up with the best way to dump her?

Tragic. But in her sendoff, she made sure to show us her best Disney princess cry.

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I cringe for you, Caila, but enough’s enough. Who dumps their current boyfriend because you saw a guy on TV who gives you butterflies?

The girl seems sweet, but if I have to watch her find love again, I might boycott The Bachelorette.

[Note: I said that before when Andi was named The Bachelorette, and here we are.]

Speaking of people I don’t want to watch fall in love again, is it really true Becca is also rumored to be the next Bach? Lord almighty, how many times are we going to watch her on this show? Give some other peeps a chance.

And last but not least, can we talk about The Women Tell All that never was? This segment had the recipe for SERIOUS drama, and the bait was not taken.

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Leah committed probably the most tragic Bachelor blunder in the history of lying-on-TV-and-forgetting-that-everyone-will-see-it. The topic was quickly shut down, and Leah got off way too easily.

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Also, thanks to Snapchat (username: ablyssa), I did my best Emily impression this morning in honor of the big day. FullSizeRender 33

It wasn’t intentional, but Jenny immediately let me know I was in twin Emily doppelganger territory. Looks like I just need some pink lipstick and a mouth enlargement to get on The Bachelor. BRB, time to go learn irish dancing so I can become a triplet.

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Can’t wait to go see what ring Ben picks out for Lauren!

What’s your take? Who was your favorite choice for Ben? Who is your pick for Bachelorette?

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Raise the Barre: Tips for Veteran Barre Clients

January 26, 2016

You’re a barre regular. You know the drill so well, you could probably teach a class. Experts say you should keep your body guessing to sustain maximum peak performance, so now that you’re a barre aficionado, what can you do to push yourself a little harder? 1. Now that you’ve got your form down, focus […]

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Beauty & Skin Care Holiday Gift Guide

December 8, 2015

Who else placed about 7 different orders between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is still Christmas shopping? Insert blonde emoji chick with her arm in the air. I am! I really shouldn’t be that stressed with Christmas gifts this year. My family is doing a no-presents Christmas and instead taking a trip to Mexico […]

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5 Ways To Take Your Barre Form To The Next Level

November 2, 2015

It’s so easy to simply go through the motions of any fitness class. Many clients don’t realize that they can up their results by over 60% by simply adjusting form and intensity. How much you put into a workout might be a case of personal preference, understanding of technique, or a case of just “not […]

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Training & refueling with a heart rate monitor

October 26, 2015

When I was training for my Marine Corps Marathon, an expert recommended heart rate training to me. At the time, I was a stranger to using a heart rate monitor. I was all about keeping running enjoyable, and on top of a regimented schedule of how I’d tackle the high mileage, I ended up ditching […]

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How new shoes made me run faster (& New running tools!)

October 21, 2015

Last month, I was running very frequently in addition to my Pure Barre schedule. My body was craving cardio, and I was going after it about 5 times each week. Then, all of a sudden, my knees rebelled. I’ve never really had knee issues (shin splits and IT band tightness, sure). I was feeling slight […]

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Learning to be “Passively Active” with The Polar Loop 2

October 12, 2015

I’m an all or nothing person. I always have been. All in. All out. I have a hard time taking it easy in my workouts, because I want to train harder and get better. On the other end of the “fit” spectrum, I have a hard time getting up off the couch once I’m there. […]

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Work Travels for the Win

October 7, 2015

It’s been a hot minute, I know. I feel like it’s been weeks since I have had the time to do anything but travel, work, run, or barre. Since we last chatted, I’ve been to four Pure Barre studios across the country, traveled to five different cities, and ate a whole lot of food on […]

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