Updated Skin Care Routine *

Hey Everyone!

This post is all about my updated skin care routine, as of February 2014. I have been using this routine for a couple months now, and I absolutely love it. It is a lot different than my previous routines that kept to a strict step by step system. While those are great for some skin concerns, I find that my skin, as well as the majority of peoples skin, is constantly changing and needing different things to keep it healthy.

As of now, my skin type is acne-prone (mainly cystic), susceptible to dryness and irritation at times, and susceptible to concentrated oiliness at times. I have moderate to severe scaring left behind from previous breakouts, and moderately sized pores on my cheeks.

**Disclaimer* I have been doing skincare routine videos/posts for years. Just because I am using something different now does not mean that I dislike the products mentioned in previous posts. Skin changes and acclimates to things (especially mine). This is just what is working for me now. **

Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator – is a thick cream with micro beads to exfoliate. It has 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide, as well as glycolic acid. I think this is a great cleanser for both morning and night because it does a great job of cleansing the skin gently without over drying. It has a light medicinal fragrance, and rinses clean without leaving any residue on the skin. When my skin is being particularly good, or when it is extra sensitive and needs a break, I will only use this product for that day. 

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo – is a dual action acne treatment that has 5.5% benzoyl peroxide, 0.4% LHA, and soothing flower extracts. It has a thin cream consistency with no fragrance. I prefer this treatment over the similar Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment because it has a higher percentage of benzoyl peroxide as well as many other better ingredients. I typically apply this in the evening only to the areas of my skin that have active blemishes due to the fact that it is extremely potent and can cause irritation to my skin if over-applied.

Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator – is a soothing gel/mousse moisturizer with 0.5% salicylic acid. I love this product because it is extremely soothing and leaves the skin looking and feeling healthier. It has a slightly medicinal scent with notes of cucumber and citrus. I use this in the evening after cleansing or cleansing and treating.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream – is a thick, clay-like cream that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. It contains ingredients like aloe, beeswax, lemon extract, and colloidal sulfur to quickly dry blemishes, even erupted ones! I like that this product is slightly tinted to conceal problem areas as well. I typically use this product when I have a stubborn blemish that needs to be dried out.

Clinique Spot Healing Gel – is a concentrated 1.0% salicylic acid gel that is used as a spot treatment for acne blemishes. I use this product when I have a deep cystic blemish that needs a little extra help. Unfortunately this product is no longer available, so I will not ramble on about how wonderful it is.

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer – is a gentle moisturizer that has a light milk and honey fragrance, and ingredients like sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and avocado oil. Kiehls also has an identical product that contains an SPF, but I opted for this one so I can use it anytime for any occasion. I use this product every morning, and every time I apply makeup.

Dior DiorSnow UV Sheild – is a translucent SPF 50 PA+++ moisturizing cream. It has the most luxurious feeling to the skin, and has a convenient pump applicator. I usually mix this in with my Kiehls moisturizer daily, but I also apply a proper coat to my entire face and neck when I know I will be in the sun all day. This product gives fantastic sun protection.

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream – is a thick, hydrating eye cream that has ingredients like royal jelly ( which is “made of nectar, pollen, flower parts, vitamins, minerals, and other natural ingredients. It is a very precious, mysterious substance that honeybees produce for the queen bee”), cucumber, and chamomile. It has a strong smokey campfire fragrance that could be bothersome to people, but it does not bother me much as it dissipates fairly quickly.

Vitamin E Oil – whenever I am not wearing makeup for the day, or have extra dry skin or dry patches, or want to pamper my skin, I apply vitamin e oil. It keeps my skin super soft, smooth, clear, and healthy, and I would recommend this to everyone. I use the Derma E Vitamin E Skin Oil 14,000 I.U..

Where to Buy:

Proactiv+ – http://www.proactiv.com , about $40 dollars for a three step system. My sizes are 6oz for the cleanser and 3oz for the hydrator.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $36 dollars for 1.35oz .

Mario Badescu Drying Cream can be found at Ulta for about $14 dollars for 0.5oz .

Kiehls Ultra Facial Moisturizer can be found at : http://www.kiehls.com/Ultra-Facial-Moisturizer/351,default,pd.html?start=16&cgid=face-moisturizers , for between $18 and $38 dollars depending on the ounces you choose.

DiorSnow UV Sheild can be found at Sephora for $58 dollars for 1.3oz .

Burts Bees Radiance Eye Cream can be found at drugstores like CVS and Ulta for about $18 dollars for 0.5oz .

Vitamin E Oil can be found anywhere that sells vitamins. I got mine at Sprouts market for less than $15 dollars for 2oz .

Summer Beauty Essentials

Hey Guys! Its finally summertime so obviously you’ll be spending a lot more of your days in the sun, by the pool, at the beach, etc. And since your daily routine is changing, so should your beauty routine! Here are some products that I love for creating quick, easy, and long-wearing summer beauty looks.

A great moisturizer and sunscreen are both extra important when your skin will be exposed to direct sunlight. But since I don’t like to layer a ton of products on my face, especially when it is hot, its extra convenient to have both things in one product. For this I like to use the Juice Beauty Green Apple SPF 15 Moisturizer, which is organic and contains anti aging antioxidants; plus it smells great! If you feel like you need more spf protection, but don’t want to use a higher spf sunscreen from the drugstore that might cause issues for your skin, I would invest in the DiorSnow UV Sheild SPF 50.

For summer face makeup, I like to use products that will give me a flawless face that lasts without looking or feeling like a have a lot of makeup on. This may sound like a tall order, but using a medium to full coverage foundation that can be sheered out, I like NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, is probably your best bet. This can be done by mixing together your foundation and moisturizer, or by using a dampened beauty blender sponge to apply a sheer layer all over your face and adding more only where you need. (Beauty Smarties : I know what you’re thinking. A medium to full coverage foundation is recommended, but the title of the recommended foundation is Nars SHEER glow. Yes. That is contradicting, but even though Nars markets this foundation as sheer, which it can be when applied with a light hand or a damp sponge, it is actually more of a medium coverage foundation when applied “normally”, and can be built up to a full coverage. Its versatility is what makes it so popular! ) 

The Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer is a cream/gel golden highlighter infused with argan oil. Its great summer staple because you can use it just about any way you could ever want or need. Here are just a few ways it can be applied :

Under or mixed in with foundation

As a highlighter for cheekbones

As a highlighter for the entire body

As a cream eyeshadow

For cheeks, long-wearing cream products are the way to go! I like the Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer which is a sheer light tan bronzer with a slight gold sheen. Its doesn’t get muddy or orange, and blends very well. I also like the Sonia Kashuk Super Sheer Liquid Tint in Peony because it looks very natural and mimics a slight sunburn while still looking like a natural pretty glow from within. I like to apply both of these products with a kabuki foundation brush.

Just like cheeks, long-wearing eye products are great for summer. The Maybelline Color Tattoos are great cream eyeshadows that can be used as a base or alone. I especially like the shade Bold Gold for this time of year. I also love the Tarte emphasEYES eyeliner, especially the shade Bronze, because they are made with amazonian clay and are waterproof. You don’t have to use a waterproof mascara if you’re not planning on swimming, but a great mascara that you trust not to smudge is essential for the hotter months; I like the Lancome Hypnose Doll Lashes Mascara.

TIP : If you’re fair skinned like me, the Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Crayon is an amazing product to cover discoloration as well as brighten. On my more natural days, I like to apply this to my entire eye area ( lid, brow bone, inner corner, and under eye area ). If you have darker skin, let me know if you have found a product like this!!!!

Summer is one of the most important times to protect your lips because they will be facing sun exposure a lot more than any other time of year. Unless you want dry, cracked, and sunburned lips, make sure you keep them moisturized and protected. Here are some options :

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment is great because it is smoothing, non-sticky, gives your lips a sheer wash of red, AND protects your lips with SPF 15.

Nivea Lip Butters are ultra luxurious and moisturizing. I like the Raspberry Rose Kiss flavor because it gives my lips a soft pink highlight, and smells like raspberry shortcake!

MAC Plush Glasses dont offer much moisture or protection, but they are super sheer and long wearing which makes them great when you want just a little something extra to enhance your natural summer beauty. The shade Fullfilled is an awesome summer nude.

 

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June Favorites

Hey Everyone!

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This month I was at the barn, A LOT! I had a horse show, went to the fair, went to an awesome BBQ, and did a few other fun things like doing my friends makeup and hair for a wedding rehearsal dinner, and revamped my whole skincare routine. And I know I’m a few days late, but here are my favorites for the month of June!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir : This product was a lifesaver this month! It is basically a hydrating mist that you spray over your whole face and neck area that has ingredients to help smooth your complexion and give a healthy glow. I used this multiple times a day to refresh my skin whilst in the sun, dirt, etc. 1 oz for $18 at Sephora.

Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial : This product is exactly what the title describes. My skin had to put up with a lot this month, so I used this about once a week to pamper myself. After cleansing, I applied about a nickel sized amount of this product to my skin and neck; and it definitely made a huge difference. 1.35 oz for $45 at Sephora.

Butter London Nail Polish in Henley Regatta/Essie Nail Polish in Butler Please: This nail polish combination is SO amazing. Henley Regatta is a deep turquoise/teal/blue-green glitter that I applied over Butler Please which is a bright sailor blue. I wore this unique combo the the BBQ I went to and got tons of compliments. Butter London – $15 at Ulta. Essie – $8 at Ulta.

MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack : I kept my eye makeup pretty simple this month since I was on the go and had such long days. All I did was use a small angled brush to apply a thin line to my upper lash line. This lasted through heat, sweat, etc. $16 for 0.1 oz at MAC Cosmetics.

Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara : I love this mascara because it has a huge wand and you can apply a full and flawless coat in seconds, AND it doesn’t smudge or transfer. 0.32 oz for $19.50 at Sephora.

Covergirl Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Ballet Twist : I used a lot of colors from this line this month, but Ballet Twist was probably my most used. It’s a perfect glossy pale golden pink that adds life to your lips without looking like you have anything on. Perfect.

 

 

My Current Skincare Routine

Hey Everyone! This post is all about what I’m currently using to keep my skin looking clear and healthy. First I will tell you about the step by step process of my daily routine, and below there will be a detailed review of each product mentioned. Let’s get to it!

Morning Routine:

I start my day by lightly cleansing my skin with only warm water and a washcloth.

Then I use a cotton pad to apply a small amount of the Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion to my face and neck area.

I then apply a quarter size amount of the Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 moisturizer to my face and neck area.

Finally I apply a small amount of the Origins Ginzing Eye Cream to my eye area.

Nighttime Routine:

First I cleanse my skin and remove my makeup by taking a quarter size amount of  the Clinque Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm and work it into the skin on my entire face and neck. Once the balm has been adequately worked into the skin, I take a warm/hot washcloth and remove whats left of the cleanser and makeup.

Next I take a cotton pad and a small amount of the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex, and apply it to my face and neck avoiding my eye area.

Once that has dried, I take the DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel and apply that to only spots and the areas of my skin that are currently problematic. Benzoyl peroxide can cause scarring, so I only want to apply it where it is absolutely necessary; plus we just applied glycolic acid which should help with breakouts anyways.

After the benzoyl peroxide has set, I apply the Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Moisturizer to my entire face and neck.

For the last step,  I apply the Origins A Perfect World For Eyes eye cream to my under eye area. Voila!

If my skin is being particularly problematic, I take these Optional Steps:

If my skin is extra dry – I apply a small amount of the Josie Maran Argan Oil to my skin after cleansing, or add a few drops into my moisturizer.

If I have a stubborn pimple – I apply the Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel to the problem areas.

If my skin is having a meltdown – I use the Origins Out Of Trouble Mask.

I hope this step by step routine was helpful! Now onto the reviews  :

Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion : a liquid toner containing cucumber extract to fight against oil and bacteria. It has an herbal/cucumber scent and feels refreshing on the skin. If not followed by a moisturizer, it can feel a little bit tight or sticky on the skin. I have noticed that this product has helped reduce the size of my pores as well. This product is not tested on animals. $15 for 8 oz at Nordstrom ( I bought mine in Ulta, so I would check there as well ) http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mario-badescu-special-cucumber-lotion/2920700

Origins Brighter By Nature SPF35 : is a “skin tone correcting” moisturizer. It has a pleasant herbal/lemon/ginger scent and leaves the skin looking bright and healthy.  I believe this product in part has helped diminish my acne scars, as well as made my skin overall healthier. It has a lightweight gel/cream formula that leaves a dewy finish; and contains Japanese Basil leaf, Cucumber, Peony, Vitamin C, and Palmaria. I highly recommend this product to everyone. $47.50 for 1.7 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/brighter-by-nature-spf-35-skin-tone-correcting-moisturizer-P297537?skuId=1375906

Origins GinZing : is a lightweight eye cream with a peach undertone to combat darkness, and a slight sheen/glow for added brightness. It has a cream to serum consistency, and little to no scent. It contains caffeine, ginseng, and magnolia extract. $30 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/ginzing-refreshing-eye-cream-P297511

Clinique Take Off The Day Cleansing Balm : is a makeup remover and cleaner in one that goes from a thick balm consistency to a oil/liquid consistency once rubbed into the skin. I have used this to remove everything from long wearing foundation, waterproof mascara, semi-permanant eyeliner pens, etc. and it literally removes all traces of makeup without drying out my skin. I switched to this after hearing that makeup wipes are really bad for your skin due to the high alcohol content, and have fallen in love!  $28.50 for 3.8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-the-day-off-cleansing-balm-P126301

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Toning Complex : is a liquid clarifying toner that acts as an exfoliator by removing dead surface skin. It contains lactic acid, citric acid, witch hazel, chamomile, allantoin, aloe vera, sodium pac, vitamin C, and AHAs. It smells very acidic and slightly citric. When applied to the skin it gives a slight burning sensation, so if you have very sensitive skin I would probably not recommend this. If you can get past the burning, this product works wonders. Overtime it fights acne, minimizes fine lines and wrinkles, deep cleans and shrinks pores, smooths skin, restores natural pH balances, AND protects and moisturizes the skin. Can you say Holy Grail? $40 for 8 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/glycolic-acid-10-toning-complex-clarifying-toner-P375358

DDF Benzoyl Peroxide Gel : is a thick, creamy gel that contains 5% benzoyl peroxide and tea tree oil. It is very effective when used regularly, but it can bleach your clothes/sheets and cause excessive dryness if too much is applied. With this product, less is more. If you use too much it can actually have the opposite effect and make your skin worse. I use a dime size amount or less, only where I absolutely need it. $36 for 2 oz at Ulta. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=prod370030

Philosophy Take A Deep Breath : is a lightweight, oil free, gel-cream moisturizer. It claims to “diffuse energizing oxygen to the skin” to leave a healthy looking glow; which is does. It contains antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental factors, and has a slight powdery/herbal scent. $34 for 2 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/take-a-deep-breath-oil-free-energizing-oxygen-gel-cream-moisturizer-P311182

Origins A Perfect World For Eyes : is a serum that uses white tea to firm and moisturize the eye area. It has a herbal, lemon, ginger scent, and leaves the eye area feeling refreshed. I have notices a huge improvement of the appearance of my under eye creases and dryness after using this product. It has a pump applicator, which is nice, but it dispenses a bit too much with just one pump; you really only need about one half of a pump. $34 for 0.5 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/a-perfect-world-for-eyes-firming-moisture-treatment-with-white-tea-P297532

Josie Maran Argan Oil : is a silky oil that moisturizes, heals, and protects. It can be used on the skin, hair and nails. I also like to apply this to bites, rashes, bruises, etc. to speed up the healing process. $14 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/argan-oil-P218700

Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel : is a gel that contains a concentrated 1% salicylic acid to fight stubborn breakouts. If you have an open spot it can give a burning sensation, but it quickly dissipates. This is my holy grail spot treatment! $16 for 0.5 oz at Sephora. http://www.sephora.com/acne-solutions-spot-healing-gel-P188312

Origins Out Of Trouble : is a 10 minute mask that contains zinc oxide, sulfur, camphor, and salicylic acid to extract excess oil, dirt, and dead skin; as well as calm the skin. It is a thick toothpaste-like cream and smells very herbal and medicinal. When on the skin it feels very cooling and tingly. $23 for 3.4 oz at Sephora or Origins. http://www.sephora.com/out-of-trouble-10-minute-mask-to-rescue-problem-skin-P297551

Makeup Bag Essentials

Hey Everyone! This post is all about the essentials that you need to have in your makeup bag, but probably don’t already. It’s a list based on things that I actually use on a regular basis; whether I’m going out with friends or am traveling on an airplane. I don’t believe you need to bring a ton of things that do the same thing, just some really good multipurpose products and a few tools. If you are a makeup lover like I am, chances are a few extra goodies will accumulate in your bag, but…

Here are the things that you absolutely need:

 Moisturizer with SPF : This is important because you never know when you are going to be in direct sunlight OR get a little dry. I use the DiorSnow UV Shield White Reveal because it has SPF 50 PA+++ and does not have a strong scent. I love this product because it protects my skin so well and actually helps heal it.

 Face Powder : It is important to have a face powder for quick touch ups throughout the day. Makeup can wear off from things like the weather, sweating, or just touching your face. I use the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus. You can also dust a face powder over your eyelids if they get oily, crease, or your eyeshadow needs to be further blended.

 Concealer : Like a face powder, it is important to have a concealer with you to cover any blemishes that might pop up while you’re out. My favorite concealer is the Revlon ColorStay Concealer, but I bring my MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 with me because it has SPF and is much creamier, so it makes application and blending easier on the go.

 “Color Stick” : When I say color stick, I mean a product that you can use on both your face and lips (sometimes eyes if need be, but I would avoid it if possible). The Josie Maran Argan Mini Color Sticks are great because you can apply them as a lipstick or blush, and they blend perfectly with a brush or your fingers. It is nice to have a blush with you because blushes tend to fade throughout the day, as do lipsticks; so it is convenient to have a product that does both.

 Makeup Sponge : This tool comes in handy for me quite frequently. Makeup tends to move and settle into pores, fine lines, and creases making your flawless face disappear. The flat Sephora Cosmetic Sponge is perfect for pressing and blending the makeup back into place.

 Eye Makeup Brush : As I said above, makeup moves; so it is handy to have an eyeshadow brush to blend your eyeshadow out. I love the Urban Decay dual-ended brush that came with the Naked 2 Palette (of course any dual ended brush would be just as perfect) because it has a flat shader side AND a blending side.

 Powder Brush : To use with your face powder. I use one from The Body Shop.

 Blotting Linens : Obviously these are great for blotting oily skin, but they also double as a wipe if your mascara, eyeshadow, or lipstick smears. I use the Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens.

 Hair Brush / Mirror : You can find a “pop up” hair brush with a mirror at any drugstore; I got mine a Target in the travel section. This product comes in handy a lot for me.

 Q-Tips : These are great for quick makeup touchups OR application, as well as cleaning out your ears. You can even use them to clean things out of small spaces like your phone.

 Hair Ties : For tying up your hair, money/keys etc.

 Perfume : Makes you feel fresh anytime. I carry Viva La Juicy with me in rollerball form.

Do you have all the essentials? Comment below if you agree with my list or if I left something out that you use!