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

First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask Review

I am a skincare junkie who is constantly on a quest to find the right combination of products that work for my skin. While I feel like once I find the “magic formula” in my day to day products, I will likely keep any changes to a minimum, when it comes to face masks it’s a whole different story.  Face masks are treatments that help enhance your normal skincare routine by offering a dose fo super strength for whatever ails your skin at the time.  While I’m acne prone, I have a collection of masks that not only treat acne, but hydrate, brighten, exfoliate, and energize.  I love trying new masks, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop and settle on just one. 

When I heard about the First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 bouncy mask I was immediately intrigued. Not only did the information I saw about the mask make me want to try it, but the one video I happened to click on (It was on FAB’s Youtube channel) sang the praises of the instant gratification the mask provides. Granted, I’m sure the blogger featured in the video was paid, but I had to try it and see if it was true. Read more

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*

Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel

Exuviance Purifying Cleansing Gel Review

At the base of any good skincare routine is a solid cleanser.  After all, you need your skin to be squeaky clean so all of your lotions and potions can work their magic.  When I got this new cleanser in the mail, I couldn’t wait to try it out.  Exuviance was kind enough to send me their Purifying Cleansing Gel to review, and while I did get it for free, you know that my reviews will always be honest.  Let’s dive in and see what it’s all about.

About the Product

The Exuviance purifying cleansing gel is an anti-aging face cleanser with Alpha (AHA) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA).  The acids offer chemical exfoliation and help clarify the skin. The gel is soap-free which is gentle and prevents the skin from drying out. Conditioners soothe the skin and help improve the skin’s texture.  It’s also allergy and dermatologist tested (in case that’s important to you).  

Basically,this cleanser foams up to wash away makeup, impurities, and surface oils without stripping the skin or altering skin’s natural moisture balance and is suitable for all skin types .

My Experience

Read more

Sunday Riley Luna Seeping Night Oil

Sunday RileyLuna

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping oil is one of the biggest products I’ve seen around blogs and youtube lately.  I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this product, but for those that the oil worked for, the results were amazing.  I knew I had to give it a try for myself to see if the oil was too good to be true.  

What is it?

The major highlight of this product is the fact it’s a retinol product.  Luna has a trans-retinol ester (which is supposedly something that gives you all of the good benefits of retinol without the side effects like peeling skin) that helps fight off aging, wrinkles, clogged pores, and all that other good stuff that retinol does.  In addition to that, it contains blue tansy and a bunch of different oils in it. I would go on, but you can check out Caroline Hirons’ post about this product to get way in depth ingredient details that cover both the good and less than ideal. For one, you’ll notice in that list that there is actually dye in the product.  They want you to think the blue color comes from the blue tansy.  Not true.. 

How to use:

After cleansing and toning, apply a few drops all over the face and massage in until blue color disappears.  Wait 5-10 minutes before adding any other product to your face.  For me this isn’t too much trouble, as I simply wash my face first, apply Luna, and then go about the rest of my evening routine (brush teeth, remove contacts, set up oil diffuser, etc) and then go back to finish my skincare. It’s less of an inconvenience than you might think.

My Results:  

Read more

Winter Lip Savers

WinterLips

Winter weather can have crazy consequences for under-hydrated lips.  The air somehow seems to suck all of the moisture away, leaving you with dry, cracked, sometimes painful, and definitely unattractive lips.  I don’t know about you, but I personally cannot stand the feeling of dry lips, so I’m constantly applying a lip balm of some sort.  While this is year round behavior for me, I majorly up my lip balm game in the winter months to keep my kisser in tip top shape.  Here are a few of my favorite, somewhat splurgy options I  use to keep my lips smooth, soft, and hydrated during the bitter cold.

Fresh Beauty Sugar Lip Treatments

I could sing the praises of Fresh Beauty’s Sugar Lip Treatment products all day long, but we don’t have time for that.  Their lip products have recently become my go to for easy and efficient lip moisture.  I recently purchased the “Sugar Kiss and Tell” set from Sephora which contains 5 minis of various styles of their sugar lip treatment, including a regular, advanced, advanced in a pot, and two with color (Petal and Rose). I reach for something in this kit several times a day.  The lip treatment in the shade Petal is quickly becoming an all time favorite with it’s subtle but beautiful pink tint.  With Fresh, I know I don’t have to worry about chapped lips anymore.  They also have an amazing sugar scrub for extra lip TLC.  While I haven’t purchased that before, I have gotten a mini in a kit before, and it’s divine.  Good job, Fresh!

Rosebud Perfume Co. Lip Balm

Read more

Lush Cup O’ Coffee Mask Review

Something for both the Lush AND coffee lovers out there: This mask from Lush Cosmetics is sure to give your skin and your mood the perk up it needs.

Lush is one of my favorite places for skincare and bath time goodness.  Coffee is one of my favorite things.  This mask combines both.  I knew I had to give Lush’s Cup O’ Coffee mask a try as soon as I heard about it.

What is it?

It’s a face and body mask made with coffee.  The ground coffee stimulates the senses and the skin while offering an exfoliation.  Kaolin helps give your pores a deep cleaning. Agave is the “glue” holding this mask together, leaving the mask as soft as it leaves your skin.

How to use: Read more

Adult Acne: Causes, Triggers, and Treatments

Adult Acne- Causes, Triggers, and Treatments

Most people commonly think of acne as a problem that teenagers have, usually at inopportune times like when they’re getting ready for a dance or a big date. It always seems to pop up during times of adolescent stress, but what about when acne outbreaks occur in adulthood? If you are an adult that suffers from acne, understanding its causes, triggers, and treatments could go a long way toward helping you to clear up your complexion.

Adolescent and Adult Acne Are Not the Same

The first thing you need to know is that adolescent and adult acne are not the same at all. That’s why some adults with acne didn’t have it as teens, and some teens with acne don’t have it as adults. However, the two forms of acne do have a couple things in common when it comes to causes and triggers. Read more

Birchbox Breakdown- July 2015

BrichboxJuly2015I know my Birchbox posts have been on a hiatus ofr quite some time, but I feel compelled to bring them back.  This time around, I’ve decided that rather than just describing the products inside my box, I will try them out first and give a little first impressions type of review along with the breakdown of the box. Not only will this allow me to give better insight into what’s in my box, but it will also force me to use the products rather than just have them sit there and accumulate.  Imagine that..

So, without further adieu, here’s my July Birchbox. Read more

Exuviance Intensive Eye Treatment Pads Review

Exuviance 2

Exuviance is a brand name recognized around the world, and they’re known best for their anti aging products (although they have solutions for many other skin problems as well).  When I found out I got the chance to try one of their awesome under eye treatments, I couldn’t wait.  As many of you know, I struggle with my under eye area even though I’m not even 30.  I have pretty severe dark circles and sometimes puffiness, even if I get a decent amount of sleep.  Throw in a night or two of bad sleep and my eyes are even a bigger mess.  Needless to say, I enjoy trying any and all under eye treatments.

The Exuviance® Intensive Eye Treatment Pads focus more on fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes more so than the dark circle issue, but the first signs of aging typically happen around the eyes.  Being close to 30, it is definitely not a bad idea for me to hop on the anti-aging bandwagon.  With skin being constantly exposed to sunlight and free radicals, the skin around the eyes weakens, resulting in crows feet.  Dehydration (which is common.  Drink more water!) can add to the look of those fine lines.  These pads contain ingredients that combat all of these issues.

Read more