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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How I'm Winning a Battle with Acne

For the last few months I have been battling some monstrous acne! Ok, so it's probably not monstrous, but it sure did feel like it.

I, for the most part of my life have had pretty clear skin... I had the occasional pimple and of course I do have quite a few blackheads on my nose and chin. Then, once I hit my mid-20s I found that my skin had changed and acne has become a constant battle.

Here was my situation before. I had bumps (not pimples) on my forehead and some zits and scars on my left cheek/jawline area. I started washing my phone more often and trying to keep it away from my face. So I had it handled. Ha! Then for Christmas I had asked for Tarte Maracuja Oil because I had heard good things about what it could do for your face.

So Oscar bought me a trial size and after using it for about a week, and my face exploded! It was something I have never experienced before. I had pimples on both cheeks, jawlines, my chin, and forehead! Also, those little bumps multiplied. Looking back on it now, I had read some reviews that this had happened to other people, but I never imagined my skin would react this way. I did keep using the oil for a few weeks after to see if it would calm down on its own. When it didn't I began making a plan of action!

Below are the products that helped me the most:

I had tried to increase my exfoliation, and using tea tree oil on the bumps. But I really didn't recognize any significant difference until I purchased the Juice Beauty Daily Hydrating Solutions. Here's my new routine that has significantly cleared my acne!


  1. Clean skin with Cleansing Milk (only if skin felt extra dirty/greasy/gross)
  2. Fill cotton ball with Burt's Bees Natural Acne Solutions Clarifying Toner and swipe over face,   concentrate on affected areas.
  3. Let toner dry on skin.
  4. Put on either Lotion with SPF or IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream (I use the shade Fair)
  1. Use The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil to remove makeup (FYI... love this stuff!)
  2. Wash face again with either Cleansing Milk or The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash - I rotate these so I'm not always using harsh ingredients on my skin.
  3. Spritz with Hydrating Mist and apply Antioxidant Serum - I don't know if these steps are necessary, but they came with the kit, so I use them.
  4. Apply Nutrient Moisturizer.
Occasionally (not pictured)
  1. I have cut back on using a physical exfoliant because I thought it might be causing more harm than good. But I use my Yes to Grapefruit Daily Facial Scrub about once a week.
  2. Also, the kit came with Green Apple Peel Sensitive which provides a chemical exfoliant. I use this about once a week as well interchangeably with The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask.
I'm sorry I don't have before and after pictures as I was extremely embarrassed to photograph my face during the worst of it. But trust me, this routine and these products have worked wonders on my face!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February Ipsy Bag

As the calendar inches closer to the 10th of each month I start to get excited for my Ipsy Glam Bag to arrive. When I get home in the afternoons, I race to mailbox box, crossing my fingers that that metallic pink bag will be waiting for me!

Last week, it arrived (though haphazardly thrown on my porch and not in the mailbox) and I prepared myself a snack, some comfy clothes, and a moment to myself to delve in and find out what fun was enclosed this month. I didn't even, sneak a peek when Ipsy sent me a chance to see what might be included. All the more fun to be surprised!

At first glance I was really excited about the products included. However, when I really thought about it I decided I wouldn't use some of the products and gave them to relatives who I know will get better use out of them.

Up All Night Volumizing Spray
Although, a little of this product spilled in transit, I am excited to give it a try! I am always willing to to try volumizing hair products.... I don't know what it is but I love me some volume :)

Mitchell and Peach
Fine Radiance Face Oil
I have been loving the idea of face oils and really just skincare in general so I am looking forward to trying out this product. Unfortunately, lately my skin and I have not been friends so my testing phase will have to wait until I can get my skin all sorted out! BTW... acne in your 20s is lame and no fun!

Emite Makeup
Professional Eye Lash Curler
If you're sensitive about eyelashes... turn away now. Ok, I have been blessed with long curly eyelashes and have never felt the need to try a curler. I did give this one a quick go and I didn't notice a difference so I gave it to my Grandma. I'll let you know what she thinks of it after she's given it some use.

City Color Cosmetics
Creamy Lip Stain - Flirtini
This is one of the products I've given away, I'm just not into lip products really. I try and try but I just haven't found a product that I'd wear or feel I look good in. I did give this to my cousin though, who tried it on, and I feel like it's a really pretty and wearable color with a velvety kind of finish.

BLUSH Cheek Powder - Cosmopolitan
As I had just purchased to blushes I decided to give this product to my cousin. I did swatch the color on my hand though, and it's very sheer but buildable. I think it would give a really nice natural glow to the skin. I'm "almost" sad I gave it away/

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

These YouTubers Rock

About a year and a half ago I started getting into YouTube beauty videos and have enjoyed them ever since! Then I added vloggers, fashion, and all other kinds of YouTubers to my subscription list. Along with bloggers, these vloggers have inspired me to start my own blog. I thought it only fair then, to take a moment and talk about some of my favorites!

These are by no means all of the channels in my subscription list, but these are the YouTubers who I get the most excited about when I see that they have a new video! Oh and beware, many of them are from England; I don't know how it happened but it did :)

2 Sisters and a Whole Lotta Makeup
Make up artists and sisters, Sam and Nic have a wonderful channel full of beauty goodness! They have amazing tutorials from everyday to special occasion and Halloween to dray makeup! They give wonderful tips and insight into products, applying makeup, and what the pros do. And I love their separate personalities, which give a great vibe to the videos.

Pretty and Pale in England
Anna lends her down-to-earth approach to vlogs, tutorials, reviews, fitness info, and so much more! I really enjoy her channel as she (and she often confesses) is not a pro at these things just has knowledge and a vast interest in them. This means when she finds tips on doing winged eyeliner, I pay attention! And she is a fellow lover of neutrals in makeup and clothes... which I totally relate to. She also recently starting adding fitness and healthy eating videos to her channel which have helped motivate me in my own fitness goals!
Big Eyes and a Great Sense of Humor
Essie Button (Main Channel and Vlogs)
Not only does she make videos on everything (vlogs, reviews, cooking, fitness, and tutorials) but she's got a sense of humor that's always making me smile. Estee utilizes a wide variety of products and has dabbled in the cruelty-free world a little. She also has turned me on to eyebrow pencils and Tarte Cosmetics. Another pale-skinned beauty for me to relate to she also has some great information on dealing with breakouts... gotta love her!

Southern Beauty Guru
Tiffany provides wonderful tutorials and reviews on beauty, fashion hauls and reviews, and she just gave birth to her first child and did vlogs throughout her pregnancy. She is a guru with makeup and I love watching her tutorials and trying them out at home... she explains things so well! She's also the reason for my Naturally Pretty Palette and Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette purchases. I find that what she recommends, I often like too. Her golden retriever makes occasional cameos in her videos... and if you love a Golden you're good in my book. But I really enjoy all her videos and get excited when anything new comes up!

Fashionista Who Loves Tea

Amelia's channel is kind of like my guilty pleasure; she vlogs, reviews fashion and beauty and does beauty and hair tutorials. She's often into luxury items and doesn't usually use cruelty-free/natural products.... but there's something about her that has drawn me in. I love her tutorials using post-its as guides for eye makeup (I went out and bought some because of her). And I love her fashion sense, though not my style, I think it's always fun to see what she gets and dream of being able to wear some of it, some day! 

A Family that Vlogs Together, Stays Together
This Irish family vlogs their life every single day... and I'm addicted. At first, I didn't see the appeal in watching a family doing daily stuff. But this family is funny, charming, and has 2 adorable children for added appeal! I love watching baby Eduardo and toddler Emilia learning new things, growing up, and having fun. It just sucks you in! Jonathan and Anna, the parents, are also entertaining both with and without the kids. It's just a feel good time (about 15 minutes a day) and perks up even the worst days for me!

Well there you have it! A small tidbit of what I spend my time doing on the internet! I've learned great things from all these YouTubers and get a ton of joy and fun from watching their videos. 

If you haven't checked out these types of videos before, or you're looking for something new... give these vloggers a go!

Also, if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments... I'm always looking to add to my subscription list!

Monday, February 2, 2015

I Needed Some Moisture in My Life

It has been so cold and dry here recently! My skin and hair have needed some serious moisture so I took a trip to Ulta to see what I could find! Here's what I came home with.

Physicians Formula
Powder Palette Glow Pearls - Translucent Pearl (similar here)
With all the dryness I've been needing to add a little sparkle to my skin. I've been looking for highlighters but their a bit pricey and I'm not sure if I'd like it. So, I decided to go for this sparkly slightly pink color. I'll check back with more information!

It's a 10
Miracle Leave-In plus Keratin (travel size)
My hair can use all the help it can get! It's been so dry and frizzy and full of static. Grrr... it's been driving me absolutely bananas... I heard good things on this product on YouTube. I've used this product a few times sprayed throughout the ends of my hair. I'm not sure if it's worth the hype yet, but I'll let you know if it ends up being life saving.

Coconut Oil Weightless Hydrating Oil Body Mist
Nourishing Coconut Milk Hibiscus Body Lotion
First let me try to explain to you the excitement I felt when I found out OGX makes body products. I have been an avid user of their shampoo and conditioner for years so when I wandered to the bath & body section of Ulta and saw body washes and lotions and oil.... ooohhhh it was like fireworks, and church choirs, and that first sip of morning coffee. SO GOOD! I have been spritzing the oil on after the shower and rubbing it in, then I use the lotion over top. And let me tell you my dry itchy skin has drank it up! The oil sinks in quickly and smells great, then the lotion is thick and a little goes a long way. They are both super moisturizing and I've been loving how I smell after using them.

Jumbo Eye Pencil - Cottage Cheese
I own another one of these eye pencils and they are really good. I just swipe a light layer across the lids and blend out with my finger tips. And weird name aside, I like this shimmery white color. I use it in the inner corner and all over the lid with a light shadow over it. It really helps make the light color shadows brighter and to last longer. Great product and price.

Overall, it was a good trip to Ulta and I think I'm going to make it through this relentless winter with soft supple skin!

I hope you all have a great weekend and here's to Spring! It's going to come, I know it!