An Online Dermatologist Changed My Skin! | Dermacare Review

 

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you are well aware of many of my life struggles.  One major struggle I’ve been having in my late 20’s is adult acne.  Quite frankly, I find this to be incredibly unfair, as I didn’t struggle with acne anywhere near as bad in my teenage years (you know, when we’re supposed to be having acne issues) as I do as a grown woman.  By the time my 30th birthday rolled around and I was still having major acne issues (especially along my jaw line), I’d had enough.  No 30 year old should have to worry about having the skin problems of a 15-year-old. While I’m a huge fan of makeup, I was truly tired of not being comfortable enough in my own skin to leave my home without foundation and concealer on.  

With my husband’s blessing, I decided to start researching dermatologists in my area, because clearly everything I had tried in the past wasn’t enough.  The list of products I’ve tried could probably fill an entire short novel, and while some products helped (most didn’t), there was nothing that made me feel like my problem was actually being solved. So, the hunt for local dermatologists began.  

Well, as I was doing the “good blogger” thing of making an effort to read and support other bloggers, a post by Jess from The Golden Girl blog came up on my feed about an online dermatologist. Online dermatology?!  That can’t possibly be legit…can it?  I decided to reach out to the company, Dermacare, and see if we could work a little something out, because basically, I was the perfect candidate to prove whether or not this service of theirs actually worked. Thankfully, they agreed to work with me (and yes, they’re sponsoring this post, but before you leave thinking “oh great, she was paid to talk about this,” just hear me out. Seriously.) 

Back in January (yes, 8 months ago!) I got hooked up with an account and my journey to see if Dermacare would actually work began.  The first thing you do is create a skin care profile talking about your skin care goals, and then (are you ready for this?) you upload selfies to the site for the doctor to look at.  Using the photos and the information they’re given, the dermatologists at Dermacare create a custom prescription product mixed just for you with your goals in mind. Ready for some crazy honesty?  Here are my “before” photos.  These are what I sent in when I created my account.

Ick. I can’t stand looking at them.  No 30 year old should have to deal with that kind of acne situation.  

After a few days, I got a package with my custom acne treatment inside.  I couldn’t contain my excitement.  If getting quality dermatology is as time-saving saving as snapping a few selfies, this is the greatest idea ever!   Read more

Sephora Play! Unboxing | July 2017

It’s the middle of summer and Sephora knows that we have vacation on our minds, so they decided to help us out with a little beauty R & R by theming this month’s box as “Beauty Staycation.”  Everything in my July box focuses on quick summer beauty fixes that will have me ready to travel or ready to sip iced tea in my recliner at home.  My July box makes summer beauty effortless, natural, and oh so glorious.  Let’s see what was inside. 

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April 2017 Wish List

Air Fryer | Benefit Boxed Blush | Ole Henriksen Kit | Village Candle Coffee Bean | Beauty and the Beast Journal | Iconic Protein Drink

Here are a few of the awesome products that have caught my eye and made it onto my wish list for the new month.  We’ve got a little bit of everything this month.  Check it out!

Air Fryer ($150)- My biggest wishlist item of the month is an air fryer.  After seeing all of the awesome creations people are coming up with in their fryers, I’m having some severe envy about not having one of my own.  Air Fryers help you achieve the crisp cook of fried food while using little to no oil in the preparation.  This sounds like a dream come true.  I’m longing to get my hands on one of these so I can try out different veggies in there to make my own sweet potato fries, butternut squash bites, and I’m really dying to try the Green Giant cauliflower tots in there.  I was obsessed with them when I had them at my parent’s house, and I imagine tossing them in an air fryer rather than the oven will make them even more amazing. This appliance actually surpassed a new coffee maker on my wishlist. That’s just crazy talk!

Benefit Galifornia($29)- I’ve always enjoyed Benefit’s cult classic boxed blushes. Coralista has always been one of my favorites, and GALifornia looks like it might be a slightly brighter, but still completely wearable version of my all time favorite.   Read more

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Review

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

When I say “Dyson” you picture a high-end vacuum cleaner, right? Of course you do! I recently added their amazing cordless vacuum to my collection and I’ve never thought I could love a Dyson more than I love that vacuum.  Then I got my hands on their hair dryer…

Yes, Dyson, the brand many of us turn to for clean floors, makes a hair dryer, and it’s amazing. 

What makes the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer so special?

The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is without a doubt the most high-tech piece of beauty technology I have ever used.  The professionals at Dyson worked long and hard to produce this well thought-out and designed product. Equipped with a Dyson v9 motor, the supersonic hair dryer gets hair dried quickly and with minimal damage to your precious strands.  The features of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer are as follows:

  • Air Multiplier Technology: Air is amplified 3 times, producing a high-pressure, high-velocity jet of air (Think about the Dyson hand dryers in some public bathrooms.  Those things are powerful).
  • Pulse-width modulation enables precise control of the heating element.
  • Annular element construction: Annular double-stack heating element allows a compact barrel without compromising heat generation.
  • Glass Bead Thermistor: Thermal sensor measures exit flow temperature 20 times per second and transmits data to the machine’s microprocessor.
  • Intelligence: To help prevent extreme heat damage a microprocessor in the head intelligently controls the heating element using data from a thermistic bead.
  • 4 heat settings and 3-speed settings
  • Power: The Dyson digital motor v9’s 13 impeller blades spin at up to 110,000 rpm.  It’s fast, light, and small.
  • Vibration reduction mount: a rubber isolation mount prevents the motor from vibrating against the inside of the handle, reducing the transfer of noise between the motor and the case. 
  • Removable filter cage: easy cleaning!
  • Engineered for balance: the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is the only manufactured hair dryer with the motor in the handle instead of the head. 
  • Negative ions help reduce static in the hair.
  • LED indicators
  • Stainless steel magnetic interface: The only hair dryer with magnetic attachments for easy fitting and rotation.

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Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review

Everyone knows that a crucial part of any skincare routine is exfoliation.  Exfoliating regularly gets rid of the dead cells resting on the surface of your skin that could result in dull, flaky, and even broken out skin, leaving you with a flake-free bright and fresh glow. There are two different types of exfoliation: physical and chemical.  Physical exfoliation is the type we probably think of when we hear the word “exfoliate.” Physical exfoliants use a buffing motion and some sort of grainy texture to remove the dead skin cells, while chemical ones simply require product application (and a little time) with no other action necessary. Today we’re taking a look at the AP25 Performance Peel from Exuviance, which is a chemical exfoliant.

About the Product

The Performance Peel AP25 contains a 25% blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA) including Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Gluconolactone. It works at skin’s surface to exfoliate the surface layers of the skin which are dead and dull, and it also enhances cell renewal to reveal fresher, healthier-looking skin. With regular use (up to twice a week), Exuviance has found that this peel:

  • Refines pore size and smoothes texture
  • Visibly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve clarity and brightness
  • Brighten and even skin tone
  • Provide an overall healthy glow to the skin

How to Use

Cleanse face.  After your face is clean and dry apply a Step 1 (the packets are labeled for you) activator pad all over your face. Be careful to avoid eye and lip areas, and any areas that are super sensitive. This step 1 pad is applying the actual chemical peel to your face so pay attention to any stinging, tingling, burning, itching, peeling, or redness that may be happening while you’re waiting. As with most peels, a slight tingling sensation is to be expected. Leave step 1 on for up to (but no more than) 10 minutes.

When your 10 minutes are up, open and apply the Step 2 neutralizer pad. This is a solution that cancels out the acids in the peel effectively stopping the chemicals from doing anything else to your skin. Rinse your face with water.  If you find the tingling sensation too much to handle you can apply step 2 before the 10 minutes are up. This is your call, but if you’re really hurting or turning pretty red I suggest not trying to wait it out. Better safe than sorry. 

Use up to 2 times per week.

My Results

First, I am happy to say that I had zero burning and hardly any tingling sensation, save one application where I had a slightly irritated pimple (ie, I might have picked it a little the day before.. I know, shame on me). That burned, but only where the angry pimple was lurking. I shouldn’t even talk about application because it’s the easiest thing ever, but I will anyway.  Each packet contains one product soaked cotton round, and you apply it to your face like you would a toner. Okay, I’m a tad more thorough with the peel than I am my toner, but you get the idea.  After 10 minutes (I set an alarm because otherwise, I’d forget it was on) I do the same with the step 2 pad, taking care to make sure I apply it to every single millimeter of skin that I put the peel on.  After a quick rinse, I apply a strong moisturizer and I’m on my merry way.

While I haven’t used up the whole box of peels yet, based on ease and cleanliness of use and the lack of burning alone, I enjoy this peel. While I don’t necessarily see any improvement in my fine lines (that have just started to make an appearance on my face), I will say this does a great job of getting rid of my dead, flaky skin and leaves things looking a bit brighter and clearer. 

The Exuviance peel is $77 for 13 sets of 2-step packets (12 uses and an extra to skin test for reactions before your first use). I’ll be honest, this is definitely one of the more expensive peels out there (in terms of price per use), but it’s definitely still cheaper than going for a facial.  There are other options that have a bit less power, or a higher price tag and more uses, but at the end of the day, skincare is all about finding what works for you, and the Exuviance peel is a product that does what it claims it will do.  

You can find the Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 on the Exuviance website or at Ulta.

 

*I was sent this product for review via Exuviance and Brand Backer, but all opinions are my own*

6 Lip Products for the Holidays

With Christmas looming a mere 12 days away, this coming weekend is bound to be filled with holiday parties galore.  Winter is when we break out darker colors, smokey eyes, and bold red lips.  While I’m not usually a bold-lipped kind of lady, being in a show and rocking a bold red lip in Pippin has forever changed my opinion of red lippies, and I now have faith that I can rock them.  Here are 6 lip products I’ve been using this holiday season.

Smith & Cult Lip Gloss in The Warning:  This is the sheerest of all of my picks, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect look for the holidays.  This bright red gloss brings a pop of Santa red to your lips without forcing you to panic about getting red lipstick everywhere. It’s hydrating, not sticky, and even has a little bit of subtle glitter in there for an extra pop of party bling. ($22 @ Smithandcult.com)

Too Faced Melted Berry Liquid Lipstick: Melted berry is a stunning shade of berry red (almost deep, dark pink.  Almost.) that will surely pop on your lips this season.  I’ve found that I really enjoy the formulation of the Too Faced Liquid Lipsticks, and this is a bold shade I found I wasn’t afraid of even on the very first wear. ($21 at Ulta)

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Stained Gloss in Nomad: I’ll be honest, at first I thought this shade appeared to be far too dark for me to even consider trying on. Turns out that this deep colored gloss sheers out into a great winter maroon. It can be sheer or be built up for a more intense coverage.  I was incredibly surprised by how much I liked this shade, and have been wearing regularly. ($18 on Amazon)

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Matte Lipstick in Dolce Flirt: I got a mini of this lipstick from an Influenster campaign a year or so ago, so I had to try it for review purposes. This was another product that really surprised me by how much I liked it.  This matte formula was very comfortable and non-drying. The shade “dolce flirt” was such a beautiful, flattering true red color that I loved wearing it to my husband’s office Christmas party. I felt sexy, feisty, and very festive. (available at Nordstrom $38)

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella: This lip pencil is in a shade that feels like it was inspired by Miss Cruella DeVil herself. This is a deep scarlet red that definitely feels like the perfect bold winter lip in a long wear, top rated formula by Nars. ($26 @ Sephora)

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate: This lip product is the one I used in my show that made me accept that I could pull off a bold red lip color.  Pomegranate is a gorgeous rich red that made my lips pop on stage, made my teeth look a bit whiter, and made me feel like a sexy little vixen going out on stage.  This is definitely a shade I will now rock on a regular basis. This product felt great on, stayed put, and lasted my entire show ( and afterward) without needing to be reapplied. This baby is the reason I’m no longer afraid to rock a bold lip, so shoutout to Bite Beauty to opening my eyes to a world beyond nudes and light pinks. ($24 @ Sephora)

What are some of your go-to lip products for the holiday party season? Do you wear the bold statement lip, or do you have some deeper neutrals that you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below. 

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links*

 

Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe Review | Holiday 2016

grande-hotel-cafe-review

I’m a sucker for the holidays in pretty much any way, shape, and form, and the holiday releases from my favorite beauty brands are most definitely my weakest spot.  Since I wasn’t overly impressed with Too Faced’s releases from holiday 2015, I swore I wasn’t going to get hooked this year..and then I saw the holiday collection.  Christmas in New York is like a dream to me, and with the stunning shades and adorable packaging, I quickly broke my vow. I knew the collection had to be mine.  I ended up buying all 3 eyeshadow sets, as I couldn’t decide on one.  Today, we’re taking a look at the Grande Hotel 3 palette set.  

The Too Faced Grande Hotel is a collection of 3 individual eyeshadow palettes (Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Gingerbread Cookie) that can be given as gifts (there’s even a To/From label on the back of each one) or can be kept as a set and includes a deluxe mini of Better Than Sex Mascara.

grande-hotel-packaging

First, let’s talk about the packaging.  Grande Hotel Cafe comes in a gorgeous box that’s shaped like a hotel you’d find in the heart of NYC.  When you remove the roof and open the doors you see the stunning interior decorated with Christmas trees (complete with famous Too Faced products underneath them) and you’re clearly meant to be sitting at the hotel’s coffee bar, where you would order one of the holiday beverages the palettes are named after. It’s genius packaging, and I’m not going to lie, the packaging definitely helped sell me the products.   Read more

June 2016 Favorites

June Favorites
Styling MousseLush Facial Scrub | Lancome Juicy Shakers | Champagne Pop Palette | Buxom Eye Shadows | Yogurt | Waitress | It’s Not Okay

Guys..we are halfway done with 2016!  What kind of craziness is that??  Anyway, I’ve been way busy with non-blog related things, so my favorites are a little late, but since there were some things I’ve been dying to tell you about, I figured better late than never was appropriate here.  Enjoy!

Surface Curls Firm Styling Mousse: During the summer I like to let my hair air dry and let the little bit of natural wave do its thing.  This mousse is one of the more sticky foaming products I’ve tried, but it really gets the job done.  I just put a little leave in conditioner in my hair and then flip my head over and scrunch a golf ball sized amount at the ends and I get separated, textured, and curly looking locks that are perfect for that natural, air dried look we love for summer. 

Lush Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub ($13.95): I hate to mention this because this product is a limited edition for Father’s Day (but as of this post it’s STILL available!!), but I want you all to be aware of this for next year.  This is a scrub that was actually geared towards men (at least that’s what I’ve been told) as a facial exfoliant, but once I touched it in store, I knew I had to have it.  There are bamboo granules ground up in here and it reminds me of the fine ground feel of a paste made with baking soda (which I’ve used as exfoliant in the past), which really gets the job done without feeling too abrasive.  My skin feels amazing after using this.  Bonus: it has the faint smell of sandalwood, which is so nice.  Be ready for it next year, because it’s definitely worth picking up.    Read more

April 2016 Favorites

April Favorites

Colour Pop Shadow | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel | FitBit Alta | Jade Citrus Mint Tea | Gilmore Girls

 

I can’t believe it’s already May!  We’re in the second quarter of 2016, the weather has finally started to warm up, and we’re getting ready for the glorious joys that summertime promises to bring.  In the meantime, I have a few things that I loved using and enjoying during the month of April.  Check them out!  Read more

March 2016 Favorites |Monthly Favorites

Marrch2016Faves

Another month, another list of monthly favorites.  This month I actually have a legitimate amount of things I want to share with you.  Buckle up..I’ve got some good stuff to talk about.

 

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil– I started using a legitimate makeup remover (rather than just 4 or 5 Bioderma soaked cotton pads) to start my nighttime routine, and my skin appreciates it.  I wanted to find a cleansing oil that didn’t break the bank, but did a good job and this is it.  I take 2-3 pumps of this oil and rub it on my dry face, and rub it in for a little bit. Then, I wet my hands (and sometimes my konjac sponge) and continue to rub my face.  Adding water turns the oil into a milky white cleanser.  Once I rinse, my face feels so clean that some nights I don’t bother to cleanse again.  One swipe of a cotton pad with Bioderma afterwards proves to me how well this stuff works because the pad has virtually no makeup on it.  Winner! Read more