My current daytime skincare routine (dry/sensitive skin)

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Solidifying my skincare routine has probably been one of the longest personal processes I’ve ever went through! I have dry, sensitive skin, and am allergic to a lot of ingredients that are in heavy moisturizers, so finding a routine that works for me has taken a lot of trial and error.

I have been using my current routine for the last 6-8 months, and I finally think that I’ve found the perfect combinations! It’s a mix of budget K Beauty and high-end products from Sephora, but everything works together extremely well. My skin is calmer, more hydrated, and less prone to irritation than it has been in several years.

Toner: Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner — This product has been the most recent addition to my routine. Before this, I was using a rich toner by Lancome that was good but, honestly, not the best thing for my skin. I decided to take a chance on this and ordered it from Amazon (bless Prime 2-day shipping). This toner contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which are both essential for hydrating the skin and repairing its moisture barrier. The results weren’t seen overnight, but after roughly 6 weeks of daily use, I can say the texture in my skin has diminished, my face is not as red, nor is it as easily irritated.

Essence: Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence — This is another amazing product by Mizon. It is a hydrating essence that contains snow algae extract, hydrasalinol, and moringa extract, and ceramides to hydrate, calm, repair, and soothe the skin. This product has been hard to find recently, and I’ve heard rumors that it has been discontinued, but I’m hoping Mizon will re-release it in the future! It’s a wonderful product and the best essence I’ve tried. I would hate to have to use something less effective.

Serum: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum — This serum has been in my routine for about 4 years now! It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and grape seed extract, which hydrate and protect the skin from free radical damage. At $49 a bottle, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but one bottle lasts me 2-3 months and the benefits of using this serum are more than worth the price tag!

Ampoule: Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule — This ampoule contains 80% snail mucus extract, which has anti-aging properties and helps skin regenerate. Peptides and vitamin 5 round out this powerhouse formula to nourish, brighten, and firm the skin. I have also used this product for years, and I definitely notice a change in my skin when I don’t have it in my routine.

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion — This is perhaps one of the best moisturizers I have ever used, and I’ve used it since I first started experimenting with a more complex skincare routine! It’s thick enough that it keeps my skin hydrated all day, but it doesn’t contain fatty alcohols, which is so rare in a moisturizer formulated for dry skin! It does, however, contain mineral oil, so be aware of that in case you are sensitive to it.

Oil: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil — Finding the right oil for my routine has probably been the most difficult part of solidifying my routine. Some oils are too greasy, others clogged my pores and caused breakouts, and some just weren’t rich enough for my skin. But this oil by Drunk Elephant is a holy grail product for me. It’s not a particularly heavy oil, but it delivers a lot of hydration nonetheless. I mix 2-3 drops into my Clinique moisturizer to apply it. It really helps “seal in” the many layers of my routine and helps my face stay hydrated all day long! This oil is $72 per bottle, so there are cheaper options out there, but I do have a certain level of brand loyalty to Drunk Elephant. I respect their vision and I trust their products, so it’s well worth the price to me.

Please comment below and let me know what you think of my routine, and feel free to share yours too! I am also happy to answer any questions you might have about these products.

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June 3B Box & Sephora Play! Unboxing

Hey everyone! This post is going to be about unboxing the two beauty boxes I receive—the 3B Box and Sephora’s Play! box. This is the second month I’ve received both of these. Last month was great, now let’s see how this month will compare!

june 3b box and sephora play beauty boxes

3B Box

  • Purpletale 5 Steps to Lovely Skin. This set is perfect for anyone wishing to invest more time into their skincare routine—without becoming overwhelmed. 5 Steps to Lovely Skin makes it easy to try the Purpletale cleanser, ampoule, sheet mask, facial cream, and neck cream in one convenient packet.
  • Milky Dress Premium Brightener. This bestselling k-beauty cream is a quick and natural fix for lightening skin tone while providing hydration for up to 10 hours. We love using this as a primer under our foundation or BB cream for a glowing look. Can be used on face and body.
  • Mirai Clinical Body Spritzer. This body mist contains Japanese Persimmon Extract to keep you smelling fresh all day long.
  • Skinfood Black Sugar Serum (Light). This lighter formulation is perfect for the summer heat as it provides immediate hydration and quick absorbtion. It’s refreshing for both oily and dry skin. After cleansing, dispense serum on a cotton pad. Wipe to gently exfoliate dead skin, excess keratin, and other impurities.
  • It’s Skin Todak Todak Pack Nutrition. This wash-off mask contains manuka honey and coconut extract to create smooth, calm, and moisturized skin. We love this in the summer because it’s cooling to the skin without being sticky!

Sephora Play!

  • Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It. Innovative creme adds body and enhances fine-to-medium hair textures for a laid-back, air-dried style.
  • BareMinerals bareSkin Bronzer. Blendable, lightweight liquid bronzer may be worn alone or over foundation to give skin a sheer, natural-looking touch of sun.
  • Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara. Bestselling mascara lengthens, volumizes, coats even the smallest lashes, and features a specially designed brush.
  • Becca Backlight Priming Filter. Shimmering makeup primer acts as a soft-focus filter to blur imperfections and give skin an effortless, luminous look.
  • Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30. Antioxidant-infused, non-chemical SPF 30 sunscreen moisturizes and protects without leaving a sticky feel.
  • Tocca Beauty Florence. Timeless and romantic, this fragrance conjures long-ago Paris with a sophisticated blend of bergamot, violet petals, and blonde wood.

While I’m pleased with both boxes this month, I think my favorite is the 3B! I want to try all the products. In the Sephora box, I’m happy about the BareMinerals, Benefit, and Becca samples, but I don’t like the smell of the perfume and won’t use the Bumble & Bumble sample. Both boxes are worth the cost though, so I’ll continue to receive both of them.

Did any of you get these boxes? What were your thoughts on the samples? Let me know in the comments below ❤

Pixi Glow Tonic & Makeup Fixing Mist

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been a little quiet over the last week. I just started a new job so I have been busy trying to get acclimated. I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!

Today I’m going to be talking about a couple cult favorites from the Pixi by Petra skincare line—the Glow Tonic and the Makeup Fixing Mist.

pixi glow tonic and makeup fixing mist

I bought these from Target on a whim. I’m always down to try new skincare products, especially those who are as well-liked as these Pixi products!

The Glow Tonic is described as an exfoliating toner. It helps “tone, firm and tighten the skin. It removes dead skin cells for healthier looking skin. For all skin types. Alcohol free.” It contains 5% glycolic acid, aloe vera, and ginseng. The formula is very lightweight and smells nice. I applied this to my face with a Shiseido Facial Cotton square and there was no drag at all.

I used the Glow Tonic daily for about two weeks. In that time, I didn’t notice an increase or decrease in the hydration of my skin. The toner did not irritate my face or burn upon contact. However, in this two week span, I didn’t notice any change in my skin at all. I wasn’t expecting miracles, but there was no change in the visibility of my pores, appearance of fine lines, or my redness. While I did not have any dry patches appear, I also didn’t notice any improvements of texture in the dry areas of my face. All in all, this toner is nice, but it did not do anything it claimed to. Because of that, I decided to revert back to my previous toner, the Lancome Tonique Confort Lotion.

The Makeup Fixing Mist is described as an “all-over setting spray for longer wearing makeup.” I have had a lot of experience with setting sprays and face mists, but I’m always on the look out for more hydration! This face mist contains rose water and green tea to comfort, protect & balance your skin, which sounds awesome, but a further inspection of the ingredients list shows that the mist has alcohol and polyvinyl alcohol listed as second and third. Alcohol can be irritating to those with sensitive skin and has been known to bother my skin in the past.

I used the Makeup Fixing Mist nightly for roughly two weeks (not at the same time as Glow Tonic). I did not notice any improvement in my skin. There was no change in the level of hydration, pore visibility, or fine lines. My face was noticeably more red by the end of the two week period and I also had a lot more texture issues than before I started using it. I believe it was the alcohol in the spray but I really have no way of knowing for certain. However, after I quit using it, my skin returned to its previous state.

My overall feeling about these products is meh. I have no doubt that they work well for a lot of people, but they just aren’t the products for me. This just goes to show that skincare products are definitely not one-size-fits-all! What Pixi products do you like? Let me know in the comments. I’m always looking for more stuff to try! ❤

May 3B Box!

Hey everyone! I got my first 3B Box in the mail last week. One of my friends who’s a K Beauty addict told me I should try this out, so I did! For those of you that haven’t heard of it, the 3B (Or Beauty Beyond Borders) Box is an Asian Beauty subscription box that gives you samples of popular products each month for only $12 per month.

may 2016 3b box

Here’s everything from the pouch. First off, I’m impressed with the amount of samples they send and the fact that you get a sheet mask too! As someone with super-dry skin, I can’t ever have too many of those.

Here’s a breakdown of everything I received:

  • Leaders Brightening Recovery Mask. This premium coconut gel mask contains Telangyn and Niacinamide to even out your skin tone and restore radiance to your skin for a glowing complexion.
  • Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream. This luxurious cream is blended with potent Korean medicinal herbs to instantly firm and tone while stimulating collagen for a long-term lift. Adlay millet detoxifies and promotes elasticity while pomegranate, green tea, and ginkgo fight free-radicals to maintain a youthful radiance. This can be used in place of your AM/PM moisturizer.
  • Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence. Propolis extract is created by black bees and known as nature’s antibiotic. It’s anti-inflammatory, great for acne-prone skin, and non-comodogenic (which means it won’t clog your pores). This essence boasts an impressive list of ingredients with 50% black bee propolis extract, 20% royal jelly extract and 10% royal black honey extract. I’ve actually been using this the past few days. I think I’ll have to wait longer to see the full results but it has helped clear up the few small pimples I did have!
  • Dewytree Blackhead Out Nose Patch. Volcanic ash from Jeju Island and charcoal extracts clean out any clogged pores and remove blackheads. I typically try to shy away from strips because they can be hard on your pores, but I tried one of these and they actually worked very well! I had a couple clogged pores on my nose that were turning into whiteheads and these cleared them right up.
  • Aritaum Fresh Power Essence Pouch Sleeping Pack. Honey is one of our top ingredients thanks to its antibacterial properties and skin-boosting antioxidants. This sleeping mask is perfect for lathering on as your last step in your nighttime skincare routine and waking up with beautiful glowing skin.

All in all, I’m extremely impressed with the 3B Box! I’m already excited to see what June’s shipment will bring. Do any of you subscribe? Let me know in the comments. ❤

Play! by Sephora – May 2016

Hey everyone! Who else is ready for this long Memorial Day Weekend? I got my first Play! by Sephora box a few days ago. I was really excited to get it because, like most of you, I am obsessed with Sephora. I hoard their deluxe sample promos like crazy. When I first heard they were doing a beauty box, I signed up immediately. I just got taken off the waiting list this month.

I’m also a big fan of beauty boxes but I haven’t found one yet that I’m consistently satisfied with. Because I shop so frequently at Sephora, I have really high hopes for this box in the long term!

play by sephora subscription box

The theme of this month’s box is The Forces of Nature. This box is all about discovering beauty products that are “high-performing—and good for you, too.” All of the products in this box are derived from natural ingredients.

play by sephora may 2016

Here’s what I received this month:

  • Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne. “A refreshing burst of sweet blood orange and bitter orange peel paired with notes of geranium.” Orange Sanguine is part of Atelier Cologne’s Collection Originale, which is made using high concentrations of essential oils to create fresh citrus scents. This perfume smells so citrusy! It’s very potent but I love the scent.
  • Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Kimchi. “Handcrafted, high-pigment lipstick delivers intense hydration using twelve edible oils.” This lipstick contains coconut oil, which is “highly anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and hydrating,” and pomegranate oil, which “moisturizes and protects from environmental damage with antioxidants.” Bite Beauty creates all its lipsticks using food-grade ingredients that are antioxidant-rich and made in small batches. I love Bite’s new Amuse Bouche formula. It’s so pigmented and creamy. Kimchi is such a bold, vivid pink!
  • Tarte Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram. “Prime and line with this lip crayon that nurtures with Vitamin E and antioxidants.” Vitamin E is a “natural preservative that nurtures dry skin and helps protect from free radicals.” This lip pencil contains mineral pigments which “produce vibrant, long-lasting color and help to soothe the skin.” The mineral pigments in Tarte’s products are made by crushing actual earth minerals into fine powders and contain no synthetic counterparts, so they’re perfect for sensitive skin. Latergram is a beautiful warm, terracotta/rusty nude. The formula is really nice and applies smoothly.
  • Origins Maskimizer, Drink Up, and Clear Improvement masks. “Innovative priming mist optimizes skin’s condition, while the charcoal mask cleases and the the overnight mask deeply moisturizes.” These products contain: marine algae, a “powerful anti-irritant that helps to soothe and calm the skin;” bamboo charcoal, which “deeply purifies, draws out impurities, and unclogs pores;” white china clay, which “absorbs toxins and balances while being ultra-gentle on skin;” apricot kernel oil, which is a “non-greasy oil that nurtures and hydrates;” and japanese seaweed, which “helps repair skin, which prevents moisture loss and signs of aging.” In partnership with American Forests’ Global ReLeaf Project, Origins has planted over 500,000 trees around the globe.
  • Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial. “Lightweight overnight facial treatment melts into skin to brighten and moisturize with wild rose oil.” This facial contains wild rose oil which is “rich in Vitamin C for helping even skin tone and visibly improve fine lines.” Based in Athens, Korres works with local farmers to produce botanicals and other natural ingredients that are unique to Greece’s climate.
  • Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. “Intensely hydrating hair treatment made with naturally derived ingredients to restore and replenish.” This conditioning mask contains argan oil, which is a “potent multitasking oil that repairs, softens, and reduces frizz,” and avocado oil which “deep conditions and enhances shine without weighing down hair.” Briogeo’s founder was inspired to start a cosmetics company by her grandmother, who harvested raw ingredients from her own farm to make hair care products.

play by sephora swatches kimchi bite beauty tarte latergram

In addition to these samples, this box comes with a card to present in a Sephora store to receive expert advice and to receive 50 bonus Beauty Insider points with any purchase. Overall, I’m very pleased with my first Play! by Sephora box! This beauty box is definitely worth the $10 monthly fee and is perfect for someone who wants to try out the brands Sephora has to offer without breaking the bank.

Who else receives this beauty box? What did you think? Let me know in the comments ❤

April Favorites!

Hello, everyone! Another month is in the books once again. I can’t believe it’s already May. 2016 is flying right by!

april favorites too faced drunk elephant anastasia beverly hills tom ford chanel mario badescue sleek makeup

This month I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try several new makeup and skincare products. While most of them were awesome, these are the few that were at the top of my list.

  1. Tom Ford Bicoastal Sheer Cheek Duo. I purchased this on a whim from Nordstrom. I wanted to try the TF Soleil Contouring Compact, but since it was sold out, I decided to order this instead. I was really wowed by the quality when I received it! The colors are sheer, but I was impressed by the even pigmentation and how easily I could achieve the perfect springtime glow using these colors. The pans are narrow, but I’ve found that when using my MAC 135 brush, I can apply just one color with ease. Or both, if I would choose.
  2. Sleek Makeup Solstice Highlighting Palette. Like many people, I first heard of this product via Jaclyn Hill’s snapchat. Her highlight was so intense that I had to have this palette, especially after I saw the price! The palette is just under $15 for 4 highlighters—one cream and three powders. All four colors are very glowy and have an excellent formula. I love that the colors in this palette are all so different. It’s rare that you would get purple, yellow, AND gold highlighters all in one palette, but Sleek has done it. I received my palette in a little over a week, which I thought was relatively fast for international travel.
  3. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. Where to begin with this amazing product! I first saw Drunk Elephant in my local Sephora several months ago. I was attracted by the packaging, but the high price tag gave me pause. Over the past few months, I have seen a lot of beauty bloggers talking about DE’s skincare line and raving about the quality. After hearing KathleenLights’ review of the Glycolic Night Serum, I knew I had to try it. Having super dry skin, exfoliation is essential because flaky skin is just not cute. Exfoliation is also important in the fight against fine lines and wrinkles, something I already have to deal with. I got some samples of this product and was really wowed by it. I noticed immediate improvements in the texture of my skin and a reduction of hyperpigmentation which has plagued me all my life. Although other AHAs have caused excess dryness, this DE serum actually made my skin feel more hydrated! Let me be the first to say that a $90 serum is not a necessity. It’s clearly a luxury item. For me, however, it’s important to listen to my skin and buy what works for it due to the sensitivity I have to deal with. This product is 1 ounce, which is standard. I only use it twice a week, though, so I expect it to last quite a while.
  4. Mario Badescue Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. I have had this sample bottle for a while but started using it more recently to add some additional hydration to my skincare routine. The spray contains aloe and rosewater, both of which nourish skin and help calm irritation. I have noticed an improvement in my skin since I started using it. It also works as an excellent substitute for MAC Fix+ when setting makeup! As you can see, I’m almost out so I’ll be purchasing a full-size bottle soon, which is only $7. What an amazing deal!
  5. Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette. Everyone and their mother has been lusting after this palette since before it launched! I was fortunate enough to get my hands on it and have been in love ever since. The formula is great, the colors are amazing, and it smells amazing. This palette will be perfect for creating some warm looks for spring and summer. I hope Too Faced makes this palette permanent so everyone can get one! (P.S.: I included a Sweet Peach Palette in my latest Instagram giveaway. Go to my account to learn how to enter!)
  6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Crush. Crush is one of the new releases in the ABH liquid lipstick collection. I bought this a few weeks ago from my local Ulta when I was testing out the new shades. Crush is the perfect pinky nude lip for me. It applies smoothly and dries down to a transfer-free finish. I’ve dealt with some inconsistencies in the ABH formula in the past, but this one looks like a very solid product. I hope to buy more of the new colors soon!
  7. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Cream Bronzer. The Soleil Tan de Chanel bronzer is one of Chanel’s most popular products. I bought this recently because I was still on the hunt for the perfect bronzer, but I think my search has finally ended! At $50, this product is pricey. But since you get a full ounce of product, this makes it a better deal than the Too Faced bronzer I discussed in my February favorites post, which weighs in at 0.35 ounces. I used my Wet N Wild Large Stippling brush to apply Soleil Tan and it went on seamlessly. It is pigmented but easy to control and very buildable. It adds the perfect amount of warmth to my complexion, making this a new staple in my routine and another great product for spring and summer.

That concludes my list of favorites for April! What were yours? Let me know in the comments below ❤

February Favorites

Hey everyone! It’s time for monthly favorites once again! This month is all about the makeup because I haven’t introduced any new skincare products into my routine!

february-favorites

  1. Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl. I waited so long for Becca to release the powder version of Pearl! Pearl is a cool white highlight, just like the liquid version. It is perfect for fair-skinned girls. It’s a perfect highlight for me now since I am winter pale, but once spring and summer rolls around, I’ll be using it more to mix with other highlighters to give them more pop. It works amazing either way!
  2. Inglot eyeshadows. I picked up this 5-pan palette on my visit to NYC in October and I’ve been using it quite a bit in February! It works well for grungy eye looks similar to what you can create with Lime Crime’s Venus I palette, but the Inglot formula is to die for and you get so much product! I’m going to be purchasing some more Inglot shadows soon to build a 20-pan Venus/Sweet Peach palette and I am so excited for it.
  3. Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil bronzer. I picked this up at Ulta a couple weeks ago and I am really impressed with it! Since I’m fair, it’s a bit of a struggle to find the right bronzer. Most of the time, they are too warm or too dark. Milk Chocolate Soleil, however, is really amazing. It smells slightly like chocolate, which I know a lot of people love, but I could take or leave that. It warms up my complexion without taking it to Oompa Loompa status and blends very well, which is what sells it for me.
  4. Chantecaille Future Skin foundation. Future Skin is one of the best foundations I have ever used. It was formulated for dry skin, so it’s really moisturizing and doesn’t emphasize my dry patches at all. I have issues with large pores and some fine lines, but when I wear this, it blurs my pores perfectly and I experience minimal creasing. At $78 a jar, it’s extremely pricey, but between the color match, the formula, and how it makes my skin look, I think it’s definitely worth it.
  5. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liquid Liner. I first heard about the Heavy Metal line from a NikkieTutorials video. I’d been wanting to dip my toe into the glitter world, but working with loose glitter and adhesive made me a little nervous. I bought Distortion, a shimmery white, to use for my New Years Eve makeup and I fell in love. It was a breeze to apply, it didn’t irritate my eyes, and it lasted all night. I bought Glam Rock and Midnight Cowboy to add to my collection, but I want the whole line! They are too good to pass up.
  6. Wet N Wild brushes. LAWD, these brushes! I am obsessed. I bought several when they first launched because I had to try them out, and they have absolutely exceeded my expectations. They are soooo soft, vegan, and blend product so well. And they cost between 99 cents and $2.99 each! You owe it to yourself to try these brushes because they are great quality, especially for the price.
  7. Kylie Cosmetics Koko K Lip Kit. Koko K is the perfect pinky nude on me. It’s pale without looking too pastel or frosty. Kylie also released a new formula when these launched, and it is even better than the original release. It’s pigmented, easy to work with, dries perfectly matte, and doesn’t crumble or fade unevenly. I am thoroughly impressed with Kylie Cosmetics’ products so far and I’m really looking forward to future releases!

These were my February favorites! What were yours? Let me know in the comments ❤

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January favorites!

Hey everyone! It’s monthly favorites time once again. I can’t believe 2016 is already moving this fast. It feels like I was just doing my 2015 favorites last week! My favorites this month are all across the board and contain a lot of new products.

january favorites makeup and skincare

  1. O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Body. I first heard about this product from Jackie Aina’s snapchat. She posted a video showing how it easily sloughed off dead skin and I knew I had to have it. An 8-ounce bottle was under $20 on Amazon, so with Prime 2-Day shipping it was a great deal. It’s gives a similar effect as the Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel, but the O.R.G. version is a sprayable liquid. The formula is very gentle. It doesn’t burn when it’s on your skin, it really gets rid of dead skin, and afterwards my face feels so soft!
  2. Nivea Men Sensitive Post-Shave Balm. I bought this months and months ago, shortly after NikkieTutorials first mentioned using it as a primer on her channel. I used it here and there, but I didn’t really use it heavily until this month when I found that other primers weren’t hydrating enough. This product though; holy cow. It’s ultra-moisturizing and it gives my foundation excellent lasting power. This is an amazing quality primer, especially since a bottle costs less than $5.
  3. Eucerin Original Healing Rich Creme. I mentioned this product in my Daytime Skincare Routine. It is an extremely rich occlusive that helps hold moisture into the skin. Because it’s extremely heavy, I use it primarily at night or to spot treat extra dry areas during the day. Since it’s been so cold lately, I’ve been using it over the reddest parts of my cheeks and on my chin to prevent the cold air and wind from destroying my face and it’s done an amazing job. This is a great product for those with dry, damaged skin.
  4. Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray. I received this sample bottle of All-Nighter in a Sephora order a few months ago. It’s a great setting spray. It keeps my makeup in place until I remove it. I haven’t had to deal with any transfer from my face products since I started using it. I will definitely be buying a full-size bottle when I use up the sample.
  5. Colourpop Telepathy Eyeshadow Single. This is a product from the latest Colourpop x KathleenLights collab. I used this eyeshadow in a look I posted recently and I am in love. The color is so unique; I don’t have another like it in my collection. The pigmentation is also amazing and the cream formula is really nice for the price.
  6. Jeffree Star Cosmetics Velour Lip Scrub. There’s not much to say about this product other than it smells awesome, does a great job of removing dead skin from my lips, and is at a great price point. Before using this scrub, I was using one by Bite Beauty. Although it was nice, it didn’t exfoliate my lips as well as I would like. The scrub by Jeffree Star is simply better.
  7. Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation. I bought this on a whim and have fallen in love with it. It’s the first foundation that I’ve tried that doesn’t look cakey up close. It actually looks like skin! It’s lightweight and feels like there’s nothing on my face. The coverage is decent and buildable. I’ve experienced some settling into fine lines around my mouth while wearing it, but I’ve yet to find a foundation that I haven’t experienced that with. However, it definitely settles less than others that I’ve tried.

Here are my first favorites of 2016! What were yours for this month? Let me know in the comments.

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Winter Daytime Skincare Routine for Dry/Very Dry Skin

Hi everyone! Over the past year, I’ve been focusing on improving my skincare routine. As you know, I have super dry, sensitive skin with redness. I don’t get many pimples, but I do have issues with texture.

Before I got more into makeup, I thought skincare was just using one moisturizer in the mornings and if you were still dry and flaky, there was nothing to be done about it. Boy, was I wrong!

So I started trying some new products; I found some hits and some definite misses. Now, a year later, I actually have a skincare routine! I am really happy with it, but there is still some room for improvement. Being that this was such a long journey for me, I decided to share my routine in the hopes that it would help someone find their HG products.

Let me be the first to say, though, that skincare products are not one size fits all. I have tried cult favorites and widely loved HGs only to find that they don’t work for me. Finding the right products for you is simply trial and error. Some of these products are quite expensive, some can be found for under $15 in drugstores or on Amazon, but they all serve a key purpose and positively impact my skin.

With that being said, on to my daytime routine! Each product is listed in the order that I use it.

winter daytime skincare routine dry skin

  1. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. This is a recent addition to my skincare routine. Micellar water is an ultra gentle cleanser that is great for sensitive skin. I just use a cotton round to gently swipe it over my face, then pat dry with a towel.
  2. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner. Toners are designed to help balance the pH of your skin. This is really important because when your skin’s pH is off, it can really mess with how your skin looks and feels. The Paula’s Choice toner is really gentle and actually helps calm my skin and reduce redness.
  3. May Coop Raw Sauce. I’ve talked about this essence a few times in past posts. Raw Sauce is 93% Maple Tree Sap, which gives hydration and also improves absorption of your other products. I wasn’t completely sold on this when I first started using it, but I really notice a difference in my skin when I am not using it. It’s a definite staple for me.
  4. Cosmedica Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. Hyaluronic acid is one of the latest crazes in skincare because it’s a naturally occurring acid and it can hold up to 1000x its weight in water, making it a powerhouse moisturizing ingredient. I’ve found that this serum gives my routine a little extra oomph.
  5. Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum. This is an amazing serum. It also contains hyaluronic acid, as well as grape water to soothe and hydrate skin. I use one pump for my whole face. This is another product that, like Raw Sauce, is really noticeable when I don’t use it. I’ve repurchased this probably five times now and I will definitely keep going back to it.
  6. Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule. This serum is 80% snail mucin, which is great for repairing skin damage, fine lines, and acne scarring. I know that the snail goo will give a lot of people pause, but this product is great and you owe it to yourself to try the whole Mizon snail line. Most of it is available on Amazon with Prime shipping and is reasonably priced.
  7. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+. This moisturizer was actually the first high-end skincare product that I tried. It’s an amazing moisturizer for dry skin. It’s very gentle, rich, and doesn’t contain any fatty alcohols, which is perfect for me. This moisturizer does contain mineral oil, which contributes to the richness of the lotion. This moisturizer is an HG. I’ll keep buying it until they stop making it!
  8. Banila Co. Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Essence Oil. This oil contains niacinamide, honey extract, and a blend of several oils that are great for dry skin. I love this oil because it’s rich but doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy, which was a problem I experienced with other facial oils that I tried. I just mix two drops of this in with my Clinique moisturizer.
  9. Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Creme. I received a deluxe sample of this eye cream with a Sephora order a few months ago and fell in love. It’s rich, smells great, and really hydrates my eye area. I especially love to use this after removing heavy eye makeup to soothe the sensitive skin around my eyes. I can definitely tell a difference after I’ve used it and will be buying a full-size after I use up the sample jar.
  10. Eucerin Original Healing Rich Creme. This is the last (and optional) step. Eucerin is formulated for very dry, compromised skin, containing petrolatum, mineral oil, lanolin oil, and other emollients (ingredients that help hold moisture into the skin). It is extremely rich; I think anyone without dry skin would find it to be too rich and sticky. This is a winter-only product. I don’t even use this every day, just on extremely cold days or days where I feel drier than normal. I just take a small dot, warm it up in my hands, and spread it over my cheeks and chin. It helps prevent winter wind from chapping/irritating my face and prevents the cold weather from drying my face out too much.

That completes my winter daytime skincare routine! I know it can seem like a lot, but it really only takes a few minutes to complete the routine. 🙂 What are your favorite winter skincare products? Let me know in the comments! ❤

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Beauty resolutions for 2016!

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Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great New Year, full of merriment and a perfectly beat face. 😛 I am ready for 2016 and everything that it has in store.

Like most people, I’ve been thinking about my resolutions for the new year and what I would like to accomplish. A lot of mine are beauty/health-centric, so I thought they would be great to share with you all!

  1. Turn my spare bedroom into my makeup room. I moved into this apartment a few months ago. Since then, I’ve been dying to set up a vanity in my spare room so I have a place to properly organize my makeup rather than just organizing it in the bathroom. I also plan on storing the lighting equipment I plan to get in my makeup room as well, especially since I’ll be photographing pieces from my makeup collection and also (hopefully) photographing some of my looks as well.
  2. Use more of my collection. While there is nothing in my collection that has gone unused, I definitely do favor certain palettes and lipsticks over others. I am going to try to make more of an effort to rotate my collection so everything I have gets some love!
  3. Take better care of my skin. This includes improving my diet, exercising, drinking more water, and also continuing to tweak my skincare routine. Although my skin is loads better than it was at this point last year, there’s still room for improvement.
  4. Make better purchases. I will admit, there are times when I buy a product because it’s the hot new thing and not because I truly want it. In 2016, I want to buy things just because I like them and think they’ll work for me, not just because they’re trendy.

There you have it! It’s a short list, but I think they’re all reasonable goals that I can accomplish. Do you guys have any beauty resolutions for 2016? ❤