Real Talk: Cocooning + Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PCOS

I thought long and hard before hitting the publish button on this one.

Previously I chose to focus only on positive topics, curated carefully and served up strategically on the appropriate channels.

But in the spirit of authenticity and my resolution to #LiveMyTruth in 2018, I’m going to incorporate more real talk on the blog. This is life and sometimes it’s not all, well, martinis and mascara.

You might have noticed that I haven’t been as active recently. I’ve been going through some some shit, both physical and emotional, which has resulted in me posting less and withdrawing from life in many aspects. So, I just wanted to take a minute to be real about why I’ve been MIA both on the blog and IRL.

For quite some time I’ve been feeling extremely depressed. Exhausted. Anxious. I get sick to my stomach after almost every meal. My periods are few and far between… and when I do get one, it’s not pleasant. I break out literally everywhere. I can’t sleep. I’m constantly gaining weight regardless of the amount I’m eating or exercising. Oh, and I grow a stupid amount of facial hair. If I didn’t remove it every day, I could very easily create a tutorial for Captain Jack Sparrow’s goatee braids. (I wish that was a joke.) It’s been a vicious cycle of feeling shitty and then feeling shitty about feeling shitty.

So after literal years of wondering what’s wrong with me?, visits to dozens of doctors (and counselors… and tarot card readers…) of all kinds, a Manhattan Endocrinologist named Olga finally solved the mystery. She diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a chronic hormonal disorder responsible for the multitude of crazy symptoms I’ve dealt with for as long as I can remember.

This explains SO much about my life. I’ll spare you an attempt at a full scientific explanation, but essentially my body just isn’t equipped to process what I’ve been putting into it (for like, ever). I’m insulin resistant, so eating the wrong foods has been causing my body to create too much testosterone, throwing everything off kilter and making me feel (and consequently, act) whack AF. Continuing to eat the wrong things can exacerbate the symptoms and eventually lead to worse health problems.

Aside from the superficial symptoms and the mood swings and the bullshit, possibly the most devastating of all of the complications paired with PCOS is infertility. Even though I’ve admittedly been on the fence about having kids and as happily childless as I appear to be, being told that it may not be possible for me has affected me more deeply than I could have ever imagined. It’s one thing to choose not to have children, but another thing entirely to be told you can’t have them. (Here’s where cycle of sadness starts over.)

BUT! I am not about to lay down and let this defeat me. I’m on medication now and following doctor’s orders to try and get my system back to normal. Since my diagnosis, I’ve cut out sugar, gluten, grains, dairy, red meat, soy, and alcohol. (I KNOW.) Still slowly weaning myself off of caffeine, but I’ll get there. I cheated a little over the holidays (and seriously paid for it), so I’m ready to make this extreme lifestyle change official in 2018. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m hopeful that it’ll be worth it.

There is no cure for this and it’ll always be something I have to deal with… but if all goes according to plan, I’ll be a happier, healthier butterfly soon. Thank you all for sticking with me in the meantime. ❤️

P.S. If you are one of the one in ten women also affected by PCOS and you need someone to talk to, please feel free to message me. This is scary and confusing to go through and I’d be happy to chat with anyone who needs support!

Tomorrow Sleep Mattress Review

Hi beauties! As you might have heard, I recently received a Tomorrow Sleep mattress to test out and review.

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about the quality of a mattress that rolls out of a box, but I can now honestly attest that this mattress is amazing. Definitely the best hybrid mattress I’ve ever slept on. Sleep is SO important for overall health, so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

Tomorrow Sleep sells a smart sleep system with the mattress being the MVP. The system includes pillows, sheets, comforter, and drapes. On the tech side, they also provide a Sleeptracker that records your quality of sleep based on certain metrics. You can buy each of the products separately, but the idea is that a better night’s sleep isn’t just about the mattress, but about an entire ecosystem. (Their sheets and accessories are just as awesome as the mattress!) While they are a separate entity, they’re backed by Serta Simmons Bedding and thus have over a century’s worth of research, development, and insights.

Tomorrow Sleep gives you the best of both worlds as it allows you to experience the pressure relief of memory foam and the support of a dynamic coil system. The mattress also uses temperature regulating technology invented by NASA to put you to sleep in real time. I opted for the Medium Firm variety of the memory foam hybrid mattress and have been getting the best sleep ever since I switched.

Ready to get one for yourself? Use my code MASCARA150 for $150 off any $500 purchase from Tomorrow Sleep!

The Best Cyber Monday Deals

The Best Cyber Monday Deals

Happy Cyber Monday, beauties! I love today because battling other shoppers on Black Friday is definitely not my jam.

This year, I’m doing all of my Cyber Monday shopping (and let’s face it, my regular shopping as well) on Amazon! They’re having a full week of epic Amazon Cyber Monday Deals. Click here to see all the deets.

Also, I’m thrilled to share that I’m an official Amazon influencer! So, you can also shop my Amazon beauty recommendations at any time via my very own storefront on Amazon. Take a peek and let me know what goodies you end up with. Happy shopping! xo

How to Maintain Blonde Hair

How to Maintain Blonde Hair

As most of you know, I went blonde this year after a decade of dying my hair fire engine red! It was definitely a process, but I’ve finally got the right shade thanks to my amazing colorist Rachel Bodt.

Now that I’ve reached my #blondegoals, I want need to ensure I’m doing everything I can to keep my blonde looking bright and beautiful.

It’s no secret that using purple shampoo to tone will knock out brassiness and that it’s best to use hydrating products as all of the processing can leave your strands parched. But I wanted to know what else can I do to keep my locks looking their bombshell blonde best? Luckily, I have Rachel on speed dial, so I got the scoop from her.

Read her tips below and get ready to take notes!

  1. “A shower filter,” Rachel said is the first thing that you need to maintain beautiful blonde color. “It may sound weird, but the water (especially in NYC) is treated with all kind of chemicals. Since blonde hair is more porous, it’s more receptive to minerals and other chemicals that could make your blonde dingy and not as bright.”
  2. She also swears by the original bond builder: Olaplex. “Olaplex is my go to treatment – it keeps the hair healthy and strong. It’s less about the cosmetic feel and more about the interior structure. It really helps the hair to maintain its health.”
  3. “I also always recommend using a blow dry spray or serum,” she said. “People forget that you can get breakage from the blowdryer, the combination of highlighted hair and high heat is due for breakage. Use something like Redken Argan Oil or Cutler Protectant Spray to put a barrier between the heat and your fresh hair color.”



Celebrating Summer with Cinnabon

Cinnabon Chillatta In case you missed all of my squealing on social, I recently partnered with Cinnabon to celebrate the launch of their new Chillattas!

The launch party was absolutely amazing. It was literally in a bar made of ice in NYC, which was perfect for chillin’ on a warm summer night with a cold treat.

I was joined by four other influencers and we were all paired with a flavor based on our personalities! Each flavor was unveiled in a super cute ceremony at the event. Naturally, I was dubbed Peaches & Cream thanks to my “charming, All-American sweetness.” Their words, not mine. 😉


Cinnabon Chillattas

The other flavors include OREO Cookies and Cream, Signature Cinnamon Roll, Double Chocolate Mocha, and Strawberries and Cream. I’m currently on a mission to try them all and highly recommend that you all do the same.

Check out Cinnabon’s website and follow them on social (obsessed with their IG) for more info about these new sweet treats! You can even take their flavor quiz to see which one is the perfect match for you. Then post on social using #ChillattaChallenge to spread the word!

[This post was sponsored by Cinnabon, but all opinions are my own.]