The McWheatersons [part #2]

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 Note that I have red wine, rosé champagne AND a vodka soda. 

Note that I have red wine, rosé champagne AND a vodka soda. 

This wedding season I've partnered with WeddingWire to share my #HowWeWed moment, a campaign celebrating unique and personalized wedding elements (because ICYMI: I'm officially a married woman). 

One of the most important things for our wedding was that it was us. Cheesy, I know, of course you're wedding it going to reflect who you are. But we both made a big effort to make sure every detail really reflected who we are as individuals and as a couple. 

As you know, I was incredibly adamant that our wedding's venue speak for itself. Besides the flowers (uhm HELLO THEY WERE PERFECT) I didn't want a ton of color. Neutrals, neutrals, NEUTRALS. And Maxim was 100% on board. The maid of honor and flower girl work a dark grey to match the boys, and Maxi wore a tan linen suit to complement my white dress. 

WeddingWire asked me to share my FAVORITE "How We Wed" moment, and honestly, though, I couldn't think of one thing that stuck out. "Can the entire wedding be my moment," I kept asking. 

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But here's one thing that I really loved: The cake. 

I had scoured Pinterest, and chat rooms, and galleries of real weddings to try and decide what kind of cake we should do. I read every advice article I could find. Did we want one BIG cake to stand alone? Did we want a cupcake tower? Did we want cake toppers of us? I even took a cake style quiz

Ultimately, it was important that, like other parts of the wedding, that the foliage and venue speak for itself and that the cake not be too over the top. So we went with a simple three-tier cake covered in white frosting and decorated in fresh flowers to match my bouquet. Our topper was a wooden, cursive piece from Etsy. And, because we were in Key West, we thought it was only right to also have key lime pie tarts. 

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Other special details? 

For the ceremony, we wrote our own vows, had open seating and had a special intro for my Latina side. Our minister said a welcome in Spanish (which we all loved).

 Our minister, Todd and his wife, Mary-Jo

Our minister, Todd and his wife, Mary-Jo

SIDE NOTE: Our minister? He's a friend from California who was ordained online just for our wedding. He and Maxim worked together on product design and I love him and his wife dearly. The two of them are truly one-of-a-kind special people who go the extra mile for everyone. The first time we went to visit them in California, his wife predicted that we'd get married. 

As you know, we also wrote our own vows, and they MATCHED — we didn't even read each other's before. We had a steel drum player for the ceremony, but our recessional was done by our DJ: The chorus of Everlasting Love. 

For the cocktail hour, we offered the typical drinks but our food was 100% vegan and easy to eat. We wanted our guests to be able to mingle and chat and enjoy something delicious without it feeling forced vegan. We offered guacamole boats, mini summer rolls and sweet potato pancakes.

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For the reception, we continued the neutrals with pops of color theme. Our dinner was vegan except for the main courses (we had a fish and chicken option). And for champagne, we opted for rosé instead of regular champagne. Instead of a guest book, we had Jenga (amazing idea, Mom!) and wedding mad libs, which were SO much fun to read. Once it came to dance, we put out giant baskets of flip-flops for everyone. 

Oh, and Maxim's dad? He built a CUSTOM sign for us featuring all of the locations our guests traveled from using recovered wood found along the Keys! 


 

Now your turn to share! Are you a newly wed couple? You can enter to win a $1,000 cash prize from @WeddingWire and a gallery wall from @framebridge.

Here's how to enter!

  1. Share your unique wedding moment on Instagram or here. 
  2. Tag @WeddingWire and #HowWeWed
  3. Be entered to win a $1,000 cash prize and a gallery wall!

psst: need more ideas? Check out all of the amazing content from WeddingWire editors, trendsetter and REAL brides

photos by megan ellis

Thank you WeddingWire for sponsoring this post! 

LOS ANGELES | guides by honestly, though

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I am absolutely in love with Los Angeles. So much so that during our last trip, Maxim and I decided (on a total whim) to cancel our flight home and extend our trip. We ate almost exclusively at all-vegan restaurants, walked way more than an LA local would feel comfortable with and soaked up every last drop of Vitamin D. While a little (lot) extra at times, I've fallen in love with the vibes. Scroll through for my favorites spots to hit up for drinks, food and a little sweat sesh. 

 

 
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 📍cafe gratitude

📍cafe gratitude

 📍cafe gratitude

📍cafe gratitude

 

WHAT TO EAT & DRINK IN LOS ANGELES 

Gracias Madre

A cute, 100% plant-based restaurant hip to celeb spotting and outdoor seating. Their batched cocktails are worth the Uber alone, but the real draw is Mexican inspired menus that stay away from processed vegan ingredients (like vegan cheese shreds). Their spicy margarita was everything I wanted in a refreshing cocktail, but it's the chorizo tacos that left me hot and heavy. 

Pot Cafe

This coffee shop (and perfect place to answer emails) is nestled right in Koreatown within The Line Hotel. They serve Pressed Juicery, great coffee, chai pudding and other breakfast basics. The real draw is the ample seating — especially booths — and a bar at the opposite end of the light-drench room. With daily happy hours. 

Cafe Gratitude

An uber trendy 100% plant-based restaurant with locations all over town. Their food is SO GOOD — so much so that we went back two more times before leaving. They're catering to an instagram audience, with light drenched locations, endless plants, and marble tables. Instead of ordering meal names, you state an affirmation (which is then repeated back to you). For example, you can be Eclectic and you'll receive the buffalo cauliflower. 

Coffee at Sasquatch

Right downtown in WeHo, Coffee for Sasquatch is a clean line, ultra modern, v minimal type of LA coffee joint. Their coffee isn't above and beyond, but the location is strong enough to keep you around — and snap some instas. 

 📍real food daily 

📍real food daily 

 📍coffee for sasquatch

📍coffee for sasquatch

Alfred Coffee & Tea

Insanely trendy (just check all of their locations on insta) and perfect for snapping a few pics. Their pumpernickel bread is vegan, FYI, and a total must order. I also swear by their match tea. 

Commissary

Their brunch is not super vegan, but honestly, though their location is reason enough to make a trip. Get your weekly fill of instagram content while sipping on one of their many cocktails. Grab a spot at the bar or along the communal tables. 

Real Food Daily

*Named best vegan brunch in America* — a fact I do not take lightly, which had me running from spin class straight to one of their outdoor tables. I tried their burrito, beet burger and potato wedges with vegan mayo. I returned to them at LAX for one of their basic bowls with tofu and noodles. Try their treats, as well, like their insanely good chocolate chip cookies or a slice of their pie. 

Crossroads Kitchen

Maxim (self-proclaimed labrador puppy when it comes to his eating choices) called this one of this top 5 favorite meals ever. And he's not alone — this über popular spot tucked off Melrose is a mediterranean inspired tapas joint where everything is made from plants. Some of the popular dishes in this constantly changing menu? Calamari with hearts of palm, taquitos made with impossibly foods meat and lasagna with ricotta cheese. 

Dinosaur Cafe

A kitchy little cafe near Y7 Studio Silver Lake. It's the perfect place to grab some java after your yoga studio. 

 📍gracias madre

📍gracias madre

Umami Burger

THEY SERVE THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER AND THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW. Maxim and I got different burgers, but according to you guys, the truffle burger seemed better. 

Taste of India

Last time I was in LA (for 24 hours), we made sure to eat here for dinner. Justin Beiber loved the place, and the dimly lit restaurant and amble floor cushion seating was the exact vibe we were looking for. But it was the food — INCREDIBLE INDIAN FOOD — that sealed the deal and left us begging for more. Unfortunately, the location has since moved to Sunset Blvd, downsized the seating, installed sterilized lighting and cheap, cookie cutter interior and completely ruined the place. If you're getting takeout, this is a must. If not, definitely don't. 

Pump 

Ultra trendy spot for amazing people watching — we had drinks and apps, while watching the world go by on a Thursday night. Also where I famously freaked out more about seeing Ken and Giggy than Lisa Vanderpump. So much so that I yelled for a picture, to which he obliged. 

Enigma Coffee

A cute coffee shop that's probably no bigger than 200 square feet — if you're in the north of west hollywood, it's a perfect neighborhood spot to walk to on Saturdays. (Can you tell I'm already planning out our move to LA?) 

 

 
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 📍not even halfway up runyon canyon

📍not even halfway up runyon canyon

WHAT TO SEE & DO IN LOS ANGELES

The Comedy Store

If you're a fan of comedy in any capacity, you HAVE to check this out. Multiple shows a night in the heart of Hollywood where heavy hitters (think: Dave Chapelle, Ali Wong, Tom Segura, etc) just so happen to drop-by. There's a minimum two drinks per person order and almost every seat is a good one. 

Griffith Observatory

Get the best views of LA. Go at night, bring a bottle of wine and thank me later. 

 📍beverly hills overlook

📍beverly hills overlook

 📍view from runyon canyon

📍view from runyon canyon

Hollywood Tour Bus

I remember when I was a little kid, my parents would take us into downtown DC on the weekends to play tourist, take those duck tours and see the city from a tourists point-of-view. In the weirdest way possible, it was one of my favorite things ever.  — So continuing on this love, I believe everyone needs to do the Hollywood Bus Tour. It's literally the cheesiest thing you'll ever do, but omg it's so worth it. You get to sit in an open-air bus with ridiculous headphones and listen to someone spit out facts and tidbits about the city of entertainment and Kardashians. 

Recommendations: TMZ Tour | Ultimate Hollywood (for the homes) | Universal Studios Tour 

 

 

 
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WHERE TO MOVE IN LOS ANGELES

 📍Y7 studio weho

📍Y7 studio weho

 📍cyclehouse weho

📍cyclehouse weho

 📍Y7 studio weho

📍Y7 studio weho

Y7 Studio

Y7 originally started in Brooklyn as a fun, little side hustle pop-up from Sarah Levey. But the hip-hop yoga class (in a nutshell) quickly gained a cult following, expanding out to Los Angeles. Their indoor-outdoor location in Silver Lake is GORGEOUS, but I went to their WeHo location alsmost every single day I was there. The format is simple, too: Three sets of flows, set to music (lots of hip hop), each done three times. The first round is slow. The second is set to your breath — and the third is a free flow, meaning you add in or takeaway whatever feels good to you. It's in a heated room with candles and "a tribe called sweat" plastered across the walls. And each class left me begging for a studio in DC (hint, hint @Sarah). ALSO MEGHAN MARKLE APPARENTLY GOES TO Y7 WEHO. 

Runyon Canyon

I mean, have you really gone to LA if you don't get a selfie mid-hike? But walk to Griffith Avenue and then follow the stream (honestly, though) of people walking up the sidewalk. You'll get to the entrance (with a honor-based mini market for water, etc) and can then decide to do either the East or West path. It's a good hike, too, so don't do it in flip-flops too like a certain person tried to convince me to do. 

CycleHouse

A local spin studio with two locations — but hit up the WeHo one. It's nestled in an alley off of Melrose Avenue and right next to Alfred Tea Room. Their classes are crazy hard — think out of the saddle runs and heavy climbs every other song. Their facilities rock, their swag is INCREDIBLE and they offer eucalyptus towels after class.

*Pro tip: Take Erin's class.* Her class is easily one of the hardest spin classes I've ever taken with my bike. Bonus points for coming up to me in the middle of a song and adding on weight until I could hardly cycle. 

SoulCycle

I mean, obviously. A lot of people recommend this place for the celebrity spotting, but tbh it's just an insane workout and I love going to SoulCycle wherever I am. 

9 things you NEED to know about waxing

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TL;DR:

Waxing (especially brazilian waxing) does come without pain. But it's worth it, and the pain goes away pretty fast. Exfoliating is key to stop ingrown hairs, and you want to avoiding exercising for ~24 hours after.

If you're a local, go to Cera Wax Studio and tell them I sent you for a 20% discount. 

 

 
 Each room has it's own "theme" 

Each room has it's own "theme" 

 Monica Gomez, co-owner of Cera Wax Studio 

Monica Gomez, co-owner of Cera Wax Studio 

 Beautiful co-owners of Cera Wax Studio and sister Monica and Anna 

Beautiful co-owners of Cera Wax Studio and sister Monica and Anna 

Okayyyy, in case you didn't know, waxing has roots all the way back to 3000-4000 BC in West India, but the Brazilian wax became popular in the U.S. in 1987 thanks to the J. Sisters. Now-a-days, it's super normal and most every girl (and a growing number of dudes) have their go-to waxer and a standing appointment to keep them cleaned up. 

But for me, I was kind of anti-waxing for the longest time. Not because I hated waxing, but because I was kind of scared and didn't see the point of it...until I had a special occasion (like a wedding). Which brought me to my little foray into the world of waxing. In December, I struck up a conversation with Monica from Cera Wax Studio about whether I should come in two weeks before or the week before my wedding to get waxed. 

And I swear you’d think she saw a ghost. Oh my goodness, no, she told me. I needed to start waxing NOW in prep for the wedding — I needed a schedule. 

?!??!?! 

Honestly, though, I thought Monica was nuts. Um, no, I'm not going to be waxing my body in the middle of winter. But after lunch meeting, she  convinced me otherwise. By waiting until the week (or even the month) before your wedding, she explained, you're leaving a lot of variables up to chance.

Monica and Anna started Cera Wax Studio with a focus on niche Everyone reacts differently to waxing, whether it’s the sensitivity of your skin, the number of ingrown hairs you get, or how fast the hair grows back — and if you're getting ready for a big event, you want to give your skin some TLC, and make sure that you fully understand how it's interacting with the waxing process. 

So in December, I went in for my first waxing ever. We started with the eyebrows and lip. Then, in January, moved to the arms, legs and finally, the Brazilian (eeeeek!). Now, firmly through 3 cycles of waxing, I can say that I'm hooked — and a lot of it is thanks to the incredible women of Cera Wax Studio, especially the owners Monica and Anna. 

"[Waxing] is very social environment which makes it interesting and fun. Anna and I decided to open a waxing studio as we saw the need for a place for both men and women to go to where they can receive affordable, safe treatments. It was important that we provided this without compromising a stylish environment and steller customer service. We wanted to focus on a niche market and master it." 

For me, I love that their chic studio prioritizes privacy and top-notch hygiene without compromising style and luxury.  For each session, you can pick whatever music you want (apparently rap is very popular for brazilian waxes!), have a drink while you wait and then treat your newly-waxed-self to chocolate or nuts afterwards.  

⇣ M O O D  P O S T  B R A Z I L I A N ⇣

Oh, and the owners, Anna and Monica created their own line of sugar scrubs to help with the exfoliation and self-care post-wax! Why? 

"Sugar Scrubs and moisturizing are a very important step for our clients post waxing. We want to ensure we are providing the best customized products for them, so we created an all natural suguar scrub that not only gently exfoliates, but also pushes moisture in to the skin with the various essential oils." #BossBabes

Keep scrolling down for our top tips for your first wax (or some things to know even if you're a long-time waxer! 

 

 
 Comfort is key for waxing appointments 

Comfort is key for waxing appointments 

 Pre-wax (left) and post-wax (right) 

Pre-wax (left) and post-wax (right) 

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THE 9 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WAXING

1. Double-dipping is a HUGE red flag

This should go without saying, but usually doesn't. Double-dipping, i.e. when a waxer users the same stick twice to dip into the wax, is a HUGE no-no. It's a sign of an unhygienic salon and can be a major health risk. Many horror stories from waxing come from the fact that salons are double dipping and spreading bacteria. Oh, and if your salon tells you that they heat the wax to 130-140 degrees to kill bacteria? RUN. The wax will burn your skin, and STILL spread bacteria (eeeew!). 

2. Don't shave or trim your hair before your wax

Shaving in-between waxes is going to promote hair growth, making hair grow back in faster (counter intuitive to the results you want from waxing). And trimming your hair can make it too short to wax. The best thing to do is just leave your hair for 2-3 weeks before your wax! 

3. You don't want to work out after waxing

Waxing means that you're ripping out the hair from the source — and you want to keep it clean as it heals. So that means skipping your 6 p.m. spin class in lieu of a wine night. Why? "The sweat and friction during the workout can increase the chance for ingrowns and bacteria," Monica explains, which is especially true if you're wearing tight leggings that rub your skin. Try to wait at least 24 hours (or more, if you're getting sensitive areas waxed).

4. Everyone's hair grows in different

This is one of the big reasons why you don't want to wax too closely to an event or big date (especially if it's your first time). A big misconception is that waxing makes your hair grow in thicker, but Monica explains, "waxing can actually, over time, cause your hair to grow back finer and less (in most cases)." 

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5. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate

This is crazy important. Exfoliating is going to help prep your skin for the wax by removing dead skin calls. It'll also help to prevent ingrown hairs. A nice sugar scrub is perfect for in the shower. And post-wax? Wait two days before you start to exfoliate. 

"Using a sugar scrub helps to gently exfoliate the dead skin that can trap the hair from growing out properly. It helps to minimize the potential for ingrowns and keeps the skin nice and soft too," Monica explained. 

(Want to make your own? Start with an 80/20 sugar to oil ratio then go from there with some of these combos. Washingtonians — Cera Waxx Studio sells their own formulation that I swear by). 

6. There are two different types of wax: Hard wax and soft wax

Hard wax: Hard wax is applied to the area, it dries (or hardens) and then the wax itself is removed (without a strip). It shrink wraps around the hair and avoids adhearing to the skin, so it's a more gentle removal. Hard wax is typically used for all sensitive or small areas (bikini, facial, underarms) as it is a very gentle wax. 

Soft wax: Soft wax is applied to the area, but unlike hard wax, it does not dry. Instead, the waxer will apply a fabric strip to the wax, hold down the skin and remove it quickly. This is best used for large areas (like the legs and arms). 

Watch this video for a great visual on the differences. 

7. Don't overthink it — or watch waxing videos right before. 

Waxing HURTS when you get a Brazilian or anything around the vajayjay area. I mean, it’s sensitive to begin with, and now we’re ripping hardening wax off of it. BUT it doesn’t hurt as badly as you think. I watched a lot of waxing (especially brazilian waxing) videos before hand and got myself totally worked up. If I’m being totally honest, the worst part is butterflying your legs open and trying not to make eye contact with your waxer. Like, hello, you’re in the most vulnerable position ever and they’re applying warm, quickly hardening wax to a very private area. 

8. Chill with the caffeine

One of the most surprising things (to me) was that you should try to limit your caffeine/alcohol intake for about 12-24 hours before your appointment. Drinking too much will tighten your pores and heighten your sensitivity, making the waxing more painful. 

9. REMEMBER TO BREATHE! 

At the end of the day, the bark is so much worse than the bite — and there's a reason that so many women are addicted to waxing. Nice, smooth, hairless skin for weeks on end is hard to beat! Remember, the more you breathe and the calmer you are, the easier it'll be. 

Looking for more info? Click here. 


p.s. If you’re a fellow Washingtonian, this is the part where you should listen up: Go to Cera Wax Studio. They’ve consistently been ranked as the best in the area, and their waxing services are PHENOMENAL. Not to mention, they make the entire experience absolutely enjoyable. Each waxing room has it’s own speaker system and, upon arrival, you get to choose what music you want to be waxed to. Apparently, a lot of women go for hip-hop or rap while getting a brazilian. LOL, yes, that is a thing and I am here for it. Honestly, though. 

*This post was created in partnership with Cera Wax Studio*

 

6 things that helped me overcome burnout

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I've been so overwhelemed by the response I've gotten to talking about burnout — and I've received more than a few messages asking me to share what (specifically) helped me get back to where I felt *~ME~* again.

I tried to jot them down quickly without overthinking it. 

1. I CHANGED MY CAREER. 

I was in corporate marketing and left to do freelance work and get more involved in the wellness community. 

2. CONTROLLING WHAT I COULD: LIKE MY SKIN  

I started really caring about my skin and about what I'm putting into my body. We were both in slow food, and so I know you already care. But I started listening to what helped my body, what made my body bloat, etc etc.

3. DAILY MOVEMENT  

I started working out or doing something active EVERY DAY

Whether it was barre class, spin class, or spending 10 minutes on the elliptical. Sometimes, I'll just roll out my yoga mat and M O V E for 10-20 minutes. Sometimes it's ab work, sometimes it's just a basic sun salutation. 

4. I MADE SLEEP A PRIORITY
I got better about making sleep a huge priority. I actually will take a puff of weed to help me sleep, or I have an entire article here that helps me: https://www.honestlythough.org/blog/insomnia-sucks

5. I WENT TO MORE EVENTS

I joined a few women's collectives and FORCED myself to go out with friends. It was really nice to connect with like minded women and truly just disconnect. and talk.

6. BUT I ALSO LEARNED TO LOVE STAYING IN

See: Girl's Night In, my love of Dr. Dennis Gross & my heated blanked. 

_________________

I burned out — emotionally and spiritually. But I'm getting back on track.

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Friends know me as the lady whose schedule is always packed. Always taking on new ventures, new projects, forging new paths. I hate the feeling of chilling — just sitting around absolutely terrifies me and fills me with anxiety. I thrive and soar off the high of never sleeping, chugging coffee and brazen independence. It's my drug. 

But behind the flashing smile, the overtly bubbly personality? I struggle. And at the end of last year it all became too much. 

One night, while in Key West — and after a few cocktails — a wave had rushed over me. A sense that I wasn't where I wanted to be. I was not the person I believed in, not the person that I had always strived to be. I was in MaRkEtInG — taking government white papers and cubicles under harsh lights and turning it in click-bait for a numbers obsessed CMO.

I was unhappy — like-crying-everyday-at-the-thought-of-going-into-the-office unhappy. The company I worked for had come off their most successful year ever, won multiple “best places to work” awards and still, I was miserable. My attitude took a negative, bitchy turn. My acne was getting worse. 

The only thing I had to look forward to was rising up the corporate ladder to what...Head of Marketing? Head of Digital? Head of Social Media? None of it interested me. In fact, most of it made me want to turn and run. Run as far away as possible.

I was crazy unhappy in my career and feeling lost about what the future had in store for me. I was simply burned out — emotionally and spiritually. 

____________ 


So what did I do?

I took ahold of what I could control and made a change to focus on what I wanted in my career & life — not what the corporate structure wanted, or what (I thought) society wanted. 

I made a major career change (and my acne cleared up the next day. seriously.) 

I started taking more spin & barre classes.

I gave myself space to  f a i l .

I started reading books more and (though it’s a work in progress), I’m remembering to

〰️ B R E A T H E 〰️

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Now, firmly into January, I'm flying high — but remembering to land every so often for a breath — I'm taking on this already adventurous new year. 

I'm learning that sometimes a day filled with Netflix and pajamas and laundry is the best thing I could ever ask for. And at meal times, I'm(putting away my phone and opting for conversation or reading — that is, after I take a few pictures. 

I feel spiritually more fulfilled. I feel as if what I'm doing has purpose. And a paart of that is attending a weekend "bootcamp" filled with courageous, inspiring women that are "BOSSES" in their own ways. Together, we'll connect and discover how to continue conquering every part of our life. 

So here's to making 2018 the year of BREATHING, the year of becoming a BOSS in all parts of my life. Here's to a year of BEING a boss. 

Honestly, though. 

____________

Join me at Bootcamp? I partnered with BossedUp to give you 20% off your ticket. Simply use code PHOEBE. Have you ever experienced burn out? What did you do to get back on track?  

winter beauty essentials for oily skin & my winter skincare routine

winter beauty essentials for oily skin & my winter skincare routine

Everyone knows that winter's moody weather and dropping temps can wreak havoc on the skin. As a naturally oily person, winter can be awful. I stress about moisturizing too much, because my pores will get clogged. But if I don't, then I'll get dry and wrinkles. 

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