I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like it is the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time. I’ve heard that even parts of Florida are getting snow, which means only the most bitter cold for those of us in the North. With temperatures that barely reach double digits, it’s frigidly cold and insanely dry in the Chicagoland area. Wearing a cozy sweater is nice until you do something that ends up giving you enough of a static charge that you see sparks the next time you touch something. Guys, this isn’t even an exaggeration. There have been several instances in the last few weeks where I’ve shocked myself so hard that I saw sparks and felt significant pain from it. Bottom line: it’s dryer than a desert right now, and everything on my body is reminding me of this regularly.
Hydration for your skin is so important all the time, but in the winter it seems that dry skin symptoms end up 10 times worse than they’ve ever been. Even this oily skinned, acne-prone 31-year-old has had to change her skincare game to focus less on getting shine and blemish free and more on getting my skin adequately hydrated to avoid cracked alligator skin. We’re talking there are days where I don’t bother putting makeup on because my dry skin would look worse with a layer of foundation than it would with some exposed pimples. It’s awful. So, I started looking for solutions. Read more…
It’s hard to believe that September has come and gone already! I actually sent an email out to my family telling them they need to start thinking about (and sending me) their Christmas lists. Christmas!! It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by.
September was a busy month, as most months for the rest of 2017 promise to be. While I was spending a lot of time running around like a mad woman, I did have enough time to discover and fall in love with some new products. This month we’ve got some beauty stuff right alongside a few food and health related items. Every single product is something I’ve been using and loving constantly throughout the month, and I feel the need to share so you can enjoy them too!
This month’s Sephora Play! box is themed “The Innovators.” I love the word innovation because it means there are new and exciting things on the horizon, and hopefully, they make things easier and better. The first thing I pulled out of the box is the paper that talks all about the different products I will find inside, which is nothing new. On the other side is an “Elements of Beauty” periodic table (so appropriate for the back to school season) which briefly explains many ingredients found in various beauty products, what they’re for, and what they’re found in. What a cool little educational tool to add to a beauty box. I will actually read this before tossing it in the recycling bin!
The drawstring bag is labeled “Makeup Geek,” still sticking with the back to school theme. As per usual, there is a play pass that will get you 50 extra points when you take it into Sephora stores.
Okay, moving on to the products. I’m actually pretty pleased with everything in my box this month. All of the products are practical, basic, and things I will actually use. Scroll down to see what I got in my box, then comment and let me know what you got in yours.
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 perfectcandidate 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…
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.
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…
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.
Stainless steel magnetic interface: The only hair dryer with magnetic attachments for easy fitting and rotation.
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.
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*
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*
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.
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…