Thursday, November 21, 2019

Soko Glam: The New Skincare Line I'm Loving

If I've been obsessed with anything this year, it's been skincare. This may not be news to you if you're a regular around here, but at the beginning of this year I set out to take the best possible care of my skin in the hopes of keeping it looking fresh and healthy sans injectibles. 

I am blessed with the opportunity to try a wide variety of skincare lines - many of which never make it to my blog, however, in toady's post I'm excited to share a few products I recently tried and had success with from Soko Glam.

My interest in Soko Glam was initially sparked after listening to the Him & Her podcast with Charlotte Cho. They covered hormonal acne in that podcast, which at the time, was something I was really struggling with! I like Soko Glam because they celebrate a skin-first philosophy stemming from Korean practises. Essentially, they encourage finding the root cause of your skin issues, vs covering them up and only provide the highest quality Korean beauty products tested by Charlotte and her team.

My Skin Type

Let me begin by saying I have really dry skin! Dry skin leads to wrinkles, which is where my journey with skincare began. These products are catered to my skin type, and were recommended to me directly by a Soko Glam representative. Part of what's unique about Soko Glam is you have the opportunity to email or text directly with a team member about your skin type after taking a short quiz on their website. Based off your questionnaire answer, Soko Glam will make a recommendation for the best products for your needs. 

My personal recommendation offered a 5 step dry-skin set:

1. Cleansing Balm: The first step in your double cleanse. This oil cleanser breaks down makeup, removes dirt, excess sebum, and pollution from the skins surface. This formula works to build collagen and prevent fine lines. True rose of Jericho and iris extract close the deal promoting smoothness and softness to the skin - leaving my skin feeling like a babies butt!

2. Cleansing Foam: Great for sensitive dry skin that's prone to redness. It foams up into a beautiful lather leaving behind fresh, plump, and soothed skin without drying it out.

3. Beauty Water: Multi-tasking toner and cleansing water. Mildly exfoliates, removing dead skin cells revealing brighter, smoother skin. 

4. Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist: Perfect for all skin types and the antidote to dryness, dullness, and sensitivity. This mist feels so refreshing! You can use it as a setting spray after makeup, a mid-day pick me up or as a cleansing toner.

5. Rich Moist Soothing Cream: Works to strengthen your skins protective barrier, rescuing dry and irritated skin, while improving its natural cell repairing capabilities. Great for all skin type, especially sensitive.

This set would be an ideal gift for someone looking to get into skincare but maybe doesn't know where to start, a daughter who can't afford a full high quality skincare routine just yet, or anyone interested in beauty! It retails for $95.

Additional Favorites

I opted to add in a couple other products to try after reading countless glowing reviews about them under the best sellers tab on Soko Glam's website, and I can attest to the reviews! They are so worthy of mentioning and actually would be my top picks. If I could only choose ONE item, I'd get the lip sleeping pack first. My second pick would be the Collagen Ampoule, and third favorite would be the Cleansing Balm.

1. Time Stop Collagen Ampoule: Formulated with almost 77% mushroom extract to stimulate collagen production and reduce the appearance of wrinkles intensley hydrates skin and soothes irritation and redness. My skin soaks this up and just loves it's smoothing effects. Highly recommend this one! 

2. Nourishing Care Lip Sleeping Pack: I have tried every chapstick, lip mask, etc on the market and I cannot rave about this one enough! I am blown away by how amazing it made my lips feel! What a perfect stocking stuffer gift too! It has a subtle vanilla flavor and I love that it's free of parabens as well. Kiss your flaky, chapped lips goodbye babes!

If you're interested in giving Soko Glam a try, now is the perfect time to do so as they're currently offering 30% off site wide (excluding sets, gift cards, Then I Met You products, and The Little book of Skincare) with code SGBF19 and free shipping on all orders over $35 in the US. As I previously mentioned, these make a great gift option -- and the lip mask is the perfect stocking stuffer!


*Thank you to Soko Glam for sponsoring todays post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Kimpton Hotel Arras: Asheville's newest hotel

On October 1st, Asheville welcomed it's newest hotel with the addition of Kimpton Hotel Arras. Arras is a 128-room boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from shopping, great restaurants, and local art galleries. The location of this new oasis couldn't be better, but what really sold this new property for me was the outstanding level of customer service, luxe amenities, and abundant mountain views. 

I've been coming to Asheville regularly for six years now as it's the perfect distance from Charlotte for a weekend away, and I've had the opportunity to stay at hotels all over the city. I was anxiously awaiting the opening of this hotel, with high anticipation of a fabulous stay - and I have to say, it was nothing short of that.

I arrived at the hotel about a week after Asheville's peak leaf peeping season came to and end and hotel rates in the area were still on the higher end of the spectrum. I was surprised and super pleased to see that Kimpton's rates however, were much more reasonable (around the $180/night category depending on room type), and in all transparency, I am shocked by those rates in light of the amazing all around experience I had. But, I'm not complaining because this is a huge factor in allowing us to come back often! 


My room was located on the seventh floor, and was one of the most impressive rooms I've stayed in to date. Decor was modern and stylish and tributes local artists, and floor to ceiling windows provided sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You will find a fully stocked mini bar with local Asheville snacks (the poppy popcorn is a must) upon entering the room, and a full sized bathroom with a tub and walk-in shower directly ahead. The room was also divided into a living space with a full size couch and desk space to work, and King size bed that felt like home. Trust me when I say waking up to the sunrise over the mountains doesn't suck. I'm also pleased to announce the room came equipped with a Nespresso machine, if you know me - you know this is important. Additionally, I really appreciated the amazing lighting that went into putting the bathrooms together. Not only did the bathroom have natural light, the light switch was on a dimmer so you can adjust how dark or bright you want the area to be while getting ready, or soaking in the tub. I can't go without mentioning how clean everything was as well. As previously mentioned, this room was a complete dream



There are two restaurants inside of the hotel. Bargello is a Mediterranean inspired, locally sourced restaurant led by Peter and Martha Pollay (they also own Posana). The menu consists of wood fired pizzas, handmade pastas, and whole preparations for sharing. Katie and I tried a variety of dishes here both at dinner and breakfast and loved the food. Highly recommend ordering the sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, meatballs, swordfish and chicken piccata at dinner, and whatever you do -- do not forgo the porridge at breakfast! I'm not typically a porridge person, but I was blown away by how tasty it was. The second restaurant in the hotel is District 42 which blends together small plates and craft cocktails in a lounge like environment. Doing happy hour here before heading to Bargello for dinner is not a bad idea! I highly recommend the Mountain Air cocktail. 


I think one of the most unique aspects of staying at a Kimpton property is the afternoon social hour. Every afternoon from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, Kimpton offers complimentary wine and snacks in the hotel lobby for it's guests. Also located near the check-in desks are complimentary PUBLIC bicycles to borrow during your stay, and the hotel offers free coffee and tea every morning. Kimpton Hotel Arras also offers a fitness center for it's guests complete with Peloton's and Rogue strength and conditioning equipment and a private massage room available for booking. I didn't have a chance to check this out during my short stay, but it's at the top of my priority list for the next visit as working out is typically a part of my day while traveling. If you have a fur baby you can't leave home without, not to worry, the hotel is also pet friendly and located about 3 miles from the popular French Broad River Dog Park. 

Overall Thoughts

The customer service was the highlight of my stay. While the hotel has only been in operation for a short time, the service was seamless! I was so impressed with the staff and how genuine and kind they all were. I felt welcome and like the team was excited for me to be there which is a rare find these days, especially within a new establishment. I truly can't express enough how above and beyond this hotel goes for it's guests. Everything from hand-written welcome notes, to never being greeted with anything but a smiling face, my stay truly felt personal. This is an excellent stay, at a fantastic value. Take me up on the opportunity, and book a stay this December to see the Christmas lights - you just might see me there! 

*In partnership with Kimpton Hotel Arras. As always, all opinions are my own.

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