top 5 DIYs and top 5 BUYS (+goodbye; +giveaway winner)


each picture below represents the ~6 years this blog has been truly active (2013 in the top left to 2018 in the bottom right). i thought it was a really cute way to reflect back on everything i’ve shared, what YOU have taught me, how YOU have supported me, and the reasons i’ll eventually start blogging again.

thank you for everything. truly. i never told you this, but this blog and you readers were the reason i stayed sane through a lot of things i faced in my personal life. i felt i always had my little green bubble with you. so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

so what will i be doing? well, i still work a 9-5 corporate job, so i’ll be doing that. i’ll also be working hard to get my business, Kieta Botanicals, off the ground. AND i’m also working on my herbalism AND aromatherapy certifications. whew.


as 2018 comes to a close and AE goes on a small hiatus, i’d really like to share my top 5 DIYs and top 5 BUYS with you.

there’s so many posts on here and this one is one of the bittersweet ones for me.

first, in honor of the whole purpose of this blog, let’s knock out my –


  1. intensive hair oil treatment
  2. hydrating cleansing mists
  3. papaya face mask
  4. lightweight body lotion
  5. luxe body and hair oil


and my TOP 5 6 BUYS, in no particular order.

you already know my #1 is my own product (or else i wouldn’t be selling it), but i did not include it in this list.  none of the links provided are affiliates. i do not benefit in any way. these companies don’t know i’m posting this.

to create this list, i simply looked around my bathroom at what i use the most and have repurchased. i think that’s a good sign that i truly enjoy a product.

  • mahalo: the bean mask
    • other than my own Botanical Dew, i trust my face to this mask when it needs it. i’ve never seen a mask change my skin in under an hour quite the way this one does. it’s pricey but worth the investment, especially if you’re looking to pare down your collection and get serious about your skincare.
  • tsi-la: roll-on perfume oil in ‘kesu’
    • i have talked about this so much on this blog and on my instagram (@alexraye_ae), because it deserves it. this scent is my favorite in their line-up; it’s deep and sexy, fitting for all genders. they even list their ingredients, which is very unlike a perfume company. check it out here.
  • root pretty: pressed eyeshadow in ‘rosewood’
    • ahh, the only eyeshadow that’s made me understand the makeup craze. it’s the most beautiful matte mix of brown and soft rose… i don’t know how to describe it but the name ‘rosewood’ is so fitting. i’m on my third one. see it here.
  • uncle harry’s: toothpaste
    • it’s comes in a small glass (reusable) jar that’s easy to travel with. i fly internationally quite a bit and it’s always in my carry-on. it contains an absolutely wonderful ingredient list that promotes true oral health. it’s $6 for 3 ounces (so affordable!) and is also available on amazon prime if you need to restock fast.
  • 100% pure: burdock & neem conditioner
    • are you surprised something from this brand made my list? well, because i live at such a high-altitude and dry climate, i co-wash. calia is my favorite overall, but this conditioner from 100% pure really makes my scalp feel so much better. it’ll probably be too heavy for my hair type when i repatriate to the US, so calia is still my ride or die, but this one is pretty darn nice and i think to date i’ve purchased…. 6 bottles?. check it out here.
  • khus+khus: bleu body wax
    • this is made with coconut oil, but the delicate, ethereal scent of macerated gardenias and the other nutritive oils added to it are what got me. this feels like such a luxurious treat for me to apply, all the way from my feet to my hair (avoiding the face) after a warm shower. it’s pricey but will last a long time. here’s a link.


now what you’ve really been waiting for…. the winner of the Kieta Botanicals Giveaway is Audrey! i have already contacted her personally 🙂 thank you to those that entered and shared the love and support.

i’ll still be around on instagram (@alexraye_ae) if you wanna chat or ask me to whip up another DIY for ya.

toodles for now. take care of each other.


2 thoughts on “top 5 DIYs and top 5 BUYS (+goodbye; +giveaway winner)

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