Rewards System And Self Discipline

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So many of us find our days going a little like this: You wake up with the intentions of eating healthy, tackling your todo list and getting to the gym with all the motivation necessary to achieve these goals successfully, yet come dinner time all you’ve done is browsed Pinterest looking at things you can’t afford, watched videos of Instagram models doing the workouts you should have done, and eaten a lunch consisting of cookies from the breakroom, served up with a big side of regret.

Shit days happen to the best of us, and failure is inevitable. But what separates the ordinary from extraordinary is the self-discipline to continue towards these goals even after failure.

I have in no way reached any of my personal or professional goals, not even close, but there are a few little things that have made a huge difference in my journey towards them. And they’re easy enough for a child to comprehend.

Self Reward – When I was a little girl my mom forced me into the minivan and down the street to piano lessons twice a week. There were weeks I hated it and weeks I tolerated it, but for the most part it wasn’t my favorite time pass – and my mother was unwillingly aware due to my cries of objection. But once I got to playing and saw improvement, my mood would change and the formerly dreaded task was seemingly enjoyable. So to trick me into practicing at home, my mom would put a dish of M&M’s on top of the piano and every time I got through a song I would get a piece of candy. It worked so well that after a while she’d have to drag me off the bench to stop playing.

Now that I’m older and don’t have my parents to force me to do the right things, it’s a little tricky to stay focused on the not-so-glamorous tasks of life. But I took a page out of my mom’s parenting handbook and started tricking myself into accomplishing tasks with a similar reward system, minus the M&M’s. When it comes to diet, I force myself to eat all the vegetables and protein on my plate before I’ll allow myself carbs or sweets, which helps me get the good nutrients in need and prevents me from filling up on bread. My to do list is another hackable system where I’ll tell myself if I get the following X tasks done, I get to go get a mani/pedi, stop by Sephora for a new lip gloss, or as something as simple as browsing my socials for 15 minutes. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary or extravagant either. For some reason, knowing there’s a little treat at the end of all the boring stuff makes it easier to power through each task.

Some photos from my trip to Sydney – Comment below if you’d like to know my favorite places to visit and must-see’s from my trip!





Time Blocking And Calendar Hacks


Juggling between school, work, blogging and a social life can get pretty intense. Not to mention trying to throw a healthy routine in the mix. Back in my rookie days, I would rely solely on my memory, maybe a couple calendared events here and there, when it came to my schedule. But by incorporating the use of time-blocking and google calendar, my productivity has been better than ever.

Google Calendar –

First let’s talk about your new best friend. Google calendar is connected directly to your Gmail, making it easy to access with any device, anywhere. The color scheme is extra cute, with several options of pastels colors to coordinate events. This makes it easy to stay organized and know exactly what you have planned for the day at a quick glance. Pick a color for work meetings, school events and/or assignment due dates, workouts and even drive time. My drive time is yellow, so if I have a phone call to make or something I can do while driving, I’ll know when I’m able to do that based on my calendar color. I try to literally plan my whole day between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. into my calendar to keep myself on task and prepared for the day.

Multitasking is great for maximizing productivity, but there are certain things you can and can’t do while multitasking. The phone call while driving example is a good time to do so, along with checking emails while walking on the treadmill or listening to a podcast while getting ready. But in order to avoid multitasking more demanding tasks, time-blocking is the way to go.

Time-Blocking –

Time-blocking is a method that trains your brain to focus on one task for a given amount of time – and only that one task. It’s very common for people to look at a list of things needing to be done and start working on all of them throughout a large time period, bouncing from one task to another. This makes it hard for your brain to focus on what you’re trying to do because as soon as it’s acclimated, there’s another switch. By time-blocking you avoid the clutter and tell yourself the task in front of you is THE MOST important thing for X amount of time.

Every morning I’ll check my calendar, (usually on the treadmill or on the Stairmaster) and see what is on the agenda for the day. Then I open my Notes app in my phone and write down each individual task that needs to be done, most often through the 5-6 hour slot when I’m in the office, along with phone calls, workouts, laundry, even checking emails. Then I put in parenthesis how long each task will likely take. At work, I’ll put a timer on my phone with the allowance I’ve given a task and when the timer goes off, it’s time to move to the next item on the list. I can’t tell you how helpful this tool has been for me. Productivity maximization through the roof!

(Amazon has a cute little white block that will serve as your timer as well, but your phone timer will work just fine.)

The key idea is to stay focused on one thing at a time. By temporarily blocking out the entire day’s to do list and giving the task at hand your undivided attention, you’ll be able to accomplish much more in small bites than if you were to try and swallow the day whole.

If you have any productivity enhancing hacks, share below in the comments!


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Outfit Deets: – AG jeans – Hologen cardi – Treasure & Bond shoes 
– Bobeau tee – Nora NYC sunnies –

Photos by: Madison Katlin Photography

Travel Guide For The Girl With Too Many Things

Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimized by a 50lb bag weight restriction at the airport. *raises hand*

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Traveling can be a bit stressful – especially the preparation part – and even more so as a girl with a sense of style and too many things. How could you possibly neglect your favorite shirt by leaving it behind?! Or that dress with the tags still on it that’s been waiting for the perfect opportunity to be worn? And don’t even try to say only one pair of shoes is necessary for a week’s vacation.

With a family states away, a previous job that brought me to 12 different cities and forced me to live out of a suitcase, and the spirit of a wanderlust gypsy, I’ve gained quite a bit of airplane-incorporated experience. And along with it, some pretty sound traveling advice. So seeing as I have just begun a 20 day, 2 country trip, it seemed fitting to share some traveling tips with you:


  1. Helpful Applications – My new favorite flight booking app has a lot of people buzzing, and airlines pissed off. Enough so that United Airlines actually sued them – and lost. Meaning the app is not only genius, but legal.
    Skiplagged finds inexpensive flights that don’t necessarily end in your desired city, but have a layover where you’re wanting to go. For example, if I wanted to fly to Los Angeles, I would take a flight going to Seattle that stops in LA and San Francisco. Then instead of getting on the next connecting flights, you just walk right out of the airport and bam, you’re in LA.
    (I just looked for flights DFW-LAX and found them for $93 round-trip. SCORE.)
    The only catch is you can’t check a bag, but continue reading and I’ll tell you exactly why you should never be checking a bag anyways.
    Another good thing to utilize is frequent flyer miles. Try to stick to one airline so the points will accumulate, but always make sure you’re using a miles membership anytime you fly, or those points just vanish into thin air for no one to use in the future.
  1. Pack Based Off Itinerary – Knowing what you will be doing on your trip is critical information when packing. Will it be warm or cold? Are there special events planned? Or will you be working out or doing active things? Knowing the answers to these questions will tell you how much of what to pack, with a little wiggle room of course. If it’s a business trip, then be sure to bring enough business casual pieces that are interchangeable, giving you more options and room for your creative style to come through without bringing your whole closet.
    Undergarments are an item that are always over-packed. If you’re gone for 10 days, you honestly don’t need 10 bras and underwear. Hotels and rentals have these wonderful things called soap and sinks that you can use to wash your intimates so you don’t have a bag full of underwear. Sure, they may be small, but space is a hot commodity when you’re packing all your things in one bag. The main idea is don’t over-pack. If you can pinpoint at least the type of outfit you need for each day and minimize your belongings you can avoid checking luggage and save everyone some time and money.
  2. Carry-On When Possible – Trust me, you and your Uber will be much happier if you can manage to keep your things in one or two carry-on bags rather than waiting for your bag to come through baggage claim. And it’s more than possible depending on the destination! If your trip is a week or less, and you’re not needing mountains of winter gear, there’s no excuse to avoiding checked luggage.
    All airlines allow one larger carry-on bag and a personal item. Ladies, this includes your purse. The best trick to utilizing these allowed items is to pack as normal in a carry-on approved roller bag, (and pack that bitch tight), then instead of just bringing your purse by itself, grab a backpack that will fit your purse, along with other items such as your laptop, make-up, jewelry etc., and use that as your personal item to be stowed under the seat in front of you. It allows for easy access to the things you’ll need in-flight and avoids wasting that second bag opportunity.
    For international or long-term travel (like I am doing currently) put your shoes in a roller carry-on bag so your checked bag isn’t as weighed down. As for inside the checked bag, I put my nicer clothing in the zipped side and my athletic wear in the other side, then as my trip progresses, use the non-zip compartment as dirty laundry and keep my good clothes fresh in the zipped side.
  3. Avoiding Jet-Lag – This topic seriously deserves its own solo post (OK, maybe they all do), but I’ll give as brief of a break down as possible. The biggest thing to remember when traveling to a time zone V much off your home base is to get your body acclimated to your destination’s zone ASAP. It’s best to start a day or two before your flight if possible. For example, if you were traveling to a time zone 8 hours behind, stay up as late as possible and sleep in later than usual. Vice versa for heading in the other direction.
    When you’re on the plane, remember this rule as well. Don’t give in to temptation and try to sleep the whole flight, you’ll just end up overly exhausted and even more jacked up when you land. Airlines typically have the destinations current time available, so keep an eye on it and act accordingly as if you were there and not on the plane. Know what time you’ll be landing – if you’re getting in at night, you’ll want to be nice and sleepy, and if you land in the afternoon or morning, you’ll want to be well-rested to make it through the day. If you mess up and are super jet lagged your first day, resist the urge to sleep until it’s actually sleep time. It’s hard, I know, but one day of suffering through tiredness is better than a whole trip ruined because of jetlag. I find that exercising as soon as you get to your hotel helps too.


I know it’s a lot of information, but traveling happy is important! No one wants to spend a bunch of money on a trip just to get there tired, unprepared and missing home. If you have questions or want to know more about any of the above topics, comment below or shoot me an email.


Outfit deets: – Zella hoodie (the BEST for travel. The hood has a hole for your headphone cord to go into so you’re not all tangled up!) – Zella leggings (in black)
– Nike shoes – Nora NYC sunglasses –

The Healthy (ish) Guide To Your Daily Starbucks Order

Get ready for some basicness with the most basic blog of hacks to the most basic coffee shop a basic b could wish for.

That’s right, we’re talking Starbucks (or personally referred to as bux.)

I’m not even exaggerating when I say 40% of my diet is from Bux. Reason being, the perfect combination of quick and nutritious. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Starbucks really isn’t that healthy. With the sugary drinks, baked goods, bagels smothered in cream cheese, there is plenty of opportunity to sabotage a good diet. But with a little self-control and menu alterations, it’s super easy to grab a healthy breakfast, lunch, or pre-workout snack fast and reasonably affordable.


The most important meal of the day.

If I don’t start my day off with a smoothie at home, Bux is my go-to. I alternate between a few different menu items to mix things up a little. Usually I’ll do either the sandwich or the wrap if I had worked out in the past hour or two, but the oatmeal is honestly my favorite.

Here are the deets on my usual AM suspects:

-RF Turkey Bacon Sandwich (NO CHZ) + Banana (opt)

            Cal – 210

           Cal from fat – 45

            Protein – 18g

            Fiber – 3g

-Classic Oatmeal (no dried fruit, double nuts – TINY bit of brown sugar) + Banana (opt)

            Cal – 160

            Cal from fat – 25

            Protein – 5g

            Fiber – 4g

-Spinach, Fete & Egg White Wrap (only if cheating b/c this can’t be made dairy-free)

            Cal – 290

            Cal from fat – 90

            Protein – 19g

            Fiber – 6g



Not going to lie, sometimes I grab lunch in the drive through with my breakfast and coffee – efficiency, you know? I’d rather not waste time at work going to get lunch when I can just kill two birds with one… drive through. The protein boxes have seen some serious improvement throughout Bux history. Four sandwiches with a serving of fruits and veggies. Simple, clean, filling enough to last until dinner. Here are the stats on my fav:

-Smoked Turkey Box (take cheese off and skip the veggie dip – stats may be skewed high)

            Cal – 570

            Cal from fat – 210

            Protein – 35g

            Fiber – 7g


Pre-Workout Boost-

I’m not a big fan of eating before a workout, but sometimes if I accidentally skip lunch and have an evening spin class, there’s no option to not put a little fuel in my body. They sell the brand This Bar Saves Lives and I am OBSESSED (they’re on my amazon subscription, deets coming soon.) Another alternative snack is the Justin’s Almond Butter Packs + a banana. Just enough to get an energy boost, but not too much to feel really full for a workout or to spoil dinner.

-This Bar Saves Lives

            Cal – 180

            Cal from fat – 80

            Protein – 4g

            Fiber – 7g

-Justin’s Almond Butter Pack

            Cal – 200

            Protein – 7g

            Fiber – 4g


As for drinks, I personally like my coffee black, hot or iced, so it’s automatically 0 calories. If I do want a little sweetener, I’ll have them add a pack or two of honey – and on the rare occasion, stevia. Most people think it’s impossible to enjoy coffee without sugar or flavor, but with time, your tastes buds will acclimate and you’ll forget all about those sugary, teeth-rotting options.

(if you really can’t help yourself, here is a great post to reference for ‘skinny’ drink hacks)

Smoothie Addiction + TheFabFour


Today I woke up and got myself ready to go walk on the treadmill, as I do most mornings, when I realized I didn’t have frozen berries for my post-walk smoothie (a completely valid excuse to mess up my routine… *eye-roll at myself*). So instead I went to the grocery store to restock on said smoothie ingredients – only I forgot the frozen berries and came home with cleaning supplies. S/O to all my other ADD shoppers out there.

As tragic as this story is (and no, I never got my smoothie) most mornings go much more smoothly, with smoothie in hand. I’ve never been a believer in liquid diets, juicing, protein shakes etc. because I was convinced there is no substance in a beverage. But while visiting my mom in Michigan a few months ago, I started drinking them daily made from her NutriBullet blender. And from then on, I was hooked.

I got my own NutriBullet as soon as my plane touched down in Dallas and began starting my mornings with a blueberry or peanut butter smoothie, depending on the mood of the day. And I would often find myself satisfied for most of the morning, but by lunch I’d be starving again. This is a common complaint from people when a diet consists of solely a smoothie for breakfast, myself included, that is until I discovered @bewellbykelly and her fab4 rule for smoothies.

Kelly LeVeque is a nutritionist in LA with a client load more impressive than the guest list at the Grammys. The key to Kelly’s diet is the incorporation of the fab4 which are as follows:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Fat (healthy)
  • Greens

By satisfying all these requirements, one will be able to avoid hunger much longer, making it easier to accomplish intermittent fasting, avoid snacking and make better choices for future meals as your stomach is not influencing your food choices.

My usual smoothie recipe was something like Vega protein powder, a handful of spinach, frozen blueberries and juice or water. After reading up on the benefits of incorporating fats and fiber in the mix, I started adding a scoop of chia seed (fiber) and a scoop of coconut oil (healthy fat) to see if it works. Well, the verdict is in, and it’s a home freaking run. The first day I noticed I was not hungry all morning and even made it til 1 p.m. for lunch. By the time I did get my mid-day meal, I was able to make a sensible choice and didn’t overeat because my breakfast was still fueling my body.

I’ve even gone as far as skipping the coconut oil some mornings just to test the theory, and it really does make a difference to include a healthy fat. I’ve recently been testing out intermittent fasting since it’s been such a popular trend in health and dieting and this trick has made it so much easier to stick to the strict timing of meals. When you’re full and satisfied, you’re much more likely to make healthier choices.

I’ll be posting my thoughts on this type of dieting soon!

Till next time,




DM/comment for outfit details @laurenk.k

The Skincare Products That Are Honestly Worth The Cost

I want to start this out with a confession – at 24, I caved and got Botox. Just a quick and easy 15 units to fix up my elevens, and let me tell you, I get why people are addicted to it. My skin looks like a porcelain china doll, yet still dewey and glowey.

(if you’re in the DFW area, hit up @drdemetri on IG for all your pretty work.)

But let’s be honest. Botox isn’t the only thing that has been a game-changer for my skin lately. A few new products have been added to my skincare routine in the past couple months that I swear are basically like over-the-counter plastic surgery.


  1. Let’s start with the OROGOLD cosmetics exfoliate. Out of the products I’m mentioning in the post, this I’ve had the longest – yet there are still so many uses in that little bottle, I can’t believe it. At $88 for 1.76 oz. of products, it ain’t cheap. But I SWEAR by this stuff. The idea is that gold is much finer of an exfoliate than your typical beads, sugar or salt scrubs, so it’s able to really lift the dirt from your pores without causing damage, leaving you with baby soft, smooth skin. And the proof is in the pudding (is that a real thing?) When you rub a dime size pump of the product on your face, you will literally SEE the black and brown and nasties from your skin form little balls that you rinse away with a splash of water. Because it’s such a deep exfoliate (and expensive af) I only use it once a week. Even so, the residue on my skin is getting much less black and gross over time – which I would assume mean the product is doing its job extremely effectively.
  2. Next up, we have Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads. This is a spin-off of his Alpha-Beta chemical peel pads (which are supposed to be bomb dot com) but with facial tanning properties added to it. I don’t think it’s as strong of a peel as the OG product, but I personally don’t feel the need to peel that often as acne isn’t a big concern of mine, rather hydration, moisturizer and, hello – glow. They sell this in gradual and intense glow. I have the intense glow and it’s V effective. It’s so easy too! About once a week, or before an event or shoot, I thoroughly rub my face with a towel in circular motions, making sure I go over every nook and cranny (i am killing it with the old people’s sayings rn) as well as down my neck. I always do this at night and the next morning my face is seriously a full shade tanner. But not an unnatural looking tan at all. And your girl is pale, so that’s easy to do. It lasts a while, and even longer if you do it two days in a row. Will definitely be looking into more of Dr. Gross’s products in the future.
  3. Jart will be the third doctor mentioned on here. These titles should be enough credibility of their greatness without me ranting and raving about them – but I’m going to do it anyways. I’ve used a couple of products from this brand, including the facemasks (saving for another post – stay tuned) and have yielded amazing results from everything. But my current obsession is the Dr. Jart premium BB cream. If you’re still using foundation and don’t even know about BB or CC cream, GET OUT FROM UNDER YOUR ROCK. This alternative to stuffy, smothering foundation is life-changing. Not only does it have 45 SPF (literally never going back) it’s hydrating, reduces pore size, protects against other environmental damages, all while evening out skin tone and hiding blemishes. I won’t lie – it’s not a full coverage situation, so if you struggle with acne you might not love it. But the great thing about this product is it does work on your face all day long instead of a foundation that’s not breathable and is suffocating your pores, causing even more breakouts. It might be worth rocking some pimples to clear up your skin in the end.
  4. Lastly, can’t forget about Merle Norman. My mom, future sister-in-law and I went to the studio in my hometown over Christmas and got all the works Merle has to offer, steam facial and all. It’s pretty obvi I’m into skin hydration more than anything, so when we applied the Energizing Concentrate serum, a bottle of it naturally made its way home with me. When it comes to hydrating serums, she takes the cake. The formula is lightweight, goes on silky smooth and leaves your skin glistening. And a little goes a long way – I’ve barely made a dent in my 1 oz. bottle in over two months.


OK so I know none of these would probably be categorized as “affordable,” but if you spend a little extra money taking care of your skin, you won’t have to spend as much money on make-up! (far reach?) And they will last you quite a while, so it’s worth the investment. I would say I’ll do a post on less-expensive products, but I threw them all away. (lol, jk, maybe one day.)



How One Daily Gummy Has Freed Me From The Nail Salon For Good

The other day, my friend Rik was telling me how she is finding better ways to do her nails at home because, well, nail salons suck.

And for the most part, they really do. Don’t get me wrong, I will never not indulge in a lengthy pedicure – with salt scrub, hot wax, orange slices and rose petals, hold the stone massage sub extra foot love, casual – but when it comes to my hands, a manicure nothing but inconvenient. We’ve got our phones and drinks and things to touch, OK?

So lately I’ve just been getting my toes done – and I mean all out, no holding back done – and getting my nails cleaned up and buffed instead of a complete manicure.

No tips, no gel polish, no dip powder, nada.

I do this every now and then to let my nails “breathe,” and it helps somewhat, but normally I revert back to adhesive and plastic on my fingertips at some point because my nails were never strong enough without them. Until now, that is.

At first, I honestly couldn’t have told you what was making my nails grow like freaking tumbleweed. But after a little research and a look at my dietary and supplemental changes, I figured it out. Olly Nutrition Purely Probiotics.

I got them, along with the fiber gummies, before my trip to trim my tummy for the beach (high fiber, low protein diet – may not be glamorous but shit works ((pun intended)). But I didn’t realize the other benefits probiotics had aside from digestive health.

If you don’t know about probiotics, let me break it down for you as well as I, a non-doctoral human, can: Probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that keep your gut happy and functioning efficiently. While the label “bacteria” may be more commonly associated with sickness and disease, our bodies need to be balanced with both to function. And when you take antibiotics, which kill all bacteria, you lose a lot of this good, helpful bacteria in the process (totally resonates with my anti-prescription mentality).

They are found naturally in fermented food or drink such as yogurt and kombucha, which makes sense why I have never had a diet high in probiotics – I hate yogurt and kombucha is expensive.

Seriously makes these gummies the best discovery of the year already.

After a little googling, I found that probiotics also help with wrinkle prevention by eliminating damaging toxins that lead to signs of aging and increasing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and maintain hydration. They may even act as protection against sun damage, although there isn’t as much research to back this theory (the science people say it looks promising though).

So basically what I’ve concluded is that probiotics are the tits and you should be eating them – but don’t over-do it. I take the supplements about 5 days a week and that seems to work well for me. If your diet has probiotics in it already, maybe take them less or add more foods naturally source with them.

Doesn’t matter how you do it, but trust me, you want to do it.

The only thing this post is sponsored by is my happy bank account now that I’m saving money at the salon each month. *cha-ching*



My Favorite Things To Do In The Shower


Ok, ok, get your mind out of the gutter. Or should I say drain?

The shower is a happy place for me. It’s a time to unwind, relax, get pampered, all without other humans to interrupt (most of the time..)

Seriously though, nothing beats a scalding hot shower. And it’s the perfect place to catch up on beauty regimens all at once. Here are a few things that you need to incorporate into your shower at least once a week for softer skin and healthier hair.

But before we get into it, here’s a sideshow of some photos from my trip to Kaua’i (:


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Exfoliating gloves – I’m an exfoliate freak. Sometimes I wish I could molt like a crab and shed all the dead skin, hair and dirt on my body once a month – but that’d be gross. So instead I use these gloves once or twice a week to get my skin baby’s butt smooth. It’s just too easy, throw the gloves on with a healthy glob of moisturizing lotion (my fav is philosophy, but it’s pretty pricey, so sometimes i opt for dove instead) and start rubbing as hard as you can. Until you feel like you’re rubbing your skin off your bones. Personally, I enjoy the feeling, but it may not be the most comfortable for some people. If you can bear through it though, when you take the gloves off and touch yourself, you’ll know it was worth it.

Salt scrub – Surprise, surprise. Another exfoliating tip. I stumbled upon this product during the Amazon Prime Day sale last year and have been reordering it monthly since. I even ordered a bunch for family Christmas presents – and they all LOVE it. The ingredients are all natural with stuff like sea salt, almond oil, coconut oil and some other stuff. The instructions advise to leave it on your skin until it dries, then to scrub it off, but honestly it works just as well if you just give yourself a good rub down and rinse right after. If I’m feeling a little extra, I’ll put it on my shoulders, neck and arms while sitting in the bath for 10 or so minutes, but not necessary at all. It says it’s safe for the face, but I avoid it and stop at my chin. My face requires a little extra TLC.

Coconut oil for dry ends – While coconut oil has a bit of a reputation for being overused and excessively glorified, it really is the best for dry, split ends. My hair is extra dry from heat exposure, bleaching it and honestly just genetics, so I’m always looking for the best way to give my ends life. Instead of using expensive products that more often than not don’t live up to promised expectations, I’ve found the cure-all coconut oil solution is the best and most affordable. Sometimes I’ll put a thick coat (only on the ends) right before bed and sleep in it, then wash it out the next morning in the shower. But if that’s not an option, I run it through my hair right before I get in the shower and throw a hair cap on. Then instead of washing my hair right away, I get to shaving, exfoliating and anything else that needs to be done, saving my hair for last. The steam from the shower and insulation of the hair cap helps the oil work faster and leaves my ends nice and smooth.


Efficiency is the name of the game, and if I can help my skin, hair, teeth and whatever else all in one shower session, I’m a happy camper. I usually do this full routine once a week with normal, shorter showers in between.