Review: Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay Mask

It’s been a long day.

And by a long day, I mean it’s actually been quite a nice day – it’s just had a lot of things to do in it. I started out frantically finishing up packing to head back to school before flying from Lexington to South Bend – in a private plane I might add, but more on that when I post the OOTD from today later this week – and finally making it back to school by early evening in time to get dinner with my friends and then unpack.

It’s days like these when I like to pamper myself a little – you know, to reward myself on a job well done of not messing anything up horrifically and actually getting a fair amount of productive “adulting” in. Those days don’t come by often.

Recently, my friends at Alya Skin sent me their Australian Pink Clay Mask to review, so it seemed like the perfect time to crack it open and give it a shot.

The first thing I noticed about the product was its nice packaging – a simple matte pink box, inside of which was a simple pink jar. Was it anything spectacular or artistic? No, but it was very fashionable, like something I wouldn’t mind having sat out on my bathroom counter. Minimalistic.

The mask itself was very standard mud mask fair – apply to cleansed skin, let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off with a damp cloth.

Alya Skin claims that their Australian Pink Clay mask helps with removing pigmentation clusters from skin’s surface, stimulating regeneration of skin cells, and drawing out and removing pollutants and toxins from skin. Did it live up to those claims?

(After application: no face makeup, some eye makeup)

To be honest, I’m not sure. I can say, though, that after one use, my skin felt smoother, softer, and more refreshed. I’m no facial mask expert – I’m don’t understand the chemistry of skin or the science behind skin care  – but I can speak to my own experience, and my experience was positive. I liked the rose scent, I liked the pearly pink texture, I liked that the product is vegan, gluten free, and not tested on animals.

(After application: full makeup)

In the end, I got everything I was looking for out of the Alya Skin Australian Pink Clay mask – some relaxation, a calming scent, and the satisfaction of knowing I was doing something good for my skin after having fallen asleep with makeup on a few too many times over winter break. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a simple way to pamper themselves every now and then, and to anyone looking for a quick way to even out their skin’s texture and tone.

You can check out the product over on Alya Skin’s website here, if it looks like something you might be interested in purchasing. Use code lensembledujour for 10% off at checkout!

Disclaimer: This post includes products that were sent complimentary to review and affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at!

November 3, 2017 – In Which Dental Hygiene Is My Aesthetic: Bianco Smile Whitening Powder Review (and OOTD #151)

Today’s post will be a little different than usual – in addition to my typical OOTD discussion and sarcastic humor, I’ve got a review for you too!

The lovely folks at Bianco Smile were kind enough to send me a package with their Activated Charcoal Whitening Powder to try and review, and I was just so excited about the fact that someone on the Internet noticed me, that I couldn’t say no. Admittedly, I’m no teeth expert – in fact, the last time I went to the dentist, I got rather passionately criticized for not flossing. But I suppose that’s why there’s a several billion dollar dental hygiene industry out there – because idiots like me don’t care for their teeth like they ought to, and then need to buy things to try to fix them.

The product came packaged in a cute little black box with the instructions labeled on all four sides – 1)Dip ya brush, 2) Scrub ’em, 3) (Smile). I rather a fan of the simple, all-black look; it was very fashionable, like something I wouldn’t mind having sat out on my bathroom counter.

As the instructions suggest, powder itself is actually rather simple to use – simply dip your wet brush into the powder, and then scrub your teeth just as you would with toothpaste. And indeed, the experience was rather like just brushing my teeth as I would any regular day, the primary difference being the texture of the powder (for lack of a better word – powdery), and how I looked when using the product.

To be honest, you’re probably not going to look pretty while brushing your teeth – in fact, you’ll probably look like you’ve just eaten a bunch of blueberries and now their guts have coated your teeth – but that’s alright, because you’ll look pretty afterwards.

I’ve compiled here some photos of my teeth over the last few days using the product:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3:

The verdict: I rather liked this product! I really don’t know anything about charcoal whitening powders, so I can’t compare it to any other similar products, but for my first experience using a whitening charcoal powder, it was overall quite positive.

Perhaps I’m just seeing things, and perhaps it’s simply the result of wearing red lipstick in the final photo (which does tend to make your teeth look whiter), but I do believe my teeth looked a touch whiter after a few days of using the product. I definitely think I will continue to use it – maybe not every day, but perhaps in rotation with my regular toothpaste.

My only complaint is that it’s not exactly the cleanest product ever – there was definitely some black powder left over on the sink after I was done brushing, but it was super easy to wipe up and left no stain.

You can check out the product over on Bianco Smile’s website here, if it looks like something you might be interested in purchasing. Use code MEILIN20 for 20% off at checkout!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life here at Notre Dame. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at!

Jacket: Vintage (thrifted)

Dress: Pitaya

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Wonderful and Autumnal

Meta, right?

Lemme tell you a secret: I don’t actually take these pictures on Saturdays. They still usually come from the prior week, and I still usually write the actually post on Saturdays, but I don’t always have time to do the photo-taking and the coffee-drinking on Saturday. Thus, whenever I have a chance during the week (in today’s case, Friday) I go off to some pretty location, take some photos of my laptop and coffee, and then save them until Saturday.

In fact, the drink I’ve got here in this mug (which, by the way, I stole from the dining hall because I’m such an badass)  isn’t even coffee – it’s black tea.

There are so many lies being revealed in just these first few paragraphs; how can you even bear to continue reading? The next thing you know, I might be revealing I don’t even like fashion, summer is my favorite month, and Shoreditch was my least favorite part of London.

For real though, check out how cute and fall-like these photos are. I even risked sitting on a bench on God Quad surrounded by grass (which, by the way, the tradition is that if you touch the grass on God Quad you’ll fail Theology) to sit under this pretty tree and take pictures of the leaves.

I’m pretty I was judged by everyone who passed by me sitting on my bench taking photos of my planner and my computer, but I’m used to it now. I just don’t make eye contact with them, and I can pretend I don’t see them.

It also helps using an actual camera rather than a phone; that way, people might think I’m like, a legit photography student working on a project rather than a pretentious fashion blogger trying to take photos so I can look cute.

Maybe one of these days I’ll actually be as organized as my photos make me look, but as my home boy Aragorn once said, “it is not this day.”

Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at

Saturday Musings and Coffee – Second Day of Fall

Look how beautiful and fall-like this whole scene looks. Too bad it doesn’t actually feel beautiful or fall- like.

It’s been ridiculously hot here in South Bend these last few days – like, hotter than it usually gets even in mid-July in Kentucky. And of course, my room lacks air conditioning, so I’ve spent a lot of my time trying as best as I can to hang out in buildings with AC.

I’ve also been drinking a lot of iced coffee – a tall vanilla iced coffee with one pump vanilla and skim milk, to be exact. I find I usually need something caffeinated in the afternoon to pick me up, and it’s been too miserably hot recently to get a hot drink. Though I’m typically more of a black coffee person, I’ve found I actually like the subtly sweet taste of my concoction – who knew?

Today, to commemorate the start of fall, my section within my dorm is going apple-picking at a local orchard. Though I usually hesitate to use these three words, I have to say – I’m pretty excited. I love picking apples, and I’ve been dying to get off campus, so this should be a well-needed trip.

It is a little too bad about the heat though…hopefully we’ll be done before the real afternoon heat comes in.

Anyway, I probably ought to go. I still need to workout and get dressed, and I leave in an hour. Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Homework Day

Sadly, unlike last week, when I was able to chill on the 7th floor of the library by myself, I have found that neither “chilling” nor “having the library to myself” is possible today.

Why? Because it’s my first weekend here in two weeks without a home football game, and while I am not stressed out about trying to carve a whole 4 hours (for real, football games are time-consuming) out of my day to go stand in a stadium all smushed up next to students I don’t know, I am stressed about homework. Plus, since there’s no game, the usually empty library is now…well, busy‘s not the word, but it’s got a little more bustle to it than I would like.

If I’m going to be honest, though, the lack of a football game is kind of a relief. I was looking forward to it all week – I thought it was going to be so nice and relaxing without all the commotion of a thousand visitors who all come to tailgate and end up waking you up at 9 in the morning by blasting “Wagon Wheel” from their portable speaker that they’ve set up on the lawn below your window.

And I was right. It is relaxing…in a way. At least, it would be relaxing if I didn’t have so much homework to do. These last few nights, I’ve been working on projects that I’ve been putting off since the start of school – which has been a very good thing – but it means I’ve fallen a bit behind in my reading. It also doesn’t help that I took a nap Friday afternoon.

Luckily, though, it’s a very nice day, so I took the opportunity to sit outside at one of the café tables near Au Bon Pain in the library. It’s not quite as quiet, but it’s also not nearly as stuffy. And I don’t feel badly about myself when I have to sneeze and all the hardcore studiers look at me like they want me excommunicated from the Catholic church.

(Little do they know…they cannot excommunicate me if I’m not even Catholic in the first place…mwahahahaha)

Anyway, I’ve probably already taken more time than I should have to write up this blog post, so I’ll let you go. Enjoy these photos of my Starbucks cup.

Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at

Saturday Musings + Coffee – I Have 15 Minutes to Write This Blog

Wow, it's been quite a while since I've done one of these, huh?

Yes, while I wish I could keep up with these Saturday Musings posts a little better, I often have to go to work early on Saturday mornings, making writing these posts a little difficult. I don't exactly have the time to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and reflect upon my life or whatever when I'm rushing out the door to beat the morning traffic, and I definitely don't have the time to write a blog about it.

Thankfully though, there are these wonderful things called afternoons, which come after mornings, and it's just as acceptable to enjoy coffee at 2:00pm as it is at 8:00am.

So that's what I did today. My mother and I were meeting with a former coworker at Starbucks to chat, so I thought I'd bring along my camera to take some artsy photos of my iced coffee and do one of these posts.

If it weren't the summer, and if it weren't too hot to drink a hot coffee, you can bet that's what I would be drinking. I'm not really into all of the cold coffee concoctions. I feel like to have a cold coffee, you really need for it to be sweet and dessert-like, but I'm not really into sweet coffees – I always take mine black. But sadly, I don't have the guts to drink a black cold-brew; I've tried and I'm sorry, it's just disgusting.

My compromise then is a lightly sweetened vanilla iced coffee – less caloric and less sweet than say, a frappuccino (not ashamed to say I Googled how to spell that), but still less disgusting than a plain cold brew. But like I said, at the end of the day, I like a hot, black coffee, and the fact that I cannot drink those on summer afternoons is just another reason why I am not a summer person.

And it looks like my fifteen minutes is nearly up! I started this blog at 4:45, and I have a friend coming at 5:00, so this post was something of a little exercise to see how long I could stay focused and write when I was under a time limit. It's not the longest, most in-depth post ever, but it's something, right?

Anyway, that’s it for today. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at

Saturday Musings + Coffee – Preparing for Work

I thought I’d add a new series to my blog, in addition to my typical OOTD posts. These posts, which I’m titling Saturday Musings + Coffee, will simply be a way for me to let out some of the thoughts I have in the morning while I sit and sip some coffee. It’ll be more about lifestyle than anything else, but I might throw some fashion in there too. I don’t know, we’ll see!

Anyway, I woke up this morning with a pretty stiff neck after having slept on the couch.

I didn’t mean to, of course – I just happened to do it after falling asleep watching some television with my parents, and I apparently just stayed there all night. I woke up this morning wearing the same slightly sweaty t-shirt and shorts I walked the dog in last night. Gross.

The other problem with that is that I didn’t charge my phone at all, which I usually do overnight with a cord by my bed while I sleep. Thus, I woke up this morning to a completely dead phone, that I’m somehow hoping will charge itself to 100% in an hour and a half before I have to go into work.

I’m doing an eight-hour shift today, by the way, so wish me luck! My job involves being on my feet a lot, which is something I simultaneously love and hate. Love, because I hate sitting for so long, and hate, because it gets exhausting after about the three-hour mark. No idea what eight hours is going to do to me!

I did go running this morning, which I’m hoping will give me a little extra energy this morning. I like to go either in the morning, before I’ve eaten anything, or in the late evening, after all my food has settled. Otherwise, I often wind up cramping and not being able to run as far as fast, and I’m fairly confident it’s to do with the food I eat. I hadn’t been able to go for the last few days because I found myself so exhausted after work, but today, since I didn’t have to go in to the store until later, I had a chance to get my excercuse in beforehand. 

Anyway, it’s about time I get going to shower and dress for my day. Again, please wish me luck on this long day of work! I hope I won’t need it, but, better safe than sorry. I really enjoyed doing this little blog in the morning to help organize my thoughts, and I hope you enjoyed reading it!