Cup ‘o Coffee and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack close-up

Left to right: Cup ‘o Coffee, Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, Moisturizing Moon Mask, GRAVITYMUD™ Firming Treatment, Indian Healing Clay

Anyone who knows me (or has been following Haute Mess for a while) knows that I am a total mask junkie; I can’t go a week without masking. It’s just who I am. And because my readers requested I do more skincare posts in 2018, I decided to round up my favorite masks and tell you guys a little about them.

When it comes to finding a good mask, I look at the ingredients first; it is *so* important to be educated on everything you’re putting in your pores. Just like with food, ingredients are the first thing to look at when shopping for skincare.

It can get a little confusing, or at best, overwhelming, because most masks these days are multi-taskers jam-packed with ingredients that offer an array of benefits for our bodies’ largest organ: the skin.

From detoxifying clay masks to creamy hydrating masks and everything in between, I’ve tried so many different masks (including nearly the entire range from Lush)–and I definitely know which are my favs at this point. (Although I am by no means closed off the recommendations, so send me yours.)

In addition to the masks I listed here, I’m also a huge fan of hydrating sheet masks. Because they’re so affordable, I’ve tried countless different ones. And while I can’t even begin to narrow down my favs (or even remember which I’ve tried), I know that I love those formulated with red wine, collagen, hyaluronic acid and snail mucin.

Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: Hands-down my favorite mask of all time, I really can’t get enough of this guy. It’s my go-to because I know I can trust it; it never breaks me out and it does its job time after time. Creamy kaolin clay detoxes, while bitter orange peel gently exfoliates.

As Glossier’s site states, Mega Greens, which is packed with powerful leafy green phytonutrients and superfruit antioxidants, is like a juice cleanse for your face. The ingredients work to cleanse the skin the same way juice cleanses you internally. And all that goodness protects the skin against pollution and other damage, too. $22, Glossier

Lush Brazened Honey: This mask from Lush is really similar to Glossier’s Mega Greens. The only differences are that you can pick it up IRL at your nearest shopping mall, and there’s much less of it per container.

It contains detoxifying kaolin clay and ground almonds, a gentle exfoliant, as well as honey (duh!), a superfood full of essential nutrients and antioxidants, that nourishes and fortifies the skin naturally.

Much like Glossier’s, Brazened Honey has never caused my skin any irritation, and it *always* does what it claims it will do: deliver smoother, brighter, more even skin that looks and feels clean and–most importantly–healthy. $9.95, Lush

Lush Cup ‘o Coffee: Another must-try from Lush, this face and body mask acts as a physical exfoliant while the kaolin clay gently detoxifies. Full disclaimer, though: I’ve never actually used this one on my face. But, I almost always have it in my medicine cabinet because I love using it from the neck down.

Caffeine wakes up the skin, leaving cellulite-prone areas looking perky. And of course, the ground coffee itself sloughs away dead cells so skin is soft, smooth and far from ashy. I love applying it before I shower, waiting 5-10 minutes, then hopping in to scrub myself clean. It’s an essential every season (and a must-have before any at-home tanning products) that leaves my bathroom smelling ah-mazing. $11.95-$22.95, Lush

Ulta Pollution Defense Pomegranate Peel-off Mask: I tried this one on a whim one time while shopping at Ulta and ended up falling in love. Although it’s not at all what I expected, it’s a really great, quick-and-easy affordable pick-me-up.

I was instantly drawn to this mask because it contains witch hazel, which is probably one of my favorite skincare remedies ever. It’s a natural astringent that removes excess oil, unclogging pores and purifying the skin.

Vitamins A and C, antioxidants found naturally in pomegranates, fight free radicals, which lead to signs of aging. It also contains soothing Vitamin E. The first time I used this mask, I noticed results as soon as I peeled it off.

This mask’s texture is really strange (and slightly difficult to work with), but the benefits (and price!) make it worth it. The slightly water-like formula drips like crazy before the mask is dry and ready to peel off, so I always make sure to throw on an old t-shirt or towel before I put it on. $3, Ulta

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay: Okay, so I’m sure most of you guys have seen this deep pore cleansing mask all over the beauty blogosphere. But, I couldn’t leave it out of this post because I always have it on hand.

For those of you who don’t know much about this mask, it comes as a powder and you mix it with apple cider vinegar (available at grocers, health food stores and Amazon), smear it on your problem areas, then let it dry. I definitely don’t recommend using this mask on your entire face–at least not at once–because it is so harsh.

Nevertheless, this mask is a long-time favorite; I love how you can actually feel it working as it hardens–it definitely lives up to its “feel your face pulsate” slogan. I use it on my t-zone to tighten and detox my pores, and to dry up any problem breakouts or excess oil. But I’ll warn you: it gets *super* uncomfortable if you leave it on too long, and the smell of vinegar is strong. Prices vary, Amazon

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask: Moisturizing Moon took me a couple tries to get the hang of, but once I did, it quickly became a staple in my routine.

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret: I don’t use this guy as a mask, at least, not as a wash-off mask as it’s intended. Instead of smearing it on thick and rinsing it off after 20 minutes, I work a thin layer into my skin before bed, and by the time I wake-up, it’s fully absorbed–no need to rinse.

After continued use, I noticed visibly plumper, softer, brighter skin, as well as less dehydration overnight. It’s never caused my skin any sort of irritation whatsoever. In fact, it leaves my complexion with a Glossier-worthy shine in all the right places. $22, Glossier

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: So this is one of those social-media-made-me-do-it purchases. I had my eyes on this guy for a while before Sephora’s VIB sale, but held out for a few weeks to get the 20-percent off.

I hadn’t heard of the brand until a handful of my fellow Glossier Reps started trying this mask out. But, I’m a total sucker for Korean skincare, so I was instantly intrigued by Glow Recipe’s one-of-a-kind mask.

The color, scent and texture are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a mask before. Not only is it a gorgeous Glossier pink, it smells like a juicy, perfectly ripe watermelon. It has a weightless jelly–almost goopy–texture that sinks into the skin to brighten overnight. $22-$45, Sephora

GLAMGLOW GRAVITYMUD™ Firming Treatment: Because GLAMGLOW’s is the first anti-aging treatment I’ve ever tried, I was a little worried about how my skin would react. Thankfully, it hasn’t caused any type of reaction.

This easy-to-use peel-off mask delivers instant brightening and line-reducing results. Plus, the metallic silver sheen totally Insta-worthy. It has definitely made me eager to try more from GLAMGLOW. $24-$69, Sephora

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Lexi, the blogger behind Boho Chicken, inspired me to put together this guide for curating an efficient and chic bedside table with a post she did a few months back.

As she wrote, a bedside table is so much more important than most people realize! It truly is one of the most convenient places to keep the things you use (or should use) every day. And because it’s something you see every morning and night, you want the area to be aesthetically pleasing and a reminder of the things you love.

Getting organized is a common New Year’s resolution, so I thought, what better time to give you guys the tips and tricks I use for curating a neat and pretty space that fits just about everything I need.

You’ll need…

  1. A plain table: I like clean lines and neutral colors; to me this is the most relaxing. But for those of you who like a more decorative look, a simple table like this makes it easy to change up your space’s style whenever without having to buy new furniture. Check out local estate sales, antique stores and flea markets for unique and affordable pieces.
  2. Storage: Other than the table itself, the storage you choose is the most important aspect of curating your bedside! A small bin and a box or two really keep your table organized and optimize the small space.
  3. Light: Natural light and overhead lights are great, but I need all the light I can get to feel the most inspired and productive in my space. So, I like to keep a little lamp on my bedside table for reading and journaling.
  4. Candles & home fragrances: A good-smelling space is a must for me! I cannot fully relax unless I have a candle (or two!) lit (along with fresh sheets). My favs are Byredo’s Bohemia and Burning Rose, as well as Alex And Ani’s Scent 7. I also keep a ton of incense on hand at all times (I love, love, looove Dragon’s Blood).
  5. Beauty & wellness essentials: You definitely don’t need your entire contour kit or lipstick collection on hand, but there are a few things you can’t go without. For me that’s Glossier‘s Balm Dotcom, a trustworthy hand cream, as well as a small supply of sheet masks and/or eye patches. Every time I’m in L.A., I head to Make Asobi in Little Tokyo to stock up on a variety of authentic Asian sheet masks and other goodies. These guys are perfect because they don’t require any clean-up; you can go straight to sleep afterwards without making any mess at all. Dietary supplements, medication and any holistic remedies fit in this category, too.
  6. A small dish: Nothing makes me crazier than having a bunch of random jewelry cluttering up my bedside table; my favorite pieces can so easily get lost or damaged this way. So, I keep a small, pretty dish on my bedside table for the jewelry I take off before going to sleep.
  7. Reading material: This one is a no-brainer, or at least it should be! Whether you’re in school and have books to read as part of your coursework, or enjoy doing some reading on your own, it’s so important to do. There are so many benefits to reading before bed, and when the material is right in front of you day after day, I think you’re more likely to actually dive into it and stick with it. My current picks? Reading Sex And The City by Kim Akass and Janet McCabe, as well as Fashion-ology by Yuniya Kawamura.
  8. A journal: If journaling really isn’t your thing, you might be tempted to skip this one. But, a small notebook and a couple pens really help me feel organized, so I always like to have these supplies on hand. They’re especially useful when an idea comes to mind; it makes jotting it down before I forget a lot easier. I love, love, looove my personalized leather notebook from Pop & Suki; it makes me look forward to journaling nearly every day.
  9. Crystals: Not only are crystals gorgeous decorations, they provide your space with good vibes! These luxurious-looking natural wonders can help with everything from balance and focus to positivity to love. I keep rose quartz (love) and amethyst (relaxation) on my bedside table, and I also love having sage around for when I really need to cleanse my space’s aura.
  10. Inspo: Whatever inspires you, keep it front and center! For me this is my lifelong obsession with magazines and coffee table books. Right now I’ve got Literally Me by Julie Houts and the December 2017 edition of Vogue Paris (with Rihanna as guest editor).
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I finally gave into my want need for Gisou, a bee-based haircare line by Negin Mirsalehi. Not only is Negin a mega-babe and mega-influencer with impossibly good hair, she’s got a freaking master’s degree in marketing and experience beekeeping (which has been in her family for generations). All this makes Gisou one of the most unique–and sought-after–haircare companies out there.

In a (slightly desperate) search for products to restore the fullness and overall health my hair once had, I picked up Gisou’s Honey Infused Hair Oil, Propolis Infused Heat Protectant and Texture Comb last month.

Yes, these products are super boujee, but in my experience when it comes to haircare, you truly get what you pay for. That’s why I’m doing my best to limit drugstore purchases and to instead invest in high-end and luxury products for my locks. (Plus, I’m a sucker for packaging this pretty.)

For the first time in over half a decade, I picked up a new hair tool. (Let’s put it in perspective: I was a freshman in college when I last got a new hair brush…I’m 24 now.) Especially after seeing no improvement in my hair in the years after picking up The Wet Brush, it was time I tried something else. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that may be the key the healthier hair sooner…

While The Wet Brush did make brushing through my hair post-shower a quicker process, it didn’t do anything for my hair’s appearance or texture; if anything, it made it worse. Gisou’s comb, on the other hand, makes the process a little longer, but, hey–good things take time. (Rumor has it, it takes only 30 minutes to make a Michael Kors bag, versus 20 hours to make a Birkin.)

Not only does this comb evenly disperse any product through my tresses, it doesn’t rip or pull at my strands the way The Wet Brush did. I definitely notice significantly less hair loss when using Gisou’s comb versus The Wet Brush. To me, that’s worth the extra time it takes. I’ve since thrown my Wet Brush in the trash.

Honey Infused Hair Oil is what drew me into Gisou in the first place. I mean, how gorgeous does this product look on everyone’s top shelf? It’s like liquid gold in a gorgeous glass bottle. YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth also has gorgeous, envy-inducing hair, and after seeing her rave about this product both on her channel and on Instagram, I knew I’d eventually being trying it.

After all, I’m a sucker for oils. Coconut oil is great, but let’s be honest: it’s messy and time-consuming. I need an oil I can use every day without making a mess of my bathroom and myself.

During Sephora’s VIB sale, I picked up OUAI‘s Hair Oil. And while I really, really like it, it’s a relatively thin oil, so I found myself going through it really quickly. Gisou’s is a little thicker because it’s loaded with a ton of key ingredients, and you need much less of it to reap the benefits.

Honey, which is naturally full of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants, makes up the base. In addition to providing tons essential nutrients, this super food has the power to retain moisture, resulting in deeply conditioned, stronger locks. The sulfate-, paraben- and cruelty-free formula also contains almond and coconut oils, two of my go-to’s

I looove this product–and not just because it smells amazing and looks amazing on my countertop. This formula is weightless; it nourishes and conditions my hair without weighing it down or making it look greasy. It absorbs into my locks almost instantly, unlike other oils that sit on top, leave a sticky/waxy film or an overall gross look and feel to the hair.

Because my hair actually absorbs this oil, I know it will provide long-term strengthening and conditioning benefits when other products have just given me a temporary fix that instantly washes out.

After using Honey Infused Hair Oil for a week or so, I noticed a huge difference in my hair; it’s so much more manageable. It’s way smoother to the touch and a lot easier to style. Plus, it’s loaded with nutrients, so Gisou’s luxurious hair oil is strengthening my hair, helping to thicken it over time.

As the website states, this multi-tasking product can be used on wet or dry hair as a pre-styler, a finisher and/or an overnight treatment. It also suggests adding a few drops to your fav hair mask. I’ve doing all of the above; it’s perfect for smoothing hair on a day-to-day basis, while it strengthens long-term. And, when I do have time for a coconut oil hair mask, I mix in Gisou’s Hair Oil for extra benefits.

And because it’s so good at smoothing my hair down, it’s drastically reduced my need for heat tools. I can simply run this product through the fly-aways near my face and run out the door. Like any good hair product, it has a really light, pleasant scent.

I didn’t know a thing about Propolis until I started exploring Gisou’s range. The website states that bees use this ingredient to strengthen the walls of their hives; it contains numerous oils, vitamins, minerals and flavonoids, making it a richly fortifying ingredient for the hair.

What really caught my attention was Propolis Infused Heat Protectant’s ability to protect hair from heat tools *and* the sun. We so often forget that our hair, in addition to our skin, needs a filter to keep out harmful UV rays.

Much like Gisou’s hair oil, the Heat Protectant can be used on wet or dry tresses, making it an extremely versatile product. It also helps detangle hair, making the whole haircare and styling processes a little easier; less products equals less stress.

After using this product while straightening my hair, I noticed some *huge* results! I have naturally wavy, kinky hair that I like to straighten often, but I could never seem to achieve those sleek, fresh-from-the-salon results at home–until I tried Gisou’s Heat Protectant.

When used with a flat iron, this product leaves my hair frizz-free, polished and pin-straight. Plus, the results actually last.

There’s been countless times I’ve gotten so frustrated because I spent an hour straightening and re-straightening my locks, only to be left with strands that recoil–even when I’ve used straightening sprays and hair oils! The bottom layer of my hair near my neck is especially guilty of this. But with Gisou, everything stays smooth, just like a professional blowout.

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Into The Gloss’ Top 25 in beauty. While I know little to nothing about most of the products before I read about them on ITG’s list, there is usually a handful that I already love.

This year I was happy to see two of my go-to’s on the Top 25: Glossier Haloscope highlighter and Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick.

Haloscope in Topaz was the first product I ever purchased from Glossier nearly two years ago. I was instantly drawn to the warm, sun-kissed hue and one-of-a-kind formula. If you’re half the glossier fan that I am, you already know Haloscope is so different from any other highlighters on the market–even other cream highlighters that come in similar packaging.

Its outer halo is infused with tiny particles from real crystals, while the vitamin-rich inner core is solid oil. This dew-effect, dual-delivery formula gives your skin an out-of-this-world hydrated finish that’s never glittery.

My favs are Topaz for a sultry golden glow and Moonstone for an everyday opal glaze. Sometimes, I’ll combine the two à la Kim Johnson; Topaz on the cheekbones right above my bronzer, and Moonstone on the brow bones, inner corners of the eyes and cupid’s bow for a sexy, sweaty sheen.

I really love how versatile these guys are. I’ll wear them on their own for a daytime look, or add a powder on top for a bold evening glow. The best part is that no amount of Haloscope is overkill.

This may be a zealous statement, but Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche is the best lipstick formula out there. So, it’s really no surprise it made ITG’s Top 25 of the year.

Even in neutral shades, this lipsticks isn’t for the faint of heart. The high-impact pigment delivers extreme moisture, soft texture and creamy wear, per sephora.com.

“Created and crafted by hand, Bite’s small batch, low-heat process preserves a balanced blend of lip-quenching nutrients, vitamins and omega oils that are essential for achieving healthy-looking lips,” Sephora continues.

Tons of ITG readers (including myself!) can verify that Amuse Bouche lives up to its online description.

It’s formulated without parabens, sulfates and phthalates. Instead, it’s made with “12 edible oils and triple milled pigments” to give lips “saturated lip color with weightless coverage and a citrus flavor made from fresh pressed fruit.”

Honeycomb is a gorgeous beige nude, and my beauty arsenal wouldn’t be complete without it. It’s great for muted, everyday makeup looks, but I also love pairing it with bold eyeshadow looks because it never overpowers them.

Quite possibly my favorite thing about Bite Beauty is that the company only makes lip products, so everything feels incredibly specialized and luxurious. Check out Bite’s Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at how their products are made.

The Ordinary’s serums also made an appearance on ITG’s Top 25. While I’ve seen some of my fellow Glossier Reps gush about these guys on social media and on their blogs or YouTube channels, I’ve never tried any of them myself.

As the article states, the serums are “simple, well-priced, well-made, and they actually do their job without compromising anything else.”

“The brand is simultaneously championing transparency and efficacy in product sourcing and production,” so a handful of the serums quickly made their way to the top of my must-try list.

I love makeup, but I’m definitely a skincare junkie before anything else, so I really can’t resist any serum with a glowing (no pun intended) review from my most-trusted beauty blog. And now that they’re available at Sephora, I hope to stock up on them ASAP.

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I didn’t know it was possible to feel sexy in cords until I pulled on this burnt orange pair by Fiorucci. By now I’m sure all my readers know my obsession with the Italian label–it was featured in my November favs, plus my 3-part series on its influence on the fashion industry is underway this week.

After having my eyes on these logo-emblazoned corduroy pants since their debut, I snagged them (for 20%-off!) on Black Friday. (Side note: Fiorucci’s shipping is amazing–my parcel arrived in N.J. from the U.K. in less than a week, and their packaging is so fun.)

Not only are these quite possibly the most flattering skinny pants I’ve ever worn (I tend to stick to baggy, boyfriend styles because that’s what looks best on my figure), they’re comfortable. Basically, they fit like a glove. Plus, how cool are they?! I can’t get enough.

This week I paired them with a slouchy sweatshirt because temperatures have been freezing here (it snowed twice last week). I’ve spent so much time in L.A. lately that it actually took me a minute to get used to dressing for fall and winter this year. But now that I’m back in the North East for a while, I’m starting to get the hang of it again.

As much as I wanted to polish off this look with a pair of heeled booties, I decided to go for my Adirondack boots; I’ve been doing booties way too often. They definitely added to the cord’s cozy winter vibes. And, they preform much better in the snow, anyway. I also added a chunky knit scarf for extra warmth and texture.

I’ll definitely be pairing these cords with skimpy tank tops and cropped t-shirts as weather gets warmer, but for now, I’m enjoying all my knits and sweatshirts. My day-to-day style tends to have a casual, borrowed-from-the-boys steez, so I know my new Fiorucci cords will be an investment that pays off for years to come.

What I’m wearing:

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