Skincare Haul

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You may know this already about me…but for those of you who don’t, I am OBSESSED with skincare.  This was more of a recent development, as I started noticing fine lines on my forehead, *gasp* and was determined to do something about it, as well as prevent future wrinklage (a technical term that describes aging – just kidding, I made it up).  I’m 26, and am kicking myself for not starting a skincare regimen sooner.  I was more focused on makeup, and covering up flaws.  That approach was all wrong!  A beautiful face starts with your skin, so treat it right!  Today I’m sharing with you some of my favorites, that deliver real results, and how to get them without breaking the bank.  I cannot stress enough how important skincare is – just trust me, it will save on Botox later in life!

As Shown in Photo, Starting from Left:

Josie Maran Argan Oil – The gates of Heaven opened and I heard angels sing when I started using this product.  Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration.  But this stuff saves my skin on a daily basis.  If you have dry skin, please try this.  I can’t speak for anyone with oily skin since I don’t have it, sorry!  First, you don’t need a lot of product for it to be effective.  Just a couple drops warmed between your fingers is perfect.  Second, it makes any dry patches on my face disappear instantly.  I used to get flaky areas, particularly around my nose, but the combination of an intense exfoliator (which I’ll get to next) and the Argan oil has made that problem a non-issue.  Yay!  Third, this is a multi-purpose product.  You can use it on your face, hands, body, cuticles, hair, anywhere really.  Fourth, and perhaps most notably, it softens fine lines and wrinkles like you wouldn’t believe.  When I apply this at night after cleansing and exfoliating, I wake up in the morning with a youthful glow and my forehead lines are noticeably diminished.  So, thank you Josie Maran.  You killed it with this product.

Peter Thomas Roth Firmx Peeling Gel and Exfoliant* – A mouthful of a name, but who cares if it works!  Peter Thomas Roth (or PTR, as I like to call him) is my new best friend.  By the way, he makes the most amazing CC cream, available through Sephora.  If I could afford to buy all his full-size products, I would, just because this product is so incredible.  When I first twisted the cap off and squeezed a bit into my hand, I was a admittedly confused, and thought, “Huh.  No visible specks of things to polish away dead skin.  It’s not gritty at all…how will this exfoliate?”  It just appeared to be a thick, opaque, viscous gel, almost like a cleanser.  Suddenly I felt a bit disappointed.  But I went ahead with the process.  It says to apply to clean, dry skin.  So after cleansing, I dried my face and applied the gel, using gentle, small circular motions.  After a few seconds of this, I started noticing tiny clumps forming.  I rinsed away the gel with warm water and dried my face.  WOW.  I couldn’t believe I was looking at my skin.  This stuff resurfaced my face, and didn’t leave it red or irritated.  My skin looked brand new.  Soft, supple, flawless.  I don’t know how or why this product works so well, as I’m not a scientist.  I just know it DOES, and that’s good enough for me.  I cannot describe the depth of my love and appreciation for this product.  My HG (Holy Grail) exfoliator, for certain.  

*A note on exfoliants – These are immensely important for your skin.  Do yourself a favor and take the time to exfoliate.  If you have a layer of dead skin on your face (and you probably don’t even know about it, like I didn’t), how are all those other lovely creams, serums, and anti-aging products going to penetrate your skin to work their magic?  Think about it.  It makes sense.

 

Ole Henriksen UltimateLift Eye Gel –  I’ve been trying different eye products since I’m starting to see fine lines under my eyes as well – which of course, will not be tolerated!  Ole products have always done right by me, and this product is no exception.  I do feel it tighten and lift my under eye area…and I like the fact that you can also use it all the way around your eye, on your eyelid and extending up to the browbone.  It’s very cooling and soothing, which is a bonus since many anti-aging products tend to sting or tingle a little.  Plus, this little container will last a wicked long time.  (Sorry about the “wicked”, it’s a New England thing).  A dab will do ya 😉

GLAMGLOW Supermud Clearing Treatment –  There’s something really fun and luxurious about masks – especially mud masks.  I love having the feeling of an at-home facial.  Cue the soft candlelight, draw a bubblebath, and enjoy.  Masks make me feel like I’m really taking care of myself and treating myself to something special.  Hah!  Maybe that’s why it’s called a “treatment”.  This product does exactly what it says -it clears your face.  As the mask dries, you can see the outline of your pores, which means the mask is really getting in there to penetrate and deep-clean.  It’s kind of gross, but necessary.  When all is said and done, and you towel the mask away, what’s revealed is truly glorious.  I feel refreshed and gorgeous.  Thumbs up Glamglow!

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash – Last, but certainly not least, we arrive at my HG cleanser.  I’ve used many cleansers in my past depending on what I needed.  When I was prone to breaking out, I used cleansers with salicylic acid.  Now that my skin is maturing and I don’t have that same concern, it’s more about just getting the day off my face – meaning makeup and environmental pollutants.  And of course it’s important to prep your skin properly for any treatments and moisturizers you may be following up with.  I adore a good foaming face wash.  That’s what this is.  It dispenses as more of a cream consistency, but mixed with water and some circular motions, it truly becomes a frothy delight.  It smells divine, like eucalyptus and mint, and so I believe that I also get some aromatherapy benefits from it.  I find the scent uplifting and stress-relieving.  It takes off eye makeup expertly, quickly, and without a ton of effort or rubbing, which can irritate the eyes.  Now that I’ve found this cleanser, I can’t live without it.

Available through Sephora:  If you’re on a budget, never fear!  You can try all these products at an affordable price with Sephora’s Skin Bender and Skin Cleanse kits ($45 and $42, respectively).  This is an amazing value, and they come in cute, versatile cosmetic bags. 

Find them here:

http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?keyword=skin%20bender&skuId=1578988&productId=P384803&_requestid=33601

Hope you enjoy!

xo

Steph

Review: The Brow Wiz by Anastasia Beverly Hills

Brow Wiz

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“Eyebrows make a face.” We’ve all heard the saying before, and if you’ve seen those hilarious photo-shopped pics of celebrities without brows, you know it’s true. Even Angelina Jolie looks terrible without eyebrows.

So it makes perfect sense that a brand would be created that is devoted to beautifying eyebrows. Now if you’re an 80’s baby like me, you probably went through a phase where plucking your eyebrows down to practically nothing was a trend. That was the worst trend ever! Now we’re left trying to pick up the pieces and take back our brows! I still have bare patches…they make me sad. I’ve been using cold-pressed Castor oil at night before I go to bed to hopefully grow them back (Castor oil is available at Vitamin Shoppe, it’s around 8 bucks).

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But despite the barely-there brow trend that ravaged and wrecked our eyebrows, thanks to Anastasia Beverly Hills, we don't have to wait for our brows to grow back and return to their full, beautiful state. This Brow Wiz is fool-proof, incredibly easy to control, glides on to the skin like silk, and looks completely natural. I ordered the Soft Brown shade. It's perfect for the start of my brows, but I'm finding that when I get to the end, it's a tad too light. So, I'm going to order the next darker shade for mid-to-end brow.

My one criticism about the Brow Wiz is it's lack of staying power. It will last you a few hours, but certainly not through the entire day. But the good news is that it's portable, so you can feel free to pop it in your purse and do a couple touch-ups during the day.

For the reason stated above, I'm going to try some of Anastasia Beverly Hills other products, specifically, the Dipbrow Pomade. Hopefully this will stay better! Other than that, the Brow Wiz is my favorite product I've ever tried for filling in and creating gorgeous eyebrows to complement and frame your face.

I'm going to be doing a YouTube video tutorial soon that covers all things eyebrows – how to shape and fill them, plus other tips and tricks!

Leave your comments and questions for me and I'll be happy to answer any!

xo Steph

Truth or Dare: Review of The Whole Truth Vitamin C Kit by Ole Henriksen

True or Dare: Review of The Whole Truth Vitamin C Kit by Ole Henriksen

I feel it is my civic duty to tell you about these products. I have heard many great things about Ole Henriksen’s skincare products and lines, and I am completely kicking myself for not trying them sooner!

I recently have become a freak about anti-aging and protecting my skin in any way possible. This stuff is other-worldly. First of all, it smells like candy. It’s got this fresh, citrusy-vanilla scent that reminds me of a creamsicle. Mmmm. So not only does it smell delicious, but the consistency is so luxurious, particularly the cream. It’s lightweight, and reminiscent of whipped cream (a lot of things remind me of food!).

What I love about these products is that a little product goes a LONG way. At first, when I saw how small the jars were, I was mildly disappointed. But this will last me quite some time, considering how little product you need to cover your face. For $45, I believe it’s a good value. Ole Henriksen’s products, and this particular kit, are available for purchase through Sephora. After reading some reviews of the product, I ordered through their website, since some consumers were complaining of product going rancid, and they claimed that if you order it online, you’re getting a “fresher batch.” Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. I had no problem with anything being rancid. The products have a protective seal and all seemed fresh to me.

How to use:

Currently I’m using this for my morning routine. So, after cleansing and toning (make sure your toner dries completely) lightly pat on the collagen-boosting serum. Let that soak in and dry as well. Next, apply your moisturizer all over the face and neck. Using your ring finger, dip into the eye cream, gathering a tiny amount of product, and tap onto your under-eye area gently. If you’re applying makeup after, next you’d go ahead and apply your primer and foundation, etc.

Note: I really wouldn’t recommend this for people with oily skin. It’s fantastic for adding moisture back into your skin, especially in the winter months. It does make my skin visibly glow and appears to plump up the skin and reduce the look of fine lines.

Overall, I give this an A! Wonderful product if you’re just starting the anti-aging process and want to give something a try for a reasonable price.

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