Things I Like: AHA + BHA Peel, ClassPass, & Milanote

I started typing 2019 for the title so evidently that’s where my head is at. This month, I’m focusing on sticking to the intentions that I set at the New Year by building daily rituals. There’s also a few things that piqued my interest so far and I can’t stop thinking about them. Here they are:

shelfie of The Ordinary brand serums and reusable cotton pads

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

I posted about this peel on my Instagram story and based on the responses, it turns out I’m late to the game when it comes to vampire-worthy facial masks. Like many of The Ordinary’s products, the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution comes in a convenient dropper vial with the brand’s signature minimalist branding. What I wasn’t prepared for was just how much power that little vial packs. Not only is the peel a highly-viscous liquid but it’s a deep maroon that looks eerily similar to blood before it’s diffused across your face. Although the imagery might not be ideal for the squeamish, the results are more than I could ever hope for from a product with drugstore pricing. I like to use mine 2x a week, right after a hot shower and it leaves my skin smoothed and even less enflamed. I follow up with The Ordinary’s Retinol Serum right after and wake up the next morning with essentially a new face.

2020 vision board with goals created on Milanote
my 2020 vision board


This useful website and the accompanying app came on my radar recently and I’m so glad they did. It’s essentially a mood board platform, reminiscent of Polyvore (RIP) but with capabilities that are even more useful for creatives. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can create with Milanote, so far I’m manifesting my dream apartment and visualizing my goals for 2020. There are a couple of drawbacks, however, I’ve noticed that when downloading your finished board it downloads each image with an outline (so not ideal for outfit inspiration) and the free version is unfortunately limited to 100 images—a number I can see myself quickly encroaching on in no time. Overall though, it’s a helpful tool for planning and getting your ideas into a visual space.

close up of tote bag contents including metro card, sunglasses, Glossier Balm Dotcom, and O'Keefe's Lip Repair

O’Keefe’s Lip Repair Balm

When I moved to New York, the southerner in me was unprepared for the onslaught of attacks on my tender lips. Where I’m from in Virginia, the winters are mild and retain some level of humidity thanks to our close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Although I anticipated lower temperatures, I didn’t realize the trauma my lips would experience between dry office air and aggressive gusts off the Hudson. Let’s just say cracked lips were my new accessory and my beloved Aquaphor just wasn’t cutting it. Thankfully, my sweet mother—who regularly sends me care packages and I hope she never stops—sent me this lip balm and it is incomparable. I’ve truly never tried anything like it. It’s like Neosporin and Burt’s Bees had a supernatural baby and I will never use anything else. Not only did it CLOSE UP a bleeding crack (gross, I know, but this is reality) but my lips are once again soft and supple even in the dearth of winter. It’s a godsend.

ClassPass logo


Alright, I’ll admit that I got sucked in by the free month promotion in January (shoutout to their marketing team) but I have zero regrets. One of my intentions for the New Year was to begin going to yoga, which I’ve actually managed to stick to through using the ClassPass app. I found a studio just 15 minutes away from my apartment with a teacher that I love and it’s actually more bang for my buck to use ClassPass. I’ve also had stellar experiences with their customer service team being incredibly fast responding to concerns and resolving issues quickly. I also like that you can choose a plan that works with your budget, so if I want to go to more or less classes in the future, it’s easy to change and I’m not locked in.

*Side note on this: from a marketing perspective, their team took a risk with offering an entire month free (versus their standard two weeks) and I personally think it paid off. Two weeks is awesome but offering an entire month plays with the concept in psychology that habits take 30 days to form. This means that rather than offering trial members just a taste of what classes are like, they’re given the chance to actually incorporate them into their routines, furthering the likelihood that they will convert into subscribers. It absolutely worked on me and I’d love to see how well the gamble paid off overall.

Unfortunately, their free month promotion was exclusive for the beginning of the year but if you’re interested in signing up you can get $30 off any plan here.

gif of stand mixer stirring
via The Atlantic

The Atlantic: The New Trophies of Domesticity by Amanda Mull

I can’t get Amanda Mull’s article, “The New Trophies of Domesticity”, from The Atlantic out of my mind. It is simply too accurate in describing the modern landscape of how millennials express their maturity and stability. Mull asserts that faced with an imposing housing market, mountains of student loan debt, and the rise of singledom, millennials are turning to Instagram-worthy pieces of kitchenware to signal their independence and entrance into adulthood. I am 100% guilty of this, as “a nice set of knives” and How to Cook Everything were some of my favorite gifts to receive this past holiday season.

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