Thankful.

3 Reasons I am Grateful to be in Medicine:

  1. Gratitude. I have never known anyone to value their family and friends the way medical professionals do. I have never hear them dramatically complain about their families. Instead I constantly hear, “I’m going to grab brunch with my mom post-call.” “My daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me.” “I’m flying out to reunite with friends.” It is a constant reminder not to take loved ones for granted and not to make a big deal over small disagreements. Perhaps this gracious attitude stems from being so close to pain and death all the time- I am grateful some good comes out of it.
  2. Representation. Sometimes it dawns on me that I am the only Arab, the only woman, sitting at a table full of doctors, nurses, medical students, social workers, etc. While that feels lonely sometimes when I want to excitedly talk about Eid plans, it is also extremely satisfying. The gratitude my patients express, that look of relief when an Arab patient can better express themselves in their native tongue makes me emotional! It’s also an opportunity to teach others about how beautiful my culture is. Hearing my colleagues ask other Muslims in the hospital how their Ramadan is going because I explained to them why I was fasting makes me so happy! Additionally, being told by other girls younger than me that I inspired them to study harder and believe in themselves is indescribable.
  3. Inspiration. I have never known anyone to hustle the way doctors do! They use every minute wisely! How they manage to juggle a healthy lifestyle-eating well, working out, with fun things like traveling, spending time with loved ones, and working on projects outside of their jobs is amazing.  It is a constant reminder to push myself and it definitely inspires me daily to live my best life.

Also- Happy 4th of July! Grateful to be off today in a land full of opportunities for people like me! 🙂

-Salma

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Updates

I’ve had this draft up for months. Figured it was time to conclude it. I survived surgery! YAY!! And I’ve recently received my mandatory 4th year rotation assignments- I will be in Manhattan!!!! SO HAPPY about this. It’s been pretty hectic with neurology being such a short rotation. I was stressed out about completing VSAS apps and asking for letters of recommendation and trying to enjoy spring as much as possible. Fortunately, I’ve gotten one away elective close to home in September. All I have left is to schedule my electives. And I cannot complain, neuro hours are amazing compared to surgery, essentially a 9-2pm day most days. Still trying to get to my pre-surgery, happy Internal med, but less tired would be nice self.

Third year has been the year where my body and mind have reached their limit and I have no choice but to take better care of myself. I haven’t lost weight but definitely make much better food choices: cue the salmon dinner I made with zoodles, asparagus and mushrooms and daily yogurt or banana almond protein smoothies for breakfast. Some ways I have pampered myself: I got a beautiful red gel manicure at the same place the lovely Violet Grey does, trimmed my hair, ordered myself an espresso machine as an early birthday gift. Also gone out to brunch a few times which was very fun.

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The warmer weather has me inspired to try minimal spring makeup looks that are light and natural. That Glossier fresh-faced and glowing skin is what I’ve been into lately. Inspired to go foundation-less, or in my case CC cream-less, I’ve gone a bit skincare crazy. I was so scared for years to spend a lot of money on skincare all at once. I have sensitive skin and didn’t want to waste money and get irritated skin in return. But when you’ve tried so so many moisturizers, masks, and cleansers and your skin is the worst its ever been, its time for some damage control. Here is my current skincare intervention:

I bought the Sunday Riley #squadgoals set and Kiehls Ultra Facial toner to add to my current go-tos:  first Bioderma micellar water then a second cleanse with either the philosophy purity cleanser or glossier milk jelly. Then a serum, I alternate between the Sunday Riley Luna and the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance serum. Top it off with a moisturizer which frankly I have too many of: First Aid Beauty moisturizer, Clinique Dramatically Different lotion, Origins Night-A-Mins, Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, Sunday Riley Tidal Cream- whatever I’m in the mood to use. For eye cream, I’m still using the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery and Bobbi Brown Hydrating eye cream. I also happened to amass quite the sunscreen collection: FAB sunscreen, Promise Organics Coconut, Neutrogena Sensitive skin, and last but not least, the Bioderma Hydrobio.

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Finally drawing out a skincare regimen has been satisfying and relaxing to do every evening. I am determined to be patient and consistent with it and hopefully see results. In honor of Mother’s Day, I plan to give my mom a flash facial courtesy of Sunday Riley products.

Other skincare items I have been eyeing:

  • Clinique take the day off cleansing balm
  • Le Couvent des Minimes Gardener’s Hand Healer, kinda having a moment over French skincare but cannot justify buying anymore right now.
  • VICHY Purete Thermale 3-In-1 One Step Micellar Water, it’s pH balanced!
  • Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser
  • Facial oils in general

In conclusion, I’m excited for summer, Ramadan, all the birthdays in my family coming up, my best friend moving back from Spain, and me moving back to NY.

black friday finds

skincare & makeup

In my opinion Stila’s best products are their cream blushes. I have extremely dry skin and I prefer cream formulas all year round. i find that they last on my skin longer and don’t make it look old. This is my first time trying a liquid blush but I loved how easy it was to apply and blend out. The color is soooo natural. As much as I love makeup I love for it to look like I didn’t try too hard. This is perfect. As for the mini liquid lipstick, I tried to jump on board with that trend but I just prefer the look of a glossier lip- I feel that brightens the whole face. Matte is just too dull.

The Loccitane set was truly a gift to my parched skin. I use shower gel instead of soap to attempt not to strip my skin of its moisture but even that doesn’t work. So far the shower oil is no miracle worker but at least I have two mini lotions to throw into my white coat pocket. The constant hand washing is seriously taking a toll on me!

I decided to give Benefit’s They’re Real mascara a second try because I hated the sample but kind of like their Rollerlash mascara- and I found that I love it, i just hate how hard it is for me to remove! TBH I bought this set for the mini Hoola bronzer, a good shade for contouring! Mini and easy to travel with.

As for the ole henrikson cleanser, it felt like putting alcohol on my face. I loved how clean and soft my face felt after using the philosophy cleanser instead. It removed all makeup residue as well.

Nude Lip Selection

Hi all,

Sorry for the extended time away from le blog. I moved to New Jersey to do my third year rotations and this is the first time I have ever truly lived alone and it was quite the adjustment. Seeing psychiatry patients all day has been wonderful but also exhausting. I’m still working on my time management skills between typing case notes, studying, cooking, cleaning, etc. One of the fun things about third year, that is if you’re like me, is that I have to dress up everyday. I’ve been enjoying choosing professional outfits that are still very feminine. That especially applies to make-up as well. I love makeup and didn’t want to feel stifled, or less like myself, while working. I’ve been embracing the “nude” lip look even though I think bolder lipsticks suit me more. These lips colors are neutral enough to be daytime appropriate and have enough color to not wash me out.

  •  Lancome Juicy Shaker in “Piece of Cake” (mauve nude lip oil)
  • Lancome Lip Lover in 321 “Rose Contre-Temps ” (glossy rose)
  • Lancome Color Design lipstick in 333 Pink Preview (matte pink)
  • NYX Butter gloss in Creme brulee (pale pink)
  • Clinique different lipstick in 62″Tenderheart” (sheer mid-tone brown nude)
  • Kiko Creamy Lipgloss 102 “Pearly Strawberry Pink” (looks peachy on me!)
  • Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Natural in N9 “Copper Pink”
  • Marc Jacobs Le Marc Lip Creme lipstick in 216 “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (baked rose)
  • Nars Satin Lip pencil in “Rikugien” (Rose pink)

There are two great deals on nude lipsticks that I’ve been eyeing:

  • YSL “Rebel Nudes” set from Nordstrom which includes a full-size Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-in-Stick Lipstick in 47 Beige Blouse, full-size Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres Glossy Stain in 07 Corail Aquatique, full-size Plump Up Glossy Stain in 200 Plump Up, and Cosmetics Bag for $72 ($108 value). I have yet to own these gorgeous lipsticks!!
  • Bite Beauty set of 3: Retsina, Musk, and Fig Luminous Creme lipsticks will be available tomorrow on Sephora.com for the price of one lipstick! So far, these are my favorite lipstick formula that I’ve tried!

Happy Friday in advance!

-Salma

 

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

My skin is basically the Sahara Desert. Patchy and acne-prone. Very fair (you-can-spot discoloration-a-mile-away-fair) and very sensitive. I started to delve into the world of BB creams because I wanted natural coverage for everyday. I tried the Ulta brand and Tarte Amazonian Clay BB creams. Both had tons of glitter and were too yellow for my skin tone. They didn’t cover acne and I got so greasy in my T-zone when I used them. Next, I tried Nars tinted moisturizer and while this felt nice and had great SPF in it, it didn’t cover my angry red zits. The Revlon True Match foundation definitely gave me coverage but adhered to my dry patches. It didn’t look natural or feel good on my skin. The Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted hydrating gel cream (what a long name!) felt gross on my skin and was also too yellow for me. It was much harder than I realized to find a good quality foundation, devoid of harsh chemicals, that would just melt into my skin and make it look fabulous.

I consider discovering the It Cosmetics CC Cream a turning point in my make-up life. I love that stuff. Smells citrusy, very good color match, non-drying, easy to apply, natural finish, high SPF, and amazinggg coverage all in one glorious tube. It feels so nice and has tons of wonderful ingredients. However, when it came to photos I felt like it made me look whiter than I am. So I delved into the world of foundation and found I just hated how foundation felt on my skin and again, too many formulas emphasized my dry skin. I know that many people rave about the high end brands but as a broke med-student I really did not want to pay $42-$55 on something I would struggle to even find a coupon for. I also cannot be bothered to order something I cannot test in person.

Now that you have endured my long ordeal about failed base products dun dun dunnnn: Too faced Born this Way foundation was released last winter along with their Chocolate Bon-Bons palette (LOVE!). I intrigued that they later released new lighter and darker colors and that’s when I went in for a sample. They have 18 different shades to choose from now. I loved it much more than I had expected. I wear the shade porcelain (Fair neutral with pink undertones). As I mentioned in a previous post, Too Faced often has 20% off sales (like now for Memorial Day!) and you can snag this bad boy up then for $31 instead of $39. If I use a serum or moisturizer first, this creamy foundation didn’t cling to dry areas and did not make me oily in the center of my face later in the day. It makes my skin look smooth and flawless, and has a medium coverage that can be built up seamlessly. I’ve applied this with a brush and my hands before and like the result both ways, especially when buffed out with a sponge after to remove any excess product. It’s oil-free so it doesn’t break me out. It makes your skin look like you were blessed with healthy and especially glowing skin.I love that I literally cannot feel like its on my face and don’t have to use much to get the full effect. According to Too Faced:

“The revolutionary formula is infused with a potent combination of coconut water to naturally replenish moisture levels; nature’s resilient alpine rose to brighten the skin’s appearance and promote elasticity; and hyaluronic acid for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
– Parabens
– Sulfates
– Phthalates

What else you need to know:
This cruelty-free product is formulated without gluten.”

The foundation’s packaging is luxe and comes with a pump (yay hygiene!!). Because it is a silicone based foundation, I recommend using a silicone based primer underneath to avoid separation (if you want to wear a primer that is). I find it to be long-wearing regardless.

All in all, I highly recommend this foundation. I’ve been more vigilant about cleaning my brushes more often as well. Working on getting better skin one step at a time. Until then, fake it until you make it with this gorgeous foundation! Below are a couple of photos of me wearing this foundation.

Until next time,

-S

 

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Bite Beauty Lip Lab

Before I started to study for Step 1, I made a haphazard list of fun things I wanted to do in NYC before I started my third year of medical school. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go on a vacation this year, so I wanted to make the most of it between driving lessons and such. So far, I’ve read four novels, viewed the Met’s stunning Manus x Machina exhibit, and have eaten tons of delicious food with friends and family. My favorite outing has definitely been to the Bite Beauty Lip Lab. I took my sister and mother with me as a girls day out, and a delayed Mother’s Day gift post-boards studying.

So yes, this is a pricy experience. But it was the experience I wanted. I’m that girl that has asked my family to drive a couple hours to watch how glass-blowing was done and made jewelry and tie die art at street fairs. I love this kind of thing! It costs $45 for a tube of lipstick or 2 for $60 if you create two tubes of the same color. To put it in perspective, eating dinner in Manhattan almost never costs less than $30 per person anyways. This isn’t something you do everyday and when you go with friends, you can try the shades they created and if it suits you, get a duplicate for only $15 more. So essentially its $30 a tube that way, comparable to many high-end lipsticks on the market. Furthermore, the ingredients in Bite lipsticks are so worth it. They are composed of all natural ingredients that are essentially food-grade! According to the Sephora site:

“Created and crafted by hand, Bite’s small batch, low-heat process preserves a balanced blend of lip-quenching nutrients, vitamins, and omega oils that are essential for achieving healthy-looking lips. Made with 12 edible oils and triple milled pigments, this lipstick provides saturated lip color with weightless coverage and a citrus flavor made from fresh pressed fruit.”

They are made with reservatrol, an antioxidant. They do not contain gluten, petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates or sulfates. Lastly, these are the older Bite Beauty lipstick formula, the Luminous Creme. Currently discontinued, Bite Beauty has launched a new range of lipstick called the Amuse Bouche. My lips are as dry as the Sahara desert, so I prefer the former, more creamy and moisturizing formula. Some say that it slips too much, but I found that was such a minimal problem for me, very easily remedied with a neutral lip liner (Sephora’s Pink Beige Lip Liner to Go). I wore this long-lasting lipstick in 90 degree weather while shopping in Soho and it remained on my lips for hours. I love how smooth and perfect it makes my lips look! There is no shimmer or glitter in these, something I truly appreciate.

Now that you’ve been hopefully convinced that this lipstick formula is fab and worth the dinero, let me tell you about the actual experience.

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You have to schedule an appointment months in advance because the lab is usually completely booked, especially on weekends. While it says it is a half hour appointment, the ladies that work there (all makeup artists!) did not rush us at all. We stayed for about an hour or so total. I had already put thought into what kind of color I wanted to create so I shared my inspiration photos of pinky red roses to the Lip lab Artist helping me. She created a few options based on the feedback I gave her, like “let’s try something a little lighter, more pink, more red..” etc. They are remarkably good at not giving their own opinion because they want to help you create the ideal shade for yourself. I think we were extremely successful because we achieved the shade that I have always wanted, a carefully balanced cross between red and pink.

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My mother went for a warm reddish-brown color and my sister chose a brighter red-orange terracotta color. They both selected a matte finish while I wanted a creamy finish. The third finish we could’ve chosen was a sheer one. Next, you choose which scent and which cap style you want for your lipstick. I opted for citrus mango!

flavor and scent

After the lipstick ingredients are centrifuged, heated and put into a mold, it is cooled. I loved that my brother and sister, a chemist, asked so many scientific questions like at what rate were these centrifuged, what temperature are they cooled to, and more. It just made this fun experience, educational as well.

cooling

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And while I told my mom I wouldn’t repeat the experience, I def would go back if I ever finish my lipstick. I cannot get over how beautiful, sophisticated, and high-quality these are. Out of curiosity, I swatched these two lipsticks next to many Amuse Bouche shades to compare. We were pleased that there weren’t any colors like these in their current range. I’d love to know which shade of lipstick would you create? What flavors and finishes would you choose?

Until the next post,

Salma

 

Spring Fragrances

Mui Mui’s first fragrance- I’ve wanted to smell this perfume for so long. i think it was released in Europe before the U.S. and because I live in Staten Island, this fragrance was one of many that they just don’t stock here! So whilst on a trip to the Upper East Side, you can imagine how excited I was to spot this. This fresh floral perfume is very light but distinct. I love that it doesn’t dry down to a muskier smell. It smells of jasmine, rose, and greenery. It’s quite soft but more floral than I usually go for. Fun fact- the bottle is inspired by one of Mui Mui’s handbags.

Maison Martin Margiela “Replica” Beach Walk. I don’t particularly like Beach by Bobbi Brown or Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess despite their cult following during the warmer months. When I smelled this perfume, I finally got what they meant by “it smells like summer.” Bergamot, lemon, coconut milk, pink pepper, heliotrope and ylang-ylang flowers, and musk. I have no idea how this actually reminds me of the beach when I look at this list, but it does. I wouldn’t wear it to work but I would on all my summer escapades!

Burberry Brit Sheer. An oldie but a goodie. If I had to choose one word to describe this scent it would be, “refreshing.” It is my favorite type of scent which is a fruity-floral concoction. Peonies, pineapples, mandarin, peach blossom, and sweet pea, balanced with Nashi and white musk. Nashi blossom is Jo Malone’s summer scent this year, so this can be considered a lighter  and livelier alternative. This perfume is so innocent and lovable. (This is my favorite of the bunch.)

Clean Reserve Blonde Rose. Another surprising floral fragrance that doesn’t give you a headache, isn’t overpowering, and  doesn’t smell “granny-ish.” This is true because it’s just the right amount of rose, balanced with jasmine and peonies, and different kinds of woods. The perfumes created by this brand are meant to be layered but I felt that the rest of their perfumes are very musky which I don’t quite like. This is the real star of the Clean collection.

Aerin Ikat Jasmine or Mediterranean Honeysuckle. I think you’ve gotten the gist by now that I love jasmine which is found in both of these perfumes. As my best friend told me, these are so perfect for a summer wedding! They’re romantic and light and beautiful.

Givenchy Ange ou Demon Le Secret. This is the spiciest and warmest of this selection of fragrances. White peonies, jasmine, cranberry, green tea, and sambac infusion is the one I want to purchase most. It’s a classy fruity floral fragrance that reminds me of higher-end perfumes but is more wearable because it’s not as heavy.

Bvlgari Mon Jasmine Noir. Sultry without being too heavy. It’s literally an evening fragrance version of all the other jasmine scents I love. Also, how gorgeous is the bottle?

Balenciaga B.- This features a mix of lily of the valley and unexpectedly, edamame accord, with a woodsy background. I’d also save this one for nighttime and pair it with an equally elegant outfit.