In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions and millions of people have found themselves stuck at home with nothing to do and nowhere to go, just longing for anything to take their mind off their new norm. I am one of those people. The first week of social distancing I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND!!! Y’all can relate, right? Well at the end of the week, after eating like a broke college kid, drinking at least a whole barrel of wine and acting like the biggest couch potato, I got out of the shower and looked at my skin and DAYUMMM! I have always suffered with basically every skin problem known to man; dry, oily, acne, large pores, fine lines, deep wrinkles… you name it, I’ve dealt with it, but this was THE WORST! I knew it was time to try something new and so I started doing a little research. I tried a wide variety of products and have summed up my top 5. Out of the 20 or so that I tried, I quit using most of them after the first week as I didn’t like how my skin reacted or I didn’t feel like it made any difference. However... These 5 have SERIOUSLY changed my skin. So here’s the breakdown!
1. Body Prescriptions Vitamin C Face Wipes
I have used face wipes of all kinds over the years, but NEVER have I fell in love with one like this. These are infused with Vitamin C to promote hydration and nourish the skin. I have used Vitamin C serums before, but I never really saw a ton of improvement, so I was shocked with how amazing my skin felt when I used these. My skin felt so soft and hydrated immediately after using. I used it as my primary facewash at the end of the night a couple of times (I’m lazy. Don’t judge.) and it took off so much makeup and grime that I didn’t even feel bad about not using soap. I seriously felt like my skin was glowing. Of all of the products I tried, if I missed a night using these, I could definitely tell the next day.
To try these awesome masks, CLICK HERE!
2. Peter Thomas Firm Peeling Gel
This one I was super excited about trying. I’d seen it at Sephora before and had considered buying it, but I finally bit the bullet after doing more research. It’s a very different product than I’ve ever used before. You basically rub the gel on your face and it resurfaces your skin and gives you a mini facial. My skin felt amazing! I used it once every 3 days or so and could definitely see a difference. Word of advice, however, make sure you are leaning over the sink when you use this or it will make a huge mess of skin/gel.
To try the large 3.4 oz size, CLICK HERE! To try a smaller 1 oz size, CLICK HERE!
3. Alin & Alan Vacuum Pore Cleaner
I think my fiancé was more excited for me to buy this than I was. He’s a huge Dr. Pimple Popper fan, so I guess that’s understandable. We watched a few videos on how to use it without giving ourselves hickeys (hickies?) before we tried it out. I would definitely recommend using a hot towel to steam your face or use it right after you get out of the shower. Using it is super easy. It’s literally a one button machine. It was oddly satisfying seeing all of the junk it pulls out of your pores. I used it mostly for the pores on my nose and forehead, but after a couple of days getting used to it, I started using it on more of my face and DEFINITELY noticed a difference. The pores on my nose and cheeks were SO much smaller. I also noticed a lot less blackheads. I love this thing (and so does my man!)
Want cleaner pores too, CLICK HERE!
4. Control Corrective Sensitive Skin Enzyme Mask
So in all transparency, I didn’t buy this mask, but I will most definitely be purchasing more in the near future. I had a cocktail with a lovely woman who worked for this company at an airport bar and she gave it to me months ago and I just never tried it until now. But I sure wish I had been using it this whole time. I used this mask every 5 days for 3 weeks and saw a HUGE improvement in my overall complexion. I saw the dark circles under my eyes all but disappear, and the unevenness in my skin tone and redness drastically improve. My face felt like glass and was simply glowing.
To try my FAV mask, CLICK HERE!
5. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Release Cream
To be honest, I saw Jennifer Garner using this cream on a commercial, so I did a little research, read some reviews and thought, “Why not? She hasn’t aged in 20 years.” I have been delighted by this cream. It lives on my nightstand and I use it every night right before I go to sleep. On the couple of nights I have indulged in a bit too much wine and forgotten, even my fiancé has been able to notice the next morning. It just gives you a fresh, dewy look in the A.M. Wrinkle-wise, I have noticed a significant improvement in the fine lines and creping on my eyes and cheeks, and a huge improvement in the deep wrinkles on my forehead. I’m definitely considering getting the rest of this line of products.
For this magical cream in the 1.7 oz, CLICK HERE! For the sample 0.5 oz, CLICK HERE!
Overall, I am in love with these products. I have never been one to stick with facial products or a facial routine, but these products have given me a huge reason to: I am more confident than EVER in my own skin! Plus they gave me something new to do and try. I have seen HUGE improvements in ALL of my problem areas, plus they were super easy to use and very affordable. I hope y’all love them as much as I do!
TO SHOP THEM ALL, CLICK HERE!!!
*FYI, I paid full price for all of these products, minus the random gift at the airport of the face mask, so all of this is a completely objective opinion.
Summer is drawing to a close and the school season is about to begin or already began for some of you. Now parents are caught up in all the hustle and bustle of meet the teachers, last minute camps and vacations, figuring out school schedules, and about a thousand other things. Not to mention the rising costs and seemingly ever-growing length of back to school supplies lists and clothing shopping trips. To help out all the moms and dads out there who may need a glass of wine or ya know... a whole bottle, I decided to put together a list of my favorite "school-themed" budget wines to help you drink your way into a successful school year! So while your picking up those last minute sneakers, crayons, and lunchables, grab a bottle, sit back, relax and enjoy!
A to Z Wineworks 2017 Pinot Gris: $15
This wine was such an amazing find and "Oregonically Grown", which is too cute! I love how simple, yet delicious this Pinot Gris is. It has amazing notes of peach, nectarine, and delicate floral scents on the nose. On the palate you will find a beautiful crisp acidity and hints of minerality.
But seriously, just imagine drinking this wine, chilled to the max, and paired with a side of relaxation, because your kids are FINALLY back in school. And let's face it, it's still a million degrees outside and this will feel REEEALLLLY nice going down. Speaking of pairing...
Pair this with:
Liberty School 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon: $14
I. Love. This. Wine. This cab was SUPER impressive for the price point, and honestly, just in general. On the nose it showed hints of violets, black cherries, rich plums, and a bit of tobacco. On the palate, bright cherry, allspice, a slight oakiness really rounded out the flavor.
Honestly, I could not get enough of this wine. I opened the bottle for the photo shoot for this post around ten in the morning, and I'm not going to lie....it was gone by noon. I had intentions of sharing with friends, but.......at this price point I can just go and grab another bottle!
Pair this with:
Mad Genius Cuvée Red: $16
This easy drinking red from Excelsior Wines is a blend of Syrah, Merlot, Tempranillo and Zinfandel. It has beautiful aromas of bright red berries with a touch of white pepper on the nose. As for the palate, you will find a slightly floral flavor, with hints of vanilla and toasted oak.
Grabbing this wine was GENIUS! Haha...get it?!?! But seriously, this wine was such an easy drinker. It has a flavor profile that would be amazing paired with a large variety of foods. However, it was elegant, yet simple enough to be enjoyed merely paired with your favorite wine glass.
Pair this with:
Educated Guess 2017 Pinot Noir: $25
This wine was made by Roots Run Deep Winery out of California. This Pinot had a surprising acidity on the palate! With notes of black currant and blackberry upfront with a slight hint of tobacco and vanilla on the finish. The nose of this wine was like a smoked cherry. Quite fun and interesting!
I am always a huge fan of Pinots in the summer and this one definitely did not disappoint. Although a little bit higher on the price point, this is the perfect wine to take to your PTO meetings or to share with your fellow parents at all your kids after school play-dates.
Pair this with:
All in all, the school year is here to stay...for the next nine months at least, so why not make the most of it! No matter what the meal or occasion, there's a wine for that. So keep yourself sane, drink some vino, and don't let your kids forget who's driving the bus!
*Prices may vary by location.
**No wines were provided to me, they were chosen, tasted and described all on my own.
***You will need wine to make it through this back to school season.
Originally posted for Coravin
Texas wine?....Really?! Who would have ever thought that Texas would be home to one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country?! But it’s true! Here are the top six reasons you need to try Texas wine from a Texas wine expert.
1. Everything’s Bigger in Texas
Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas, but did you know that Texas is the home to the second largest certified Viticultural Area in the country? The Texas Hill Country AVA is well over 9 MILLION acres! This region is also the second most visited wine region in the nation behind Napa Valley with over one million visitors a year. Why not be one of them in 2019?
2. Rich History
Texas wine is not a new concept. The first vines planted in the United States were actually planted in Texas in the 1600s by Spanish missionaries. And while the state continued to grow grapes for centuries, other agriculture took precedence and grapes fell by the wayside. That is until the 1960s when a chemistry professor from Texas Tech, Clinton ‘Doc’ McPherson, travelled around the U.S. researching different grape growing regions. After studying various vitis vinifera and hybrid varieties, McPherson and his business partner Bob Reed planted an experimental vineyard in 1966 consisting of 140 varieties. After a decade, it was clear what varietals would thrive in the Texas climate and the two opened Llano Estacado Winery. Although varietals such as Grenache, Tempranillo, Muscat, and other lesser known varieties prospered, those vines were ripped out in favor of more known varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot. It took years before the industry was able to truly come into its own, and plant more varieties that flourished.
3. Try Something New
Texas wine growers are planting some amazing varietals that truly thrive in the Texas climate, a lot of which you may have never heard of. Roussanne, Trebbiano and Viognier are some of the white varietals that are growing in popularity throughout the state and can be found in a good number of tasting rooms. Most Texas wineries are also growing and producing Mourvèdre, a beautiful red varietal from the Rhône region that grows very well in Texas. Other places are getting a little more experimental. Places such as Lost Draw Cellars are growing and producing wines made from Picpoul Blanc and Tannat. Lewis Wines has become known for their use of Portuguese varietals such as Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cão.
And it isn’t just the varietals being grown, its different winemaking techniques. Places like William Chris Vineyards is among several wineries bringing Pétilliant Naturel sparkling wine back on the wine scene, with a beautiful rosé available in their tasting room. You can also find canned wines from brands like Yes We Can Wines.
4. Something for Everyone
With over 400 wineries in the state, it is easy to find something for every palate. Wineries such as Fiesta Winery and Fat Ass Ranch and Winery, specialize in sweeter wines, where wineries like Calais Winery and Pedernales Cellars focus more on dry reds. Places like 4.0 Cellars and Vintner’s Hideaway are actually a combination of different winemakers from across the state all under one roof, and offer a multitude of tasting options for every palate.
5. Breathtaking Views
People who have never been to Texas imagine it as a vast desert, covered in nothing but cacti, but in actuality, Texas has an array of different landscapes. The highest concentration of the state’s wineries is located in the beautiful Hill Country. Located just north of San Antonio and just West of Austin, this landscape is home to rolling hills, rivers and some of the most stunning views in the state. Other notable landscape regions are the Piney Woods in East Texas, where you can find wineries such as Kiepersol Vineyards and Enoch’s Stomp Winery, and the Gulf Coast region where you can find places like Haak Vineyards and sip on beautiful wines while taking in the view of the Gulf.
6. Amazing, World-Class Wines
While all of these new wines to try and beautiful views are great, if the wine isn’t good, what’s the point, right? Texas wines have the quality to back it all up. Wines from the state have been receiving National and International accolades for years! Places like Duchman Family Winery and Bending Branch Winery just received several 90+ point ratings from wine critic James Suckling. And wineries are constantly receiving high rating medals at some of the world’s top wine competitions, like Lyon International Wine Competition, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Houston International Wine Competition. Overall, the wine in the state has gotten better and better every year and is, bar none, on the same playing field as the top wine regions in the world.
So what are you waiting for? Come to Texas and explore the passion of Texas wine!