Quarantine Skincare Routine

Hi hi hello! Happy hunkering to you all.

Among the millions of quarantine activity ideas out there, I have seldom seen skincare mentioned. The horror!  You see to me, skincare is a legitimate activity. It takes a good bit of time, can be quite therapeutic and makes us humans better-looking. You see? It’s perfect.

As promised, I am here to present my current skin care routine. I am very excited about sharing this information because unlike so many other times in my life – I am actually being consistent with my skincare. And you guys…I can actually see the difference! I feel like my skin has improved since I bought and have started using products from The Ordinary and Erno Laszlo over a month ago. Click here to read more about that.

Without further ado, here is my current skincare route from start to finish!

Step One – Cleanse

The first step in this routine is probably where things vary the most. Most nights I am too tired to wash my face so I use a makeup wipe. I would love to tell you that I buy really high quality ones but the reality is that I usually get these Up & Up ones at Target:

When I have the energy to stand at the sink to wash my face, I use the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. It is a great, affordable cleanser that does the job! I am also weirdly obsessed with the way it smells.

Step Two – Tone

Man I love a good toner! As per my recent haul from The Ordinary, I have been using the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I only use this stuff at night, as the directions state.

This toner is not for the weak. It definitely would not work for anyone with sensitive skin because it does cause a very mild irritation on the skin. It also leaves a bit of a film behind. Not necessarily tacky, just a little something left behind. It definitely is not comfortable or soothing but I actually kind of like the sensation because I feel like it is WORKING. I dunno. I’m weird.

For daytime…

As a daytime toner, I love using the Erno Laszlo Hydraphel Skin Supplement. I was lucky enough to receive a bunch of Erno Laszlo products from our Aunt Sandi and so far I have LOVED everything I have tried. This toner is like the polar opposite of the glycolic acid toner. Super soothing, feels great and leaves the skin feeling hydrated.

Step three – treat

I am currently using two face treatments from The Ordinary . First, I apply the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA and then the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I use about a 1/4 of a dropper for both sides of my face and pat it in lightly. I try and let the Alpha Arbutin dry as much as possible before applying the Niacinamide. Both feel slightly tacky when applied, but do not cause irritation. I will say however, that neither feel particularly “soothing” on the skin.

After that, I apply a small amount of The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG under my eyes.

For daytime…

For daytime, I start with the Alpha Arbutin and follow with the Erno Laszlo Transphuse Day Serum.  This serum has a green tint and really wakes up the skin. I really love this combination and it feels like the perfect base for primer + foundation.

Step four – moisturize

At night, I apply all of my moisturizing products in bed. I love looking at them all lined up on my bedside shelf like a little cavalry. First, I take a small amount of the Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask and apply that to my entire face and neck. A little of this stuff goes a long way and it is SO luxurious. I compare the hydration level to that of La Mer. I seriously wake up in the morning and can still feel this stuff working!

Under my eyes, I apply the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. This is just a simple, hydrating under eye cream and similar to the Laszlo moisturizer – it is SO soothing.

On nights where I have time and need a little extra somethin’ under my eyes – I have been using the Everydaze Gold Charcoal Hydrogel Eye Patches. These babies are seriously hydrating and they feel ahhmazing on my face. How I lived this long without doing eye patches is totally beyond me because I feel they make such a difference. These ones are on sale for $28 for 60 patches right now which is a steal!

If David is staying up later than me, I will also throw on this adorable sleep mask from Everydaze. I mean….HELLO! So cute.

For my lips, I have been working through the ever popular Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. It feels great on the lips and is very hydrating. This product claims to leave lips so moisturized they are soft to the touch the next day. I do not notice hydration the next morning, but I also feel like that is an impossible feat, especially if you are a tummy sleeper!

For daytime….

For my daytime moisturizer – I have been loving The Organic Skin Co. Daily Rituals Moisturizer. It smells amazing, is the perfect thickness and feels refreshing on my skin.

On my lips, I have been loving several products from Eco Lips, namely the Nourish Lip Balm and the Mongo Kiss Lip Balm in Vanilla Honey. If you have not tried products from this brand, definitely check them out next time you’re at Whole Foods. An added bonus to purchasing these lip balms is that they are fair trade, gluten-free and use cruelty-free ingredients!

extras

I cannot talk about skincare without mentioning masks! I love a good mask. I really feel like they make a visible difference and usually make my skin feel amazing. Recently I tried a sample of the Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask and oh brother was it nice! Totally recommend this one.

This one is the Erno Laszlo Firm & Lift mask. It was such a luxurious experience! Like I was at the spa.

I cannot sing the praises of Grande Lash – MD enough. If you want to see before and after photos click here! I use this serum once every other day or so and yes, it works wonders. It also costs about 1/3 of the Rodan and Fields version :).

Also worth mentioning are two new body care products I have been loving! David got me this Bath & Body Works Into the Night Body Cream and I looooove the scent. It is definitely a rich, more evening appropriate smell with hints of jasmine. So good.

David also gave me one of the new Lush reusable bubble bars! This is the Candy Bubble Brush which smells like my all-time favorite thing – cotton candy. The bubbles from Lush products are seriously unparalleled. And the scent lingers FOREVER too!

So there you have it everyone! My current routine extensive but like, what else am I supposed to do during these trying times? Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite skin care item at the moment!

*The products from Everydaze, The Organic Skin Co. and Eco Lips were sent to me complimentary for testing. All opinions are my own.

The Ordinary Skincare, Take Two

Hullo friends.

You may remember that I tried a smattering of products from The Ordinary about 2 years ago before baby (or BB) to assist in eliminating some dark spots, brightening and hydrating the skin and for general anti-ageing purposes. Check out this post for my before and after photos. I feel like it did a decent enough job and I was on a roll, so to speak.

Then I had a baby.

My skincare routine fell victim to extreme fatigue, excessive Little Debbie consumption and far too many Netflix binges. I could barely drag a makeup wipe across my face let alone apply multiple serums, creams and tonics AM & PM. And so, my beloved products from The Ordinary sat in the cabinet and collected dust.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, when baby girl turned one and I took a good hard look in the mirror at my poor, neglected mug. I decided it was high time I dust the cobwebs off my skincare shelf and get back in the saddle! I quickly made the sad discovery these products had likely expired and therefore, much like The Office, I needed a re-boot.

So, I made David bounce Clara around Ulta while I squatted in the aisle for 30 minutes, bent over my phone like a mad scientist trying to figure out which “regimen” I should go with. Do I go for a retinol? Squalene? Is hylaraunic acid still the IT ingredient? Do I need a peel!?

After my research, I decided upon the following:

  • Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
  • Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
  • Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG

The first three items are all to help with my dark spots while the caffeine solution is for my atrocious under eye circles. If you would like to read more about these products and the science behind them, I would check out their website. 

And for accountability purposes, here are some “before” photos (taken a little over a month ago):

Obviously I am using other products besides these 4 from the Ordinary. I am working on a current skincare routine which I will share very soon so stay tuned for that!

The Organic Skin Co. Review

Hello lovely fall pumpkins!

I know saying, “I cannot believe it is October already!” is cliche. I also know that saying it is cliche, is cliche. But for real, hello fall? It happened so fast. Here in Portland, the summer went by way too quickly and was FAR too mild for my liking. We’ve already got weeks of rain ahead of us in the forecast and David plugged in our gas fireplace the other day so here we go! I guess it’s time for fall.

In light of this change in season and subsequent change in weather – my skin care needs are ever evolving. I tend to need heavier, thicker creams and hydrating products for the fall and winter because for me, moisture is everything!  Enter: The Organic Skin Co.

WORD.

The Organic Skin Co. sent me a sampling of skincare and beauty products to try out so let’s get to it, shall we?!

Here we have:

  • Clean Slate Holy Basil Cleanser
  • Task Force Nine Calendula and Tumeric Cream
  • All About the Gloss Lipgloss in Mist
  • In the Spotlight Luminzer in Lunar
  • Daily Rituals Rosehip and Orange Moisturizer
  • Prep’n’Prime Face Primer in Rose Gold

The Clean Slate Holy Basil Cleanser

This is a nice overall cleanser that does a great job of removing makeup, yet staying lightweight. It left my skin feeling soft and clean.

Task Force Nine Cream

I really like the scent of this yellow-tinged lotion. I would say the consistency is well-balanced, not too heavy or too lightweight. It is very soothing and would probably feel great on sensitive or sun-burned skin. I have been using this as a daytime moisturizer underneath primer.

All About the Gloss Lipgloss in Mist

What a beautiful color for fall!  At first I was not sure I would like the color on me but it totally works (even with no makeup on!). This gloss is comfortable to wear, does not have a gross “taste” and wears lovely on the lips.

In the Spolight Luminizer in Luna

This cream luminizer is very subtle and somewhat of a challenge to apply. Once blended in, the glow is soft and natural. Not what I usually grab for, but a nice change of pace nonetheless.

Daily Rituals Rosehip and Orange Moisturizer

This moisturizer is no joke. It is a thick, yellow-tinged cream and the moisture it provides is very nice. I would not recommend this stuff under makeup unless you are in some serious need of hydration. I have been using this as a night cream and really liking it so far.

Prep’n’Prime Face Primer in Rose Gold

It should also be noted that all these products are not only organic, but also Cruelty Free and Vegan.

Overall I have really enjoyed playing with and using these products from The Organic Skin Co. The skincare and makeup  items seem to work together harmoniously and I like that they keep the line really simple. It is always refreshing to see a brand being so ethical, making products that keep the planet top-of-mind. Using these products just make me feel good!

Special thanks to The Organic Skin Co for sending me these products.

Summer Skin Products & Skinbuzz Review

Hullo little raspberries!

You guys, my skin is in a weird place and just allow me to tell you all about it. Prior to baby, I was workin’ hard on my GD age spots. I was using a combination of products from The Ordinary, including a retinol that I believe did make a difference…read about that here. While I am no longer using retinol (still nursing and whatnot), I have decided that since it is summer, I should probs have a tan. Because let’s be honest, a subtle glow just makes EVERYTHING better amiright!?

I have also decided I am OVER the traditional self-tanners. I am over the mitt. I am over the smell. I am over having to walk around my house naked, feeling all sticky and gross, waiting for my skin to dry. I do not have the time or patience for it anymore. Luckily, the market has recently become saturated with a product that seems to address all these issues -self tanning drops! The idea is to add a few drops of the product to an existing lotion or moisturizer, making application a snap.

So far, I have only tried out a couple such products. But they are truly popping up all over the place.

Here is what I have tried.

ON MY FACE – Ulta Beauty Glow by Morning Gradual Tan Drops

I picked these up due to the 4.5 stars they received online. As the bottle indicates, you simply add a couple of drops to your moisturizer. The formula is really nice. Not greasy at all and it blends easily into my night or day moisturizers. My only critique of this product would be that it is VERY gradual, as in, I do not notice a major glow right away. I wish it packed a bit more punch in the color department but I suppose not being super orangey is also a good thing.

ON MY BODY – Hautebronze Sun Drops

These drops function much the same way. The color of the drops themselves are a bit darker, but it blends seamlessly into any moisturizer I have tried.  In terms of color, these do pack a nice punch and I find that one application gives me a really nice, albeit subtle tan. I simply add 2-3 drops to a dollop of lotion for each “area”.

So far, I am really digging the self-tan drops. I think they are the way to go for us folks who are short on time. I plan to try all the formulas I can get my hands on, so leave any recommendations in the comments below!

When applying any self-tan to the bod, it is paramount that the skin is prepped and scrubbed. I like to use a sugar or salt scrub for this (careful to avoid my areas with KP!) and recently, I picked up this one from Lush!

Scrub Scrub Scrub

I decided on this one because it smells aaamazing. I love using it, but I will forewarn you all – this stuff is BLACK. Like, super black. As in, it could stain your tub if you do not spray it down the drain after using it. Yeah. I really love it other than that.

I also recently picked up this body wash because I am a total sucker for anything coconut.

Oil of Olay Ultra Moisture Coconut Oasis

TBH, it is not my favorite coconut scent but it’ll do pig, it’ll do.

Lastly, on our recent vacation to the San Juan Islands I tried out an amazing facial kit from Skinbuzz and was so delighted at the results!

First of all, check out this adorable and convenient little bag it came in!

The kit comes with four travel-sized products, a ridiculously soft washcloth and headband. The ingredient list is super impressive!

I started out by cleansing my face and instantly fell in love with the  Activiated Charcoal and Bamboo Face Cloth. This puppy is SOFT!

The Clean-Bee Cleanser had a light lemony scent. I found that I needed a little more than was recommended, maybe a nickel sized amount to sufficiently cleanse my (large) face. The cleanser left my skin feeling  refreshed and clean, but not dry.

Also, do not be jealous of my postpartum hair

After cleansing, I used a cotton pad to apply the Bee-Witched Toner. I did not notice a strong scent on this but it did provide a really pleasant cooling effect to the skin.

Lastly I applied the Bee-You-Tiful Moisturizer in small dots all across my face. The formula is fairly thick (which I love) and had a slight eucalyptus scent. My face felt SO hydrated and like the product had really sunk into my skin. I was not left with a greasy feel at all, which sometimes a heavier cream can do.

Overall, I really enjoyed this mini facial kit from Skinbuzz. It was such fun to have a little self-care sesh while on vacation! Get your kit here!

And that’s it you guys! xoxo!

Influenster Reviewers Choice Beauty Box

Hellooo gingersnaps!

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email about a collective beauty box from Influenster available for $50.  *BTW if you are NOT a member of Influenster and have a decent presence on social media, you should sign up because YOU WILL get sent free things. Seriously. 100% free. The promotion was accompanied by an offer from Ebates, which unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of by now. I begrudgingly signed up for Ebates as well, due to the $10 cash back they promised, making the beauty box only $40.

I also ended up doing a bit of Christmas shopping on Ebates and low and behold, already got my first reimbursement check for 16 big ones! So basically, I will be using Ebates from now on because why the hell wouldn’t I? If you are not signed up for Ebates btw, you probably should because it is free money.

But enough about all the money I saved. ON TO THE BOX!

Feast yer eyes on all the items I got for $40.

For starters, Influenster values this box at $300 and they ain’t lyin.  I mean, check out the following items:

A Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder ($23)

AND you get the pouf:

A FULL SIZED Everlasting Lipstick by Kat Von D in the shade Lolita ($20)

A mini Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Vanilla Quartz ($19)

Those three items alone total $60. WHAT A DEAL folks! What. A. Deal.

Here are some other faves that came in the box:

Colorpop Supershock Eyeshadow in Lightening Bug ($5)

SO freakin’ pretty!

Full sized Tresemme Tres Two hairspray and my beloved Batiste Dry Shampoo in Neon.

A FULL SIZED Origins Ginzing Eye Cream ($32) plus samples from Sunday Riley and Purity Face Wash!

FULL SIZED products here too! Body lotion from Love Beauty and Planet, Ponds Dry Skin Cream, Coola Sport Face SPF 50 White Tea Sunscreen ($32).

All full sized products here too – from NYX, Real Techniques, Younique, Wet’n’Wild and Covergirl!

I just love ordering boxes like this around this time of year. They make great gifts in and of themselves but you can also put together smaller gift bags using some of the products depending on the person and keep a few things for yourself. SUCH a good idea!

This box is still for sale here! Go get you one!

Ulta, T.J Maxx and Walgreens Haul

Oh hullo BBs.

Apparently I’ve been on a bit of a buying spree as of late. As I was scrolling through the pictures on my trusty iPhone 7 I realized I went on a kindof a tear. But like, whatevs because you know I’m only dropping dollas on some dealzz!

And apologies for the lingo. Sometimes the rapper in me just needs to let loose.

Here’s what is on the docket:

No 7 Lift and Luminate Foundation

As soon as I saw Kathleen Lights use this stuff, I knew I wanted to try it. So you can imagine my the bittersweet feeling when I saw it at Walgreens on closeout. It was marked 50% off at $7.99 and while I was elated at the price point, my heart sank that the line was ditching this as I had heard great things.

I ended up getting the shades Cool Vanilla, which matches when I am a little bit tan and Warm Ivory, which matches me  normally (pale).

The consistency is thick yet light, almost a mousy texture. The coverage is definitely medium and it applies SO smoothly. I think it is really great for mature skin and does a great job of not settling into fine lines or getting patchy. It does fade a bit throughout the day so it isn’t the most long-wearing formula but I do not mind the way it fades. It doesn’t break-down in a bad way. I highly recommend this if you can get your hands on some!

Anastasia Brow Whiz

I purchased this during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event for only $10. The color really is perfect for me and I prefer to use this color over blonde. I apply taupe at the inner parts of my eyebrows and then use soft brown on the out parts. I find this looks super natural, soft, and beautiful.

Covergirl So Lashy! Mascara

Picked this up at T.J Maxx for only $3 in a pinch. I like to keep a mascara at work for emergencies. This mascara is not terrible but definitely pails in comparison to my beloved Covergirl SuperSizer. But for $3, it’ll do ‘er.

Morphe M506 Tapered Mini Blender Brush

Ulta carries Morphe now! Fiddle dee dee! I have been looking for a pointed blending brush for when I want to smoke out a more intense color. This one fit the bill and was only $6.

Velour Lashes in Trust Me Try It

I purchased these on Nordstrom Rack for $12 as I have always wanted to try Velour. These are from their silk line (not mink) and are STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS. Well worth the 12 bucks. Fluffy as hell, thick but not too thick, a thin, flexible band. Come on, what more could you want!?

On me:

Mac Fix + in Rose

I was delighted to find that they had all three smells (coconut, rose and lavender) at Mac when I went in to purchase this. I was back and forth between rose and coconut but ultimately liked rose better. If you’ve never tried this stuff….GO GET YOU SOME. It is worth every penny.

Skintimate 2 in 1 Shave Cream in Coconut Silk

Saw this at Walgreens the other day and bought on impulse due to the coconut. I am a sucker for coconut shower products. I can confirm this stuff is rully nice. Thick, moisturizing and smells VERY much like tropical coconut.

Ole Hendriksen Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths

I got these for fi-dollas. So pumped. T.J Maxx son!

Sorry the rapper came back again.

Anyways, thanks for stopping by!

 

The Ordinary Skincare | Before & After

What up fam? It’s ya boii.

I have been using five different products from The Ordinary for right around 1.5 months now and as promised, herr I am with an update!

To see all of the products I have been using, please see this post. That being said, the two products I’ve had the highest hopes for are the Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalene and the  Alpha Arbutin 2%. One of the benefits of both these formulations is their fading of dark spot capabilities. As you all know, I wrecked my skin as a youngster and am paying the price with a hefty amount of sun spots. It would be great if I did not have to pay an arm and a leg in products and laser treatments to get rid of these pesky little suckers and The Ordinary gave me hope that this was possible.

Here is what I found out:

But before I get into that, the pictures!

BEFORE

AFTER

*taken very early in the morning, might I add

So what do we think guys?

(Before on left, after on right)

I feel like the products did help fade my sun spots.  They are most definitely still there, still hanging on being all pigmented and annoying. But I do think they look better. As an added bonus, I feel like my skin just looks and feels better too. It feels more hydrated (thanks to the Squalene and Hyaluronic acid!), brighter, softer and my makeup goes on better. I should also note that I didn’t use the Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA lotion too much. So these benefits are all from using the four serum products.

Next, I want to try the caffeine formula from The Ordinary under my eyes. Because the purple under there isn’t cute.

And please leave any recommendations you have for me in the comments. I am ALL ears!