Thursday, February 27, 2014

Starting a Skin Care Regimen for Oily, Dry, Combination, and Normal Skin Types

Hey everyone!  I get a lot of questions about starting a skincare routine and which products are best for different skin types.  Starting a skin care routine can be kind of overwhelming because there are so many different products, and so many different price ranges.  Should you start big or small?  How many products do you really need?  Which order do you apply all of the products in?!

I personally think it is worth it to invest a little more in your skincare.  Your skin is something you want (I hope) to look good for a very long time- and sometimes shelling out the big bucks will help.  There are a few products I splurge on, and a few that are pretty budget friendly!


For a beginner, or anyone looking to change up their skincare routine, I recommend a few solid steps to get your skin care regimen started.

  1. Makeup Remover- this is crucial when you wear makeup.  It will remove the layer of makeup, allowing your cleanser (from step 2) to actually cleanse your skin, and not your makeup.  Look for a makeup remover that will remove your face and eye makeup in one go!  This will save you time and money!
  2. Cleanser- A cleanser will really deep clean your skin and remove any last traces of makeup.  I always recommend using a proper cleanser AFTER your makeup remover.  A makeup remover is not a cleanser.  When your skin is properly cleansed, your serums and moisturizers will really be able to sink into your skin and do their jobs.
  3. Toner- While there are many different toners on the market, choosing one that is right for your skin type is crucial.  They can remove any last traces of dirt, prep the skin for serums and moisturizers, hydrate, and control oil.  You name it, there is probably a toner that does it.  If you are oily, look for a toner that contains salicylic acid.  If you are normal to dry, look for a toner that has hydrating and radiance boosting properties.
  4. Serum- Serums are the hot new thing right now.  Applied after toner, and before your moisturizer, they act as a booster in your skin care regimen.  Serums come in tons and tons of different formulations- from glow boosters to fine lines and wrinkles fighters, to pore minimizers.  Do you HAVE TO HAVE A SERUM?!  No, but trust me, you will want one.  And with so many different options, you can really find one that is perfect for your skincare concerns.  If you really feel brave, layer up some serums for maximum results!
  5. Moisturizer- a moisturizer is very important, even if you have oily skin, because it keeps your skin nice and hydrated throughout the day, and over time will help to slow down the aging process.  When your skin gets dry or thirsty, fine lines and wrinkles set in.  If you have oily skin and fear that moisturizers will make it worse, there are some great oil free moisturizers that keep oil at bay throughout the day!
  6. Sunscreen- my final must have is a sunscreen.  Sunscreen is extremely important and something you want to wear every single day.  I know it can be a hassle sometimes, but the SPF will protect your skin from the sun, which is a huge cause of pigmentation issues and fine lines and wrinkles.  Take the extra minute and apply a quick layer of SPF.  Your future self will thank you (or yell at you if you don't do it.  So do it).
Now that you have the basics down, lets talk about the different skin types:  Knowing your skin type is important when you pick out skincare products- as lots of times products are meant specifically for oily, dry, combination, or normal skin types.

If you tend to get shiny throughout the day, or have noticeably oily skin, your skin is oily.  If you have dry patches or your skin looks tired and dull, you have dry skin.  If your skin is both dry and oily, meaning dry on certain areas and oily throughout your nose and forehead, you have combination skin.  If your skin is neither oily nor dry, you my friend have a normal skin type.

If you have oily skin, your biggest concern is keeping your face as shine free as possible- but this doesn't mean you shouldn't use skincare products.  I know it can seem that adding more serums and moisturizers on top of your oily prone skin is making the problem worse, but with the right products, it will actually help to prevent the oil in the first place.  Here are my recommendations for oily skin!

oily skin picks

  1. KORRES Pomegranate Makeup Remover Wipes for Oily Skin.  These will gently remove your makeup, dirt, and oil without clogging your pores, helping to prevent future breakouts.
  2. First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay- This cleanser cleanses the skin while unclogging pores and removing excess oil.  The Red Clay draws out toxins in the skin helping to balance out your complexion.  It also reduces sebum (the stuff that clogs your pores) production to help keep your skin acne free.  In general, anything with "clay" in the description will help with oil control.
  3. Kate Somerville Clarifying Treatment Toner- when you have excess oil, look for key words such as clarifying and purifying.  These mean the products will help to control excess oil production and future breakouts.  This particular antiseptic toner by Kate Somerville fights bacteria and has exfoliating properties to help keep pores unblocked and lighten discoloration from acne.
  4. Fresh Umbrian Clay Mattifying Serum- this serum is great for keeping your skin shine free throughout the day.  Acting as a booster in your skincare regimen, it will add that extra protection to fight off oil production.  Overtime, this product can also help in minimizing the look of pores, control sebum production, and fight off future breakouts.  A great option for those of you scared to try a serum for your oily prone skin!
  5. Kate Somerville Oil Free Moisturizer- this moisturizer will leave your skin with a nice matte finish, and like the other products listed above, is great for oily skin.  It will not leave your pores congested and lays beautifully underneath makeup.

If you have dry skin, it is important to pick products that will help add extra moisture and radiance to your skin.  Look for key words such as illuminating, moisture-rich, radiant, glow, etc.  By adding moisture to your skin, not only are you helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkles, but it will also help your makeup go on evenly and smoothly.
dry skin picks

  1. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm- this balm is super moisturizing and will take off your makeup with complete ease.  Its non-drying formula will never make your skin feel tight or "stripped" of moisture.  A great option for those with dry skin.  You can also use this to remove eye makeup as well!  
  2. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser- this gentle cleanser is great for those with dry skin because it does not strip the skin of moisture.  Instead, it is rich with amino acids and other "good for you" ingredients to help keep skin looking hydrated and radiant.  
  3. Murad Hydrating Toner- when you have dry skin, spray on toners generally work the best, as opposed to toners you rub on with a cotton round.  Spray on toners are packed with ingredients that help to lock in moisture, like this particular one by Murad.  The mist is cooling on the skin and preps it for further treatments.  
  4. Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Serum- a personal favorite of mine, this serum is great for those days when your skin needs a little pick me up.  It adds immediate radiance and moisture to the skin, without feeling heavy or greasy.  A staple in my skincare regimen.  It also works great in conjunction with the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil.
  5. Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief- this moisturizer, like the name states, is perfect for dry skin because it instantly replenishes skin with 24 full hours of hydration.   Great for plumping up those fine lines and wrinkles and bringing radiance back to dry, dull skin.  This is another personal favorite of mine, along with the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask.


If you do not have oily or dry skin, you are in the category of "normal skin."  When picking out products, you are pretty much free to choose whatever your heart desires, but in particular, look for products that say "for normal skin types" or "for all skin types."  I fall in the category of having normal skin and here is my current skincare routine!
normal skin picks!

  1. REN Cleansing Balm- I use this as my "first cleanser" to remove my makeup. It works great at getting rid of every last trace of makeup, including waterproof eye makeup!  Generally I work this into dry skin, and then steam my face a few times with a hot wash cloth.  
  2. Kate Somerville Daily Detox Cleanser- this is a great gel based cleanser that makes my skin feel super clean, without stripping it of moisture.  Even though I do not have oily skin, I do sometimes have pesky breakouts around my chin and this cleanser helps keep those at bay because it does have acne fighting properties in it.  Sometimes acne cleansers can be very drying if you are not oily but still suffer from breakouts, so this cleanser is a perfect choice.  If you are not acne prone, I recommend Kates Gentle Daily Cleanser.
  3. Kiehls Ultra Facial Toner- this toner is great for normal skin types.  It keeps skin hydrated, while prepping for serums and moisturizers.  It also acts to remove any last traces of dirt your cleansers might have missed.  I have been really happy with this toner and will definitely repurchase.  As a second toning step, I also mist on the Rose Spray by Fresh.  This is an extra layer of hydration that works well with the Kiehls toner.
  4. Clarins Double Serum- While this is a new addition to my skincare routine, I have come to the conclusion it is an awesome multi-tasking serum.  It works to minimize pores, fight early signs of aging, plump up fine lines and wrinkles, and keep skin hydrated and balanced.  In just a few uses, I have already noticed a difference in my skin.  Pricey, but worth it.
  5. Kate Somerville Age Arrest- the newest moisturizer by Kate Somerville, this product is great for both day and nighttime use.  It keeps the face hydrated and radiant, without a greasy residue.  It also looks great underneath makeup.  Overtime, it will help with preventing fine lines and wrinkles- keeping your skin looking as young as possible for as long as possible!
I hope you guys found this helpful!  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below!  And let me know what your favorite skincare products are!  I love trying new things!


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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Clarins Skincare Haul: First Impressions on Double Serum & More

Hey everyone!  Being the skincare junkie that I am, I totally couldn't resist when Clarins was having a gift with purchase recently!  Being new to the Clarins line, I let the Clarins expert guide me through their different products and what she thought would be best for my skin.  I told her I was interested in anti-ageing products for my normal to dry skin type and ended up getting quite a few new products to test out, not too mention samples galore...

I really wanted to try out a range of products so I could really get a feel for the Clarins line and to see how all of the products work in conjunction with one another! I walked away from the counter with a cleanser, face mask, peel, moisturizer, and serum, and loads of samples.  I think that covered the basics right?!

The first thing I picked up was this Double Serum, their newest and most talked about product.  It is said to do it all, literally.  Minimize pores, decrease fine lines and wrinkles, moisturize the skin, control excess oil, etc.  Whatever your skincare problems are, this serum can do something for you, or so Clarins says.  The sales associate was so adamant about this product, so into my bag it went.  I know people have mixed reviews on this serum because it does contain mineral oil, but I decided to try it anyways and see what the hype was about.

The serum is made up of two different components, as you can see by the bottle below.  When you pump the bottle into your hands, a little of each component is released, but still act as almost oil and vinegar.  In order for the product to be activated, you must rub the two oils between your palms to make sure they are completely mixed together.  Next, you lightly press the mixture into your skin.

So far I really love this product- they say to wait four weeks before you see maximum results, but I already notice a difference in my skin in just a few days.  My pores look smaller and my skin just looks more glowy.  I can't wait to see how it is when I wait the full 4 weeks.  The only downfall of this product is the price, and the fact that it seems to go pretty quickly.  After only a few days, I already noticed a dent in the $115.00 bottle.  And the fact that I am supposed to use this twice a day doesn't help (thinking about trying to do once a day and see if I still get results)...BUT nonetheless, this really seems to be a great serum!  I will keep you updated!

I also picked up their gentle foaming cleanser which is exactly how it sounds.  It is gentle on the skin, foams up really well, and works great with my Clarisonic.  I have been rotating this cleanser with my other ones and it does the job.  However, I cannot say whether or not this removes makeup well because I always use it as my second cleanser, after my makeup is completely removed.  This cleanser keeps my skin hydrated, never feeling tight- overall a great basic cleanser.

Next up that was recommended to me was the Bright Plus Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel- which I got as an alternative to the Dr. Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads.  This product works in a similar fashion, mainly focusing on removing dead skin cells to reveal youthful smooth skin.  I have used this twice so far and really LOVE it.  Immediately after I use this, my face feels so soft and looks so radiant.  Its quicker than the alpha beta peel pads too because its only one step, which I really like.  So far, this is definitely a new favorite of mine.

The mask I got was one for those days when my skin just needs a "pick me up."  It provides a deep level of hydration and can be used morning or night.  I haven't tried it yet, but will definitely keep you posted on what my thoughts are!

The last product I purchased is the Bright Plus Brightening Renewing Night Cream- which I have to say I am not amazed by.  Given I have only been using it a few days, I have not seen any major difference in my skin.  That being said, it hasn't made my skin any worse either.  I will continue to use it though and see if I notice any difference long term!

Not only did I get a gift with purchase, but the Clarins rep was so awesome and through in tons of samples for me to try!  Included were the toning lotion, vital light night and day creams, eye makeup removers, bright plus serum, and the gentle exfoliating daily cleanser.  So far I have loved the exfoliating cleanser and the eye makeup remover- but I have not really tried anything else!

I will let you guys know my updated thoughts as I work my way through the products!  But for the mean time, I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  Let me know what your favorite Clarins products are!


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Monday, February 24, 2014

IPSY Glambag February 2014

Hello everyone!  I received my GlamBag recently from Ipsy and was so impressed with what I got!  Ipsy really did an awesome job this month putting together some great products.  Never have I used all of the products right away- but I really have been loving everything!

For only $10.00, this is what I got this month!

The Eyetini Eye Cordial shadow is so so amazing!  Not only is it extremely pigmented, but it also can be used as both a shadow and base!  It also is super blendable for a few seconds right after application and then sets to last all day!  I will definitely be checking out the other colors that this product comes in!

The Plump Pout gloss in "fuchsia freesia" surprised me by how pigmented it was!  The color payoff is unreal and it really has great staying power.  It also has a smooth, non-sticky formula which I really love.

AND I got a pair of lashes in my GlamBag!  I used them right away and loved them!  Not much more to say, just a good pair of eyelashes!  However, I do prefer to use my own Duo Lash glue, so I cannot say whether or not I like the glue that came with these particular lashes.

This Zoya polish is a color that I would absolutely pick out for myself.  I think it will be perfect for Spring!

Overall, this was an AWESOME GlamBag.  Ipsy, you did so so so good this month!

If you are interested in checking out Ipsy, or would like to sign up to receive a GlamBag every month for only $10.00, you can do so here!

Thanks for reading!


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

House of Harlow Jewelry Favorites

Hey everyone! I hope you are all having a great week!  Lately I have been noticing my obsession for House of Harlow jewelry.  I love the style and the easiness of the pieces and thought I would share some of my favorites.  The line was created and designed by celeb Nicole Richie, and her tribal chic style definitely transfers over into these pieces.  Not to mention for a celebrity line, her pieces are pretty reasonably priced!  

Take a look for yourself...

Below are two pieces that I love layering up and wearing together.  They are the Sunbursts necklaces with beautiful pewter leather centers.  I chose this color because I thought it would give me the most variety in terms of outfit choices, but they also come in a few other colors, like black, navy, and nude!  The large retails for $58.00, while the small one retails for $48.00.

My next pick is one that most of you have probably seen!  This is her most popular design and I definitely know why- it just seems to go with everything!  This gorgeous black leather necklace makes any outfit pop, and also looks great layered up with other gold necklaces!  It retails for $75.00.

This final pick is the evil eye headpiece!  I love it because it is simple & chic, but definitely makes a statement.  When worn, the evil eye sits beautifully front and center!  You can also tighten or loosen it depending on your head size which is a great feature.  Can't wait to wear this during the spring and summer!  It retails for around $80-90.00 I believe.

All of her pieces are beautiful and simple- not overworked.  They all have a breezy & chic feel to them which I absolutely love!  Can't wait to see whats to come from her line.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  All of the pieces can be found here at the House of Harlow website.

Thanks for reading


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Day Makeup: Lipstick Love

Hello everyone! Can you believe its already almost Valentines Day?!  In case you still need some last minute ideas for that perfect lip, look no further.  I went through my entire collection of MAC lipsticks (literally) and picked my top four that I think will be perfect for whatever your plans may be!

I absolutely love lipstick- with one swipe I can transform my entire look and mood.  Feeling edgy?  Ill go for MAC Haute Core, but if I am feeling laid back, I will swipe on MAC's Raspberry Swirl.  It allows me to express how I am feeling that day, and let me tell you, a red lip can make you feel like you are on top of the world.

Lipstick can make such a statement in my book, which is why I want all of you to rock a fabulous lip this Valentines Day!  If you don't normally wear makeup, start small and go for a pinky nude!  If you are a makeup pro, ROCK that red lip like a boss!

Below I chose my top 4 lipstick picks to give you some inspiration.  All 4  colors will be perfect for whatever your plans may be- no matter what mood or look you are going for!

I hope every single one of you have a fantastic Valentines Day!  Thanks for reading.

This post was inspired by Brilliant Earth, an amazing jewelry site that prides itself on having ethically sourced diamonds and engagement rings.  Lipstick and diamonds this Valentines Day?!  What more could a girl ask for... If you are interested in Brilliant Earth and would like to see some of their beautiful conflict free pieces, click here.


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY Pink Rose Body Scrub: Valentines Day Part 1

Hello everyone!  In lieu of Valentines Day, I have a few cute and easy DIY projects that are perfect for giving to your family, friends, and loved ones!

Today I wanted to share this awesome Pink Sugar Rose Body Scrub!  Not only does the color scream Valentines Day, it really is a great scrub- and it smells delish too!  If you love Jo Malone Red Roses (one of my favs) you will LOVE this.

Here's what you need to get started:
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • a few drops of pink or red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • a few drops of rose oil
  • mason jars
  • optional: Glitter meant for body products (found at Michaels Craft Store)
  • optional: thin point paint pen
  • a large bowl and a utensil to mix with

To begin, mix your sugar and food coloring in the bowl.  The food coloring will form droplets, but just keep mixing.  Next slowly add in the olive oil.  Do not add it all in at once or it will distort the color of the mixture.  Once the olive oil is completely mixed in, and you have the color you like, add in a few drops of your rose oil.  If you like heavily fragranced products, add more!  If you want just a subtle scent, only add a few drops.  By this point your mixture should look something like this:

As an optional step, you can add body product safe glitter!  I thought this gave it a nice touch!  Stir until it is completely blended in.

Once your glitter is mixed in, your scrub is ready to be packaged!  I bought some mason jars at Target which worked well, but you can use whatever type of jar you want!  As an optional step, you can decorate the jars with stickers, tape, and paint pens!  I wrote some little messages with a thin point silver paint pen I found at Michaels.  It wrote really well on the glass and think it looks great for Valentines Day!

I hope you guys enjoyed this post!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Valentines Day Posts which will be DIY bath bombs!

Thanks for reading!


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