Rethink Clean: Restore and Maintain Good Bacteria on Your Skin

I’ve never rested my bare face on a subway pole. I have, however, held on to a subway pole at rush hour, used those same hands to swipe and accept a call, then placed that germy screen on my cheek for the duration of a conversation. Joseph Lister is spinning in his grave. Fortunately, the green beauty movement is hip to that. There’s a promising new generation of beauty products that seek to rescue our skin from the tech world and pollution. They’re using ingredients like lipids, adaptogens, ceramides,  and live bacteria (probiotics, yo!) to help strengthen our skin’s natural barrier, so it can function as it should. Instead of stripping away our skin’s natural defense against modern day irritants, product lines like Mother Dirt, are designed to nourish and support the ecosystem of our skin, while still delivering on what we’ve come to expect in our favorite beauty essentials. Here are some must have products from the Mother Dirt collection.


Less than ten ingredients, this entirely plant-based cleanser easily removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping, or drying out the skin. It’s suitable for all skin types and is preservative-free.


This serum is a powerhouse designed to mimic our skin’s natural barrier. Start with a small drop and apply it to dry skin anywhere on your body. A little goes a long way.


This mist is my favorite! Think of this as the cherry on top of all of your Mother Dirt products. Designed to reduce our dependence on products like moisturizers, makeup, and even deodorant, AO+Mist improves the appearance of skin by replenishing essential bacteria to your skin’s natural barrier.

Shop the Bundle

The Bundle includes the cleanser, the moisturizer, the mist, and Mother Dirt’s shampoo which I didn’t include a description of because I’m having so much success with my 2 ingredient homemade herbal shampoo. If you try the shampoo, you should def tell me how amazing it is in the comments!

Try This— Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

I’m heading out on another European adventure this Summer. First stop: Rome. This will be my first time visiting the Eternal City  and while I imagine the Sistine Chapel is really impressive, I’m mostly looking forward to dining out on really real Italian food. Everybody I know is telling me that I have to try cacio e pepe while I’m there. Cacio e pepe, literally translating to ‘cheese and pepper’, is standard Roman fare, and if the name is any indication, it sounds like it’s as close to perfection as food can get because, well, cheese and pepper.

Anyway, I scoured the internet for a recipe that I could prepare at home so that I when I try it in Rome, I can slowly lean back at the table, loosen my jeans button, and arrogantly say, “the cacio e pepe I make at home is waaaayyyyy better.” #petty. So, I found this amazing recipe from the fine folks at Food52, and I’m pretty confident that this dish will hold up against any cacio e pepe I order in Rome. For real, this recipe is real life weeknight dinner goals. You must try this!

Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe


  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle or 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 (16 oz) package spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 3/4 to 1 cup of cooking water


  • In a pot over low heat, heat the crushed peppercorn with the olive oil.
  • In a pot large enough to cook the spaghetti, bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off under the olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water from the pot into the pan, then set aside.
  • When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, stir, then add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti until 2 minutes under the lowest time recommended on the package. Using tongs (you don’t want to get the rid of the water), add the pasta to the pot with the pepper. Turn the heat onto very low and turn the pasta continuously until most of the water is absorbed. At this point, remove from the heat and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Still tossing, begin adding the two grated cheeses, a couple handfuls at a time. If it starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Keep turning and turning, adding cheese and pasta water, a little at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and you have a lovely creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Eat immediately.


Julianne Hough’s Hollywood Hills Home is Almost as Cute as She is

Julianne Hough and interior designer Jake Arnold have created a cozy and serene home that’s almost as pretty as the owner. A calm palette with unexpected pops of color are the backdrop of beautifully curated pieces. Natural linen, raw wood, soft hints of yellows, blues, and greens, rounded out by lovely garden views create a calm and inviting aesthetic. The design manages to be sophisticated without looking staged and sterile. And that bathroom!!! I’m totally design-stalking this place right now. Check it out and get inspired too!

De-stress With These Mini Self Massage Techniques + A DIY Warming Massage Oil Recipe

Giving yourself a massage might seems as futile as trying to tickle yourself, but believe me when I say that not only is it possible, sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll be surprised at how effective these techniques are in reducing stress and promoting your overall sense of wellness. Add the oil blend below and you’re well on your way to a happy ending… I couldn’t resist.

Self Massage Techniques


Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Slowly tuck your chin in toward your chest to stretch the back of your neck. Place your fingertips on the back of your neck where your shoulders meet your neck. Apply pressure and hold for a few breaths. Release. Roll your shoulders slowly in a circular motion. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Lower Back

So this one requires a tennis ball. Yeah, I totally had to buy one too. I don’t know anyone who plays tennis and Serena wasn’t answering her phone so yeah. Anyway, place your brand new tennis ball on the floor, or in the space between your back and a wall. Move your body slowly so that the tennis ball massages any tension in your lower back. Avoid rolling the ball along your spine. in applying pressure, try to find a balance that’s right for you so that you don’t further aggravate soreness.

Lower Leg

Using the heels of your palm, knead along both sides of your calf in small circles. Work your way up your calf slowly from the ankle until you reach the knee, flexing and pointing your toes as you go. Again, starting at the ankle, drag the heels of your palms along either side of your calf until you reach the knee. Repeat these steps to alleviate lower leg pain caused by rocking high heels, or yesterday’s spin class.


You can stick to the tried and true tennis ball rolling treatment, or you can grab some oil and give yourself a proper foot rub. Sit with your ankle resting on the opposite knee. Grasp each toe, one at a time, and rotate them clockwise and counterclockwise, Bend each toe backward and forward, and finally give each toe a gentle pull. After giving each little piggy some attention, use both hands to firmly grasp your foot on either side.  Wiggle your foot back and forth with your hands paying attention to ball of your foot and your arch.

Warming Massage Oil


  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
  • 4 drops orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil


  • Add all ingredients into an amber glass bottle.
  • Give it a little shake to blend the oils.
  • To use, add a few drops to the palm of your hand before practicing any of the massage techniques above.

Spring Clean Your Beauty Routine in 3 Steps

It’s that time of year again. As you’re packing away your heavy sweaters and snow boots in anticipation of the warmer days ahead, you should also start saying goodbye to your Winter skin care routine. Spring is all about rejuvenation. With that in mind, here are some tips to spring clean your beauty routine!

Purge, Purge, Purge!

Take a look at what you have. At the start of every season, you should check expiration dates and toss out the old stuff. In general, shadows and powders can be used safely for up to three years, but mascara should be tossed after only three months. While you’re tossing out those old products, go ahead and toss out the stuff you don’t use. Be honest with yourself. Beauty products really add up over time and can really clutter and confuse your beauty routine. Rule of thumb: be realistic and practical about what you actually like, what you actually use, and what’s in good condition …and rid your life of everything else.

Deep Clean and Reorganize

Now’s your chance to deep clean your make up brushes, your toothbrushes, and all the small stuff like tweezers and nail clippers, all of which can get really skunky over time. Not sure exactly how to clean your beauty tools? Here’s some step by step instructions from

How to Clean Your Makeup Brushes

1. Rinse: Rinse the bristles, always with water streaming down — you want to avoid running water directly into the base of the brush, which can weaken the glue and shorten the lifespan of your brush. This is why bristles begin to fall out.

2. Cleanse: Work a small amount of gentle shampoo (baby shampoo works wonderfully here too) or soap into the bristles. Lather, rinse, and repeat until the water runs clear. If you are having a hard time getting stubborn product out of your brush, massage some coconut oil into the bristles. This will loosen the build up and make cleaning easier.

3. Disinfect: Now that your brushes are clean, it’s time to disinfect. Mix a solution of 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar in a shallow bowl. Swoosh the brush around in the bowl for a minute or two (again, trying not to submerge it fully). Rinse with fresh water.

4. Dry: Press a dry towel into the bristles to sop up excess water. Reshape the bristles and lay clean brushes flat on a towel overnight to dry.

5. Repeat: Clean your brushes every other week to keep the germs away

How to: clean your toothbrush

  1. Cleanse: your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash.This is great for a quick daily cleaning.
  2. Sanitize: Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in a small cup and stir the mixture with your toothbrush before rinsing it. Do this at least once a week.

How to: Clean Your Metal Tools

  1. Wash: For metal tools like tweezers, eyelash curlers, eyebrow trimmers, cuticle nippers, and nail clippers, wash them down using water and antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Sanitize: Thoroughly wipe down the tool with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. Allow it to dry for a few moments. If the tool comes in contact with your face, rinse it with water (no need to rinse your nail tools). Pat dry with a clean towel.
  3. Repeat: Ideally, these types of beauty tools should at least be washed with soap and water after each use, if not sanitized as well. Aim to give them the full treatment every two weeks. Store your tools in a clean container to safeguard your hard work.

Pick the right products For the Season

All those Winter products like thick, foaming face washes and heavy creams can be super drying as the weather gets warmer. Your spring beauty routine should favor gentle milk face washes and lighter moisturizing serums. Here are 9 Must Have Clean Beauty Products that I’m seriously crushing on right now. From gentle cleansers to serums to several DIYs. Everything you need to jumpstart your Spring beauty routine!