Interesting Discoveries, Skin Care

June 2014 Birchbox Reveal

I just received my June Birchbox in the mail and was extremely excited to find out what was inside. This month is full of travel ready samples that range from lotions to shampoos. The theme this month is travel since Birchbox recently teamed up with JetBlue. It is very fitting as quite a few of us will be venturing off on vacation.

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1. Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face: This is a mineral-based tinted moisturizer with sun protection. It goes on smooth and creates a shine free finish. This is a great product for the summer months as it works to minimize oil production and shine. I really like the sheer finish and light feel. Unfortunately, there’s not much product in the sample. It was mostly air.

2. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion: This is an antioxidant-rich moisturizer with ingredients such as grape seed that help smooth and soften. It has a light scent and is not too thick while providing excellent moisture. It also creates a cool sensation. I like the product itself but wasn’t impressed with the presentation. The sample was messy and looked like it had already been opened.

3. Folle de Joie Eau de Parfum: This is a fresh blend of mandarin, rose, and sandalwood. It is a great light scent. I love the fact that the ingredients named can be easily distinguished without being overwhelming. Spritz on pulse points such as your wrists and neck.

4. Number 4 Hair Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner: This is a sulfate-free cleanser containing botanicals and vitamins designed to repair and protect dry, brittle hair. One of the most frequent comments is about the fragrance, it is a little manly but it is fairly light. It is a good shampoo, although slightly pricey.

5. Vasanti Cosmetics BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: This product mimics microdermabrasion and contains enzymes such as papaya as well as aloe vera, and coconut for cleansing. I love microdermabrasion in general. It is my must do in my skin routine. Again the presentation wasn’t great, the bottle was full of air and contained little product.

There was also a travel quiz with a chance to win a travel certificate with JetBlue. Overall, the content of the box was good. I wasn’t very impressed by the quality of some of the samples. They were messy, looked already opened and full of air. This is the first time I have been even slightly disappointed with Birchbox’s selections. My favorite is the Joie Parfum as I love good scents. It is a bit expensive but well worth it. I will update this post when I use the shampoo and conditioner.

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions please leave them below. I love hearing from you!

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Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

Tips on Summer-proofing your makeup

We can all feel the heat and in some cases, humidity, rolling in to kick off the summer. The sun feels great, only not when your makeup begins to melt off your face. You will not only sweat more but your face will produce more oil. Here are some easy tips to help keep your make looking and feeling fresh.

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Before applying

Use a oil controlling cleanser and blot before applying.

Try using a clay mask once a week to control oil production.

Use a primer first. They create a barrier between your skin and the foundation. They also help your makeup stay on long. Eye primers are also recommended with eye shadow for the same reason.

Face

Apply foundation sparingly. If you can avoid it don’t apply it at all. If you must apply do so sparingly. Light, sheer color is best. I recommend a tinted moisturizer or a light concealer.

You can use a translucent powder to set your foundation. Powders help absorb extra oil as it’s produced.

After application

Keep a sponge handy to smooth out creases as they appear. Then reset with a light dusting of powder.

Blotting papers are extremely handy and easy to carry around. They are also very inexpensive. If you feel slightly oily use one to stay looking fresh.

Other tips

Skip the heavy lipsticks and use a tinted lip balm or lip gloss.  Going lighter and more subtle on the lips will allow you to play with the bright purples and blues this summer. To get extra staying power you can use a lip primer. Stains are also in this season as they boast staying color. If they are too dry pair them with lip balm.

Use a waterproof or water resistant mascara. They have the staying power and look great for all occasions. To remove them effectively invest in oil free eye make up remover to use before cleansing.

Use these tips to beat the heat and keep looking fantastic. If you have any questions, would like clarification, or have tips of your own please share them. I love hearing from you!

 

Beauty, Interesting Discoveries, Makeup, Skin Care

My Summer Beauty Bag

Since summer is upon us I put together what I will be carrying around in my beauty bag. This may change as I run across more products but for now watch to see my favorites. These will be hard to replace as we all know some oldies are goodies.

Products in my bag:

Silver eye liner: It’s so old I don’t remember the brand but I love using this in the corner of the eye to open it and about half way down my upper eye lash line. These techniques help make the eye appear more open and I love the dewy look with a little bit of mascara.

Marcelle BB Golden Glow cream: I received this product in a Birchbox and I fell in love with it. It is great as a mixer or base with my normal foundation or it can stand alone. It does have some shimmer in it so be careful if you don’t want to shine.

Pixi Shea butter lip balm: I have said this before but I love this product as well. It provides great moisture and a good pop of light color. It is also a Birchbox find.

Mary Kay Love Lash Mascara: This is my all time favorite mascara. It has a flexible wand and provides great volume and length.

Mary Kay cream highlighter: They don’t make this product anymore but I love to use it on high points I want to highlight on my face. My favorite place to put this is on my eye lids for a very natural look.

Mary Kay Poppy Love lip jelly: I just bought this color and it looks intimidating in the package but great on. It is sheer and not too sticky. I’m glad I tried this one.

Mary Kay CC cream with SPF15: This is also another new find. This replaced the tinted moisturizer so I wanted to give it a try. It is a little more robust than a BB cream but still lighter than my regular foundation. I love the pump on the tube and the fact that it has SPF in it. I really try to use face products with some sun protection.

I highly recommend all these products. If you have any products you love for the summer please let me know. I would love to try them!

Makeup, Skin Care

A day in the life of a beauty blogger: Chapter 1 – Let’s get organized!

I have finally had enough. I looked around my bathroom and decided it was time to do some major organizing. Please click on the link for the video:

https://www.wevideo.com/view/205856673

Here I have several drawers and cupboards with miscellaneous products strewn about. I have quite a collection of products and will be receiving more. I am a hopeless makeup/product junkie. The plan is to hit up Pinterest and other craft sites to find cute, cheap organization projects. They  must also be fairly easy as I am not super crafty, I leave that to pros.

I am looking forward to sharing this with you. If you have any suggestions that may be beneficial to other readers please leave a comment. I always loving hearing from you!

Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

May 2014 Birchbox Reveal

It is time for May’s Birchbox reveal. This is a little late but I wanted to use the products and be able to give a good review of them. I have yet to be disappointed by the selections put into my box. I am absolutely loving my subscription.

1. Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow: This is a great BB cream. It is hypo-allergenic and contains no fragrance. It boasts antioxidants and hydrating aloe. I really like this cream as I have combination/oily skin and so far my face has not become too oily while using it. The color matched my skin perfectly and gave it a nice glow.

2. Nexxus Color Assure Pre-wash primer, Shampoo & Conditioner: I have yet to use this line of products because I am waiting to get my hair re-colored to get the full effect. It is an oil-infused trio that is supposed to help keep color vibrant while being sulfate free. I will provide updates after use to let you know how it makes my hair look and feel.

3. Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Pixi Pink: This is a dual purpose balm that hydrates and provides a nice subtle pop of pink color. This could very well be my favorite product in this box. It has great hydration and not too much color. It is great when worn with a neutral eye as it does have a brighter color. I will definitely be carrying this around with me! I highly recommend it if you are looking for a lip balm with a little pop.

4. Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology: This is a great light weight, water resistant SPF 30 protector. It will be great as a base when at the beach so you have SPF that is non-greasy on your face. It can also be used on the body. It is oil free and I have had no issues with it making my skin oily.

5. SmartyPants All-in-One Fiber Gummies for Weight Management: These vitamins are packed with fiber, have no caffeine and include omega-3 and vitamin D. The serving size is 6 with 50 calories. I am not a huge fan of how many calories are in a serving and I found the taste and texture a bit odd. At $47.59 for a bottle I will not be purchasing these.

If you have tried one of these products let us know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Back to Basics, Beauty, Makeup, Skin Care

What does non-comedogenic really mean?

You might have heard the term non-comedogenic before but are not really sure what it means and why it is important. It is most commonly used concerning acne and acne fighting products. It is a very popular term used for foundations, serums, moisturizers and many other products. Given that, you will want to know what it means and what the benefits are.

What does non-comedogenic mean?

The word comedone refers to pimples (closed) and blackheads (open). If a product is labeled non-comedogenic it means the ingredients in the product shouldn’t block pores and create acne. These products are typically for combination, oily, and acne prone skin. However, carrying the label non-comedogenic doesn’t ensure the product won’t be a cause of acne. These products are typically oil and emollient free.

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Are the labels correct?

The next question is are the labels 100% correct? The answer is no, they have their limitations. The FDA doesn’t have a list of ingredients that need to be excluded in order to carry the label non-comedogenic. There also aren’t any standard tests to determine whether or not a product really is non-comedogenic. The most important piece is that skin is highly individual and what causes acne with one person may not have the same affect on someone else. This makes standardization very difficult.

Guidelines, not rules

Even though the labels aren’t a guarantee when it comes to preventing acne, they are usefully when choosing products. This is especially true for individuals with acne prone or oily skin. Look for products that carry this label and you will have better luck with controlling your acne, even though it may still take a little trial and error.

If you have acne prone skin I have a few tips to help with breakouts. Try not to touch your face as acne thrives on bacteria and your hands are covered with it. Wipe down things that go near your face often such as your cell phone or work phone with antibacterial wipes.  Cleanse at least once a day, twice if you can and use a oil free moisturizer.

If you have any suggestions or comments please leave them. I love hearing from you!

Beauty, Skin Care

Tips for healthy hands and nails

You may not realize it but your hands show your age more than any part of your body. They are exposed to extreme weather, harsh conditions, and general wear and tear. By age 30 your skin cell production decreases by 10% and your skin is not able to repair itself as easily. This causes wrinkles and thin, papery, dry skin.

Combating dry skin

Over-washing can cause the skin on your hands to dry out faster than it normally would. Using household cleaners without gloves on can also cause severe dryness. Use warm water, not hot water, to wash your hands as hot water dries your skin out. Use a moisturizing soap that won’t over-strip your skin, the Dove Beauty bar is a good choice. You can also use an emollient to combat dryness by adding and retaining moisture.

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Smoothing rough skin

Moisturizing and exfoliants are a great way to fight rough skin. A good homemade remedy is:

¼ teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon olive oil

Massage into the back of your hands once a week. Olive oil is full of omega 3 fatty acids, a great source of moisture. The sugar serves as an exfoliant to get rid of rough spots. My personal favorite for rough, dry skin is the Satin Hands set by Mary Kay. It has the exfoliant, non-oily moisturizer, and a great emollient for the extra dry skin.

Healthy cuticles and nails

Just like the skin on your hands, your cuticles need moisture. When you are moisturizing your hands make sure to rub some on your cuticles. This helps reduce cracking and hangnails, which can lead to infections. If your cuticles are particularly dry, you might want to apply a cuticle oil nightly. This also helps strengthen your nails. Make sure your nails are kept a good length. If they are too long they can split or collect bacteria and if they are too short they won’t protect the ends of your fingers.

You also don’t want to leave nail polish on too long as it can cause the nails to yellow. A week is a good amount of time because by then it is generally chipping and not looking its best. Use a non-acetone nail polish remover as it is not as harsh. You should also check your nails for discoloration such as white spots, vertical lines, or dark spots. If there are an abnormal amount you should get them looked at as they could be caused by an infection or disease.

If you have any comments or suggestions please leave a comment. I love hearing from you!