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Ask Jess–On Tuscany, Tote Bag Organization, Facial Peels, and more!

Feb 1, 2019

Jess is wearing a summer dress and drinking a spritz

Happy weekend, guys! 

WE SURVIVED THE POLAR VORTEX! Huzzah! And it’s basically going to be like summer weather this weekend. I’m hitting ‘publish’ on this post and then running to get ready because I’m meeting two different friends downtown later for coffee. I’m so excited to get out of the house. ?Let’s jump into this week’s Ask Jess questions! (Remember, you can submit your question here and I will do my best to answer it!) 

I’m looking to plan a trip to Tuscany this summer, are you ever going to do a travel guide on your trip there? 

YESS I am the WORST with travel guides, you guys. I’m so sorry. They take so long to do and they’re so tedious and I always put them off ?Maybe on a slow week I can knock them all out–they are definitely on my to-do list to complete. 

Until then here’s the short version: I would HIGHLY recommend staying at Borgo San Felice–the most stunning hotel in Tuscany that was an old Tuscan town. Everything about it was breathtaking (That’s where these photos including the above were taken!) It was one of the highlights of our trip for SURE. OH, except don’t eat at their Michelin star –it was TERRIBLE. Worst food we had in Italy. (This is why I don’t go to fancy restaurants ?)

Also, make sure to do a cooking class with Nonna Ciana, and stop into San Gimignano for a couple hours! 

Other Italy posts you shouldn’t miss: 30 Italy travel tips you probably won’t find anywhere else, my Amalfi Coast Guide.

**Side note–GAH what I wouldn’t do for a spritz and 80 degree weather right now ?

Can you do a “What’s in my bag?”–I would love to see how you organize your big Madewell tote! 

Haha honestly on most days, my bag is not remotely organized ?It typically contains my laptop, wallet, and a zipper pouch (I always re-use my Glossier ones that come with their products!) with my favorite little essential oil wipes and some lipsticks! (I usually always have the colors 9-5 and Girls Night Out or RMS Red on me along with Kopari lip glossy!)

HOWEVER–someone did just recently tell me how great the Cuyana organizing insert was and it would totally fit in a lot of totes. (See what I did there ?)

Look at this video from their website. What a game-changer, right?! I feel like perhaps I should invest in one in the name of research… 

What’s the difference between an ice roller and a jade roller? I know you have both! Which do you like more? 

This is a great question! I have both and I really love both. They essentially do the same thing–the ice roller is just much larger and, you know, really cold. (You keep it in the freezer). I think if de-puffing is your biggest concern, the ice roller is best. If you’re looking for more facial massage/lymphatic drainage, then go with the Jade roller because it’s smaller and has two ends of differing sizes for different areas of your face. The Jade roller is also really easy to travel with, and obviously you can’t really travel with the ice roller. I hope this helps! 

I know you love Beautycounter’s Overnight Resurfacing Peel–have you tried the Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial and how does it compare? 

Okay, so, you don’t really see me ever *seriously negatively reviewing* beauty products because skin is SO different from person to person. That’s like saying that one BATHING SUIT is going to be the best bathing suit for every size, lifestyle, and body type–that’s just impossible. 

If you’re a person with drastically different skin than mine, ALL the products I use personally may not be best suited for you, and vice versa, and I think people forget this factor. I never want to mislead someone away from a product that would be perfect for them just because it wasn’t perfect for ME if that makes sense. 

That being said–a lot of the Drunk Elephant products I’ve tried haven’t been a good match for my skin or just haven’t really given me any results. I’m not sure why–I wanted to like them SO BADLY because I absolutely adore the brand and everything they stand for. (They make high quality clean products that a lot of people LOVEEE). But please don’t let my personal experience deter you from trying them, I know so many people who have Drunk Elephant to thank for their wonderful skin! I think they are a lovely brand. 

Personally, as someone with sensitive, breakout prone skin that can get very dry, the Babyfacial just LIT my skin on fire, and not in a good way. It made it sooo incredibly irritated. (And I didn’t even leave it on that long!) I’ve only tried it once, and I’m too afraid to try it again.

I think maybe the acid percentage is just too high for me? 

Because of this reaction, I was really nervous to try Beautycounter’s peel–but I took a chance on it and now I absolutely love it–it doesn’t give me any reaction like the Babyfacial product did. My skin is so much more even and glowy with regular use, and because it gently exfoliates, it helps prevent random breakouts and reduces existing ones. Yes, it makes your face feel a little tingly and hot, but it’s not painful like the experience I had with the Drunk Elephant product. It’s the #1 product I recommend for people with dull, uneven, patchy winter skin! 

I personally find this to be odd, because Beautycounter’s Overnight Peel has a lot of the same ingredients–it’s an AHA/BHA peel with a lot of plant-derived acids but it’s specifically made to be gentle and suitable for all skin types–I think maybe the difference is because it has hyaluronic acid and fatty acids in it as well, so it’s more soothing? 

Again, this is JUST me–and the good news is that with either product–whether you buy Drunk Elephant at Sephora or Beautycounter, they both have fantastic return policies–so if something isn’t right for you, you can get your money back! 

If you have more skincare questions/want product recommendations–email me at [email protected] I’m happy to help! 

Can you elaborate more on your workout routine/how you stay in shape? 

I do Orangetheory! That’s pretty much the only workout I do regularly (I go three days per week right now) and I do yoga more for fun when I need to switch things up. You can read my big Orangetheory review post right here! I know that’s kind of a boring answer, but I’m not really into working out. I’m into doing the least amount of working out possible while getting the body that I want ?OTF is hands down the best workout I’ve found that changes my body with the least amount of time! They also don’t yell or preach or chirp at you like most high intensity workout studios (at least at my location–I go to the Wicker Park Bucktown studio!)–and that’s why I love it so much! (Again, definitely read the review, it’s very in-depth!) 

Hope you have a WONDERFUL weekend!! 

Have a question to submit? You can do that right here and I will do my best to answer it in an upcoming post! 

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