Holy Grails: Skin Care

Skin care products has always been some of my favorite things to buy, to research, to test. However, now that I am a bride-to-be, it is more important than ever to lock in those holy grail products so I can be lookin’ glowy and fresh on my wedding day!

I had pretty okay skin (as okay as you can as a teenager) throughout high school, but it wasn’t until I started college that my skin started to get funky and demanded my attention. Ever since, I have been pretty obsessed with finding products that make my skin happy and fully locking in my skin care routine.

Skin care and routines can be really fun, but it can also be really difficult and sometimes stressful to find that right combination. We all have different needs for our skin, all live in different climates, all have different dailies that ultimately drive what we need out of a skin care routine. So – if you’ve been feelin’ down because trying to get the perfect skin care line up has felt impossible, don’t worry, you are not alone. We all struggle with it but I am here to hopefully add some really great products to your shelves.

The little feats make it easier. So, my advice is this – make sure you have your holy grail skin care items worked into your routine at all times. Routines can change, especially with seasonal changes, travels, and even work environments. Making sure that you have specific items that will be your always and go-to items will help settle your gripe with your skin.

I am going to sort of break down my favorites, or holy grail items, that I have in my line up, but also ordered in a routinely way. You will see removers, cleansers, toners, oils, etc. and hopefully one of these will fill in a spot that is missing in yours.


Remover: Simple Cleansing Wipes

  • Usage: Morning or night; whenever you want!
  • My Hype: I think Simple is a really great, affordable line and the cleansing wipes are a great place to start with a good skin care base. I use the sensitive skin wipes, but they also have micellar wipes too! Starting off with a cleansing wipe makes your cleanser really do its job, and you can start with a cleaner slate – whether it be makeup or just your daily icks, get them off!
  • Where can I find it?: Virtually everywhere but Ulta.com


Cleanser: Orgins Zero Oil Deep Pore Cleanser

  • Usage: Nightly, sometimes morning
  • My Hype: This is a recent addition to my skincare line up but it quickly moved to a staple. This is a great cleanser that really gets deep into the pores. Lather it up with luke warm water and let it do the rest. It is a pretty thick gel, so a little goes a long way.
  • Where can I find it?: Origins.com


Toner: Mario Badescu Aloe Lotion

  • Usage: Morning and night
  • My Hype: I like this toner because it is really soothing, calming and cooling on the skin. I love toners because sometimes cleansers can feel really tight on the skin, and toners help loosen that and refresh the skin. This has been a holy grail of mine for years.
  • Where can I find it?: mariobadescu.com


Moisturizers: Orgins VitaZing SPF 15 and First Aid beauty Ultra repair Cream

  • Usage (Day) & Hype: Moisturizers are SO important. I have two moisturizers for you. Not only should you moisturize your skin for the day time, (added SPF is key) but moisturizing at night is needed. I love Orgins VitaZing moisturizer because it does have that added SPF, but it also has a sheer tint and is an energy-boosting moisturizer. This has really had an amazing impact on my skin and a lot of the times I feel great walking out of the house with just this on my face
  • Usage (Night) & Hype: For night, I go super hydrating. I have used this product for years and it is like a tall glass of water, let me tell you. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream is a thick moisturizer that I sort of put on heavy handed. I almost use it as an overnight mask to really get into my skin and hydrate it. It works wonders on dry patches.
  • Where can I find them?: Orgins.com and firstaidbeauty.com


Oil: Skyn Iceland Arctic Face Oil

  • Usage: Night
  • My Hype: I think facial oils are game changers. Moisturizing is definitely key in any routine, but face oils are just the cherry on top. This has been one of my holy grails since forever and I seriously suggest you add this into your line. Skyn Iceland’s Arctic Face Oil is LIFECHANGING y’all, and it is super affordable. This is a dream in a bottle. Hydrates and repairs, it is my overnight frontline.
  • Where can I find it?: skyniceland.com


Eye cream: Orgins GinZing Eye Cream

  • Usage: Most mornings and every night
  • My Hype: Eye creams are a no brainer. The under eye area takes on a lot of damage throughout the day so you need to replenish that area. I love Orgins GinZing eye cream because it is super thick, goes on smooth and you can feel it working right away. It is also great because it brightens your under eye area as well.
  • Where Can I find it?: Origins.com


Lips: Bite Beauty’s Agave Balm

  • Usage: Daily
  • My Hype: I have hyped this so many times, but this is my go to, every day lip balm. It is so soothing, luxurious and super hydrating. it is such a staple and necessity. Toss it in your backpack, hand bag or in your drawer at work. Once you put that balm on your lips, you won’t stop.
  • Where can I find it?: Sephora.com



  • Usage: Daily (DUH)
  • MY HYPE ISNT NECESSARY. You need water. You need water. (say it with me) You need water! Water is a necessity and as soon as you really start drinking the correct amount of water, your skin will glow on its own. Trust me. If your body is worn down and tired, so is your skin. So get drinkin’!


I know it was a lot of different products thrown at you all at once. These items have saved me on more than one occasion and I am hoping they will do the same for you. Remember, we all have different skin care needs, so listen to your skin!

Cheers to healthy, flawless and glowing skin in 2018!




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Chicago Travel Diary

Chicago recently stole my heart.

I was there for a quick trip to celebrate my brother graduating from Naval boot camp. He graduated! (and a side note: we were all so emotional and proud of him). We were all so excited to see him, and so proud of such a huge accomplishment. Even though we were only able to see him for a day (he left for school and more training early Saturday morning) it was still so lovely to be able to share our first deep dish pizza experience together & lemme tell you it was DELISH.

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wedding planning | pt.1

I haven’t done an actual wedding update yet!

Luckily, I was able to share our proposal story, and our how we met story, but I haven’t actually talked about planning (THE BEST PART – besides the whole getting married to your best friend part)  and how I am staying on top of timelines, and all the wonderful things that come with wedding planning!  I am so excited about this!!

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UGH the dreaded new year, new me post. BUT I promise you it is going to be less of a resolution list (because what are those even?) and more of a mind dump list.

So, what even is a resolution and why do most people talk about their resolutions, set them, write them down, memorize them, blah, blah, blah? I can tell you that resolutions are bullshit. COMPLETE bullshit. I sound so cynical (duh, I am a writer) talking about this, but hear me out for a second.

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Winter 2017 | Reading List


Winter is here! I think Winter and Spring are the two most underrated times of the year. People obsess over Summer and Fall, but there is something so lovely about the juxtaposition and refreshing restart to Winter and Spring!

Since Winter just happened (last week!!!) I wanted to share my stack of books that’s fillin up my shelf!

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Grad School Diaries No. 1

product flat lay lipstick

I have been slightly mia, buuuuuuut


What a semester. So full of everything I needed, and wanted out of a master’s program. I met so many amazing, wonderful and talented people who filled my literary circle and community. It was amazing to be able to be in a program that gave their first year students so many wonderful opportunities.

It was the first time I really felt right about career choice so far, and I am really excited to see what my future has in store.

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The Magazine Issue

I feel like people always forget that magazines are not just all about celeb gossip and who wore it best. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trash gossip every now and again. But what I like and what I wanted to do is celebrate the fact that culture, and art, and writing, and fashion can extend outside the celeb gossip magazines and into amazing magazines that are true pieces of art.

I wanted to share six magazines that I really like, especially the current issue. I tried to include a few scholarly lit journals in there too because, well… I love that sort of stuff and the writing is truly top notch.

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The Bridal Edit | Our How We Met Story

The Bridal Edit series has been something I have been giddily mapping out in my pre-wedding brain. You know how mothers-to-be get baby brain? I guess it is only fair to say I have pre-wedding brain. I shared my proposal and how my wonderful, loving fiancé proposed to me, so lets take it back a few years (two years exactly on the dot – that’s how good he is) to when we first started dating and how we met.


These stories are always fun and there is nothing better than a modern day love story, #amiright.

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I love these sorts of chats. They are my favorite type of article because it is basically a stream of consciousness and mesh of my thoughts appropriately put together so I can post it and say it is adequate.

I thought a fun topic that I could sort of chat about, if you will, is creativity. I know it seems broad and it can go anywhere but isn’t that the fun of it all? It is super relevant to me as a person since I would like to slap on the title of ‘creative’ or ‘artist’ in association with me being a writer and poet.

Creativity can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, creativity is not just creating ‘something’ for show. For me, it is something that is so much larger. I find creativity to be a part of my human nature, my ability to look at the world in one way, and spit it back out in a different way or in ‘my own personal way.’ As artists, we have to be able to transcend the, ugh I hate this word, normal. Seems cliché, right? Ah, the life of an artist.

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The Kristin Ess Signature Collection

So, this is going to be a hybrid of Rach Chats and a small beauty review (or beauty obsession, take your pick). I sort of like these more realistic beauty talks and I hope you do too! I’m not here to shove products in your face; I’m here to share some of my faves and hope they become your faves too! So grab your coffee, wine, lemon infused water, tea, what-have-you and enjoy!

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