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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Yes To Masks - My Review

 I was at Ulta a while ago and saw all the Yes To Masks and decided to needed to try them out. Overall I really like Yes To products; they're affordable and generally I think they work well. But not all things can be wonderful, so there's 1 mask I loved and one that's a hard pass.

Be ready for all kinds of akward pictures of me with no makeup on and all masked up! And yes, I mask after I get out of the shower so that should explain some of these pics.

So let's take a minute to appreciate my horrible mask faces and talk masks!

Miracle Oil Brighten & Condition 

Argan Oil Mud Mask

I don't normally love a mud mask as I find them too drying for my skin and really hard to take off. I usually end up scrubbing my face with washcloth... and that can't be good. So I was skeptical about this one. But it pleasantly surprised me! The mud is thinner than a normal mud mask and easy to spread across the face. It felt soft and luxurious to put on and smelled nice.

But the real magic happens when I rinsed it off. Which was easy by the way, it comes off with a little help from a washcloth, but no scrubbing. And my skin looked radiant and felt so soft afterwards. I give this a big thumbs up! It would be especially great before a big event.

Cucumbers 2-Step Eye Kit 

Buh-Bye Bags & Dark Circles

Ok, we talked about positive now let's talk about some negative. This 2-part eye mask starts with pads soaked in product that you leave under the eyes and a cream to use after. So I tried this and left the pads on for the time the package says and it felt nice but a little tingly (nothing alarming).

Then I took off the pads and found that they had burnt, yes burnt the corners of my eyes. I had little red welts there for over a week! They were painful and not fun. In lieu of that I didn't try the cream. I'm not sure what was in here that caused it but I do not recommend this product.

So tell me, have you tried any great maks lately? Leave recommendations in the comments below!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

October/November Love Goodly Box Review

Lol talk about last minute! Here we are the last day of November. Another few months and another Love Goodly Box to review (see my previous boxes here and here). I always love getting this box in the mail, it's just so exciting to know there are a bunch of new products waiting for me at my door!

I'm not going to lie, the October/November Love Goodly box was a little lackluster. There's only 1 item I really love, which is sad but it happens with a subscription service like this. I will say that the products are still really good, it's just a matter of personal preference.

To see exactly what I thought about the products keep on reading:

Belle Pierre

Blush - Autumn Glow

I wasn't so sure about this scolor when I first opened the box, but I've been converted. It comes off on my pale cheeks as a warm peach color which works well for my winter looks. It also adds a little glow, which I'm all about in the winter months. But I will warn you, a little goes a LONG way... tap tap tap to keep from going overboard.

Mindful Skincare

Blueberry Mask

This is a confusing one... I want to like it, but it just falls flat for me. The blueberry scent is weird and off slightly. But I can work with a funky smell if my skin will look amazing after. And unfortunately, I just don't really see a difference with this mask. I'll keep trying it though and see if maybe it's more of a subtle change.

Mr. B's Neccessities

Calm Aromatherapy

Not gonna lie, I've really been into essential oils lately (stay tuned for some essential oil posts!) and so I was using this at night on my chest and wrists. It does smell nice and calming but I didn't really notice any differences in my falling asleep. However, I sometimes think a product like this is just good for the routine so your body knows it's time for bed. (I do have some oils that I think help more that I'll share in the future).

100% Pure

Blush Brush

This is my favorite product in the box! I love the soft bristles for applying blush, especially for blush that has a little less pigment and needs to be built up. It does a great job and keeps me blushing!


Mystic Mint Breath Spray

This is a hard no for me. I sprayed it in my mouth and had to immediately brush my teeth! For an all natural product it tasted incredibly chemically. I couldn't believe it, so I shook it up and tried again... and let me just say my teeth were really clean that day.

I hope this post wasn't too much of a downer, but you can't win 'em all, righ? I will report on the December/January box coming soon. Remember to follow my Instagram Stories at @amberbutbetter to get a first look!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Last-Minute Halloween Costume - Bird Makeup

We've all been here- you have no Halloween plans and didn't think of a costume, then someone up and invites you to a Halloween party that night! What do you do?

Well funny enough I didn't plan on doing a makeup tutorial this year like I did the last 2 years (see my Cruella and Spider Lady makeups) becuase life's just been crazy. But due to many requests I tried to come up with something simple that I could do with the makeup I already have. And here's what I came up with!

Bird Makeup

This is an easy Halloween makeup that's versatile and you should own all the products you need to do it. Score! What I like about this is you can change the colors to fit your asthetic and you can be whatever kind of bird you want. 

I really wanted to use my Colourpop Yes Please palette because it's just a little too much for me to use daily but the colors are amazing... so here's my solution a fun red/yellow bird done in about 30 minutes. I call that a last-minute Halloween costume miracle.

What You'll Need 

  • Base products (primer, foundation, concealer, etc...)
  • Eyeshadows or a palette in your desired colors
  • Liquid Eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Lipstick
  • Setting Spray
  • Glue Stick
  • Brushes

Getting Started

  • Prep your skin as normal... moisturizer, primer, and eyelid primer
  • Glue down your eyebrowss - take a glue stick (make sure it's washable and non-toxic) and paste your brows up and out so they lay flat - this makes drawing over your eyebrows easier
  • Put on your foundation - be sure to put some over the ends of your brows and your mouth
  • Add concealer where neccessary and powder it down - this is a great time to bake so your makeup will last all night!

Building Your Bird

  • Pick a dark shade in your palette (I used a dark red-brown) and with an angled brush:
    • Draw a line from under the front of you brow to the middle, flick up and out at the arch
    • Extend front of brow down the nose to a point at the tip of your nose - fill in the brows
  • Use your eyeliner to draw a long and fairly thick cat-eye wing, extend past your inner corner
    • I used my post-it trick for the wing (see here)
  • Use a medium-dark color (mine is red) to put in the crease and draw to mimic your brow lines
  • Fill in the space on your lid and below brows - I used a sparkly orangeish color
  • Blend some shadow on your lower lash line to define

Finishing Touches

  • Fill in space in your nose "beak area"
  • Add some lines to "feather" out your brows, under the eyes, around the nose, etc...
  • Add highlight and sparkle to the edges of your forehead, tip of nose, and cheekbones  (I might have forgot the last 2 oops!)
  • Contour with some darker shades from your chosen palette - I used a lighter orange-brown and a red-brown
    • Focus under the cheekbones but higher up, towards the outer edges of your face
  • Mascara and falsies, I didn't use falsies here but I think they would add some nice flutter to your eyes
  • Spray with a setting spray! Let Dry
  • Add your lip - draw on a shape that's small and rounder than your normal lips
  • Add feathers!

This makeup only took me about 30 minutes, so you could definitely do this on short notice. This was my first take of doing as well because I wanted to see how hard it would really be. Also, the feathers in my hair are actually from my cats' toys! So if you have time to practice you can make it look even better. 

I hope you all have a Happy Halloween and would love to know what you're dressing as this year. Comment below!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Favorite Cruelty-Free Hair Products

This post contains products that have been sent to me for review and products I've purchased myself. All opinions are my own.

It's been a long time of me trying and testing hair products but I think I've finally found some great ones I want to share with you all.

Shampoo and Conditioner

Oddly enough I feel like these are the hardest ones to get right. Especially when going cruelty-free and more natural. I feel sometimes maybe my hair just needs silicone to feel soft. But I've stayed strong and found some products that actually make me excited to wash my hair (and that's saying something!).


Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

I've been using SheaMoisture products for a while, but I've got to say this shampoo blows everything else out of the water. After one wash my hair felt soft and smooth and free of product build-up. Umm... amazing! I'm shocked and desperately in love now with this shampoo. And at this price, everyone can scoop it up.

Maple Holistics

Silk18 Natural Hair Conditioner

This item was sent to me by Maple Holistics to review.
Conditioner has been the hardest product to find. I've found a bunch of average ones and a really pricey one. But finding a cruelty-free, natural conditioner that's afforable and works, forget about it... Well until now. This conditioner was pretty damn good. It makes my hair soft and thick and does some decent detangling. It's not going to make your hair all silky and smooth like a traditional conditioner, but it also doesn't have all those nasty products. And it does make your hair feel healthy, which is the ultimate goal anyway. Am I right?

Also, Maple Holistics has a great option for you to try a free sample before you commit to buying their products. Check it out here!

Christophe Robin

Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt

I got this in a Sephora Play box and was really unsure at first. It literally looks and feels like a salt scrub for your body. But I took a chance and used it on my hair, and wow! The salt bits scrub your scalp which feels amazing and helps with dry scalp. And it gets rid of all the build left in your hair. A little goes a long way, and if you try it you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Other Hair Products

Ok now let's talk about the fun hair stuff; leave-in conditioners, detangles, dry shampoo, and texturizers. You know the heavy lifters that can make or break a good hair day.


Freshen Up Dry Shampoo

Ever since Batiste started selling in China (and lost it's cruelty-free status) I've been on the hunt for a new dry shampoo. There have been some definite flops (DryBar and Psssst!) but Phyrra recommended this brand so I picked it up at Ulta. Let me tell you, it rocks! It gives volume and de-greases without leaving a heavy white powdery look. All I want in a dry shampoo, and although the scent isn't as nice as the others I listed, it's performance is so good I'll over look that. If you've been searching too, I recommend giving this dry shampoo a shot!

Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer

Although I've been a fan of the It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product for a long time, it's expensive. And more recently it stopped working for my hair. So again I went out on the search and after another recommendation from Phyrra I bought this product. It's essentially a fine mist of a mixture of oils that you spray on your hair. It smells subtle and sprays really evenly. But the most amazing part is that is softens and detangles my dyed blond hair. And that's a feat let me tell you, my hair has been so knotty and dry since I went blond. And I feel there's finally a product that helps! Also I love that it's a heat protectant too, yay for multi-purpose products!


Triple Sec 3-in-1

I finally get the big stink about texturizing sprays, and I'm hooked! I use this after curling my hair in place of hairspray. It helps to hold my curls (more like loose waves) in place and provides some volume. I don't know how it works but my hair goes from good to great after a few sprays of this. And that's ok with me. 

These are all the cruelty-free and natural hair products I've been using and loving over the last few months. I hope this helps you find some new goodies, and if you try any I'd love to hear your opinions.

Join the Discussion:

What are your favorite hair products?
Which hair product has been the hardest for you to find in a cruelty-free version?

Have a wonderful week all!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Fall Wishlist - at Target

Fall Target Wishlist

Every fall I like to do a wishlist (see past posts here and here) because it's my favorite time of year! I love the snuggly sweaters, layering everything, all the boots, and the deeper colors. This year I've been in Target a few times and they're nailing it in fall fashion and all the fall trends for this year. So I've done a store specific wishlist. Keep reading to see what I want for the season and why.

Checkered Blazer

If you've been anywhere in fashion on the internet, you're probably sick of hearing about this trend! Every fall trend report or post I see includes some iteration or another. But I've been suckered in. As I said, I love layering, it just makes me feel so much more put together. And I think a boyfriend-fit blazer like this will be a great outfit addition over sweaters.

A-Line Skirt

Let's put this out there now, I am not a skirt girl. They usually sit on me funny and accentuate my already large hips and stomach. But this summer, on a whim, I tried an a-line skirt on at H&M that I loved (but they didn't have my size). Ever since I've been on the hunt. This one from Target is adorable - there's embroidery, blue, and velvet/corduroy - I love it all!

Statement Sleeves

I can't decide if I love this sweater or if I think it would drive me nuts! But the flowy sillhouette and beautiful sleeves make me happy. I'll be trying this on for sure. And I love the cream white color for this time of year, it breaks up my black & gray wardrobe. 

Buckle Boots

On my fall shopping list this year has been moto or combat boots, and when I saw these...swoon! Now if you follow my Instagram stories you've probably already seen that I bought these and the drama after. I hemmed and hawed over whether or not I was "cool" enough to pull them off. And after trying them on with almost everything I own and much support from family and the online world, I ripped off the tags and decided to keep them. They're so comfy, cool, and add a much needed edge to my minimalistic outfits.

Structured Bag

Finally, I always feel the need to switch out my purse this time of year. I lean towards something more structured and this leopard print steals my heart. I also look for a bag that's easy to carry while wearing all my layers and coats. The handles and long strap would work great for all kinds of weather and clothing. And I would feel so chic wearing it.

Well all, there's my Target Fall Wishlist for this year. I hope these trends inspire you for the fall weather that's right around the corner (or already here depending on where you live). 

Join the Conversation:

What fall trends are you wearing this year?
What gets you most excited for fall?

Take care all! And don't forget to follow me @ Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'

Friday, September 29, 2017

Why I've been MIA & A Life Update

Hi all! I know it's been a long time and I haven't been posting much on here. A few things have happened that are making time a hard-to-find commodity for me. 

So sit back, grab a coffee or some chow and let's chat! Oh and these pictures are my last attempt to hold onto summer, it's getting quite chilly here in Colorado. 

Why I've been MIA

This is mostly because I decided to go back to school for my Masters degree this fall. I've been needing to do this for a long time. My career in higher education  requires a grad degree for me to move up. And I love working in colleges and universities so I needed to get this done. After some research, advice from mentors, and some soul searching, I decided to go to an online school for Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

I've been taking 2 classes for about a month and I'm not going to lie. It's been rough! Between reading and assignments I've had trouble finding time for blogging. I'm hoping to get back into it once I get myself on a better schedule but so far it's not been working.

Other Life Updates

Along with school there have been a few other things going on that I thought I'd tell you all about.


I started seeing a therapist. I tell you this because I don't want to feel ashamed about it and want to help others feel comfortable talking about it. I'm going to work on how I am in relationships. After my divorce I've been really introspective and I think I've got some issues to work on before I go into another relationship. I may write more about this process I  the future. But it's been so helpful - though really challenging and emotionally draining.

My Dog

Sage has had some medical issues this summer. He's been getting stiff and sore after playing hard or hiking. I took him to the vet and were having to do x-rays and tests. It's hard on him which is hard on me. He's my baby and it makes me sad.

Writing Goals

I got an amazing writing opportunity here I  Denver. It's for print and something new and outside my comfort zone. I'm really excited, but it's also scary and more work! Haha!


I've stopped dating apps for the moment. As I'm working on myself in therapy I don't know if I'm ready to be "out there" right now. With the apps I was becoming really anxious; why wasn't I getting matches or why weren't people messaging? It messed with my confidence and I hate that! I want to be secure with myself before adding someone new into the mix. And I'm not 100% sure dating apps are the way I want to meet someone.


And finally money has been a problem lately. I've had some big unexpected expenses and some changes in my monthly income. It sucks, flat out! I was doing so well and now it's one issue after another... So disheartening. I'm trying to be more frugal and stick to a strict budget. And that makes blogging about new and interesting products a challenge!

That's All

I hope you've enjoyed this update, I know I always love reading them. I don't mean to complain or bitch but this is my life and as I wrote about recently, life is hard (see that post here) and that's just a fact. These are the things going on in my world. They're good and bad and just complicating things.
I will try to continue blogging as I love doing it but it might be more sporadic than usual. Also I was thinking of doing more makeup tutorials with my current products. Let me know if you'd like something like that.

Well that's all for now thanks for listening!!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

August/September Love Goodly Box Review

I'll be honest, I'm loving the Love Goodly boxes! It's a great cruelty-free and toxin free subscription. The value for money is great, the products are from brands I've never heard of and seem to be high quality, and the variety is pretty awesome. See my last Love Goodly Review here.

And this month (2 months?) was no exception, there was some pretty cool stuff to test out.

Ok enough gushing, let's see what I got in the August/September Love Goodly Box.

Red & Howling

Custom Frenchie Print

Can I just say that when I pulled this print out of the box I literally LOL'd. I don't say that lightly, but it's true, the dog on the end with the rose... adorably hilarious! I will be looking for a frame for this for sure, I need this in my life. The funniest part is that I'm really not all that into french bulldogs. But hey if it's cute and funny who am I to argue?

Garden of Life

Organic Plant Based Protein Bar

Confession time: I ate this bar before I was able to take a picture :( What? I was hungry, you would have done the same. But I can tell you it wasn't bad, though it did have a Cliff Bar taste and texture. I think I'll stick to the RX Bars or Larabars - my faves!

KINDri Los Angeles

Organic Beauty Oil

I love a good oil. I use one religiously at night in place of a moisturizer (at least during the warmer months) my skin just drinks it up. I just bought an oil before I received this box (only if I had known!) so I've been switching back and forth between the two. 

I would say this is a nice oil that sinks into the skin well (not quickly, cause it's an oil) and leaves my skin nice in the morning. I wouldn't say it wows me but it's nice. And I'm not a huge fan of the very citrusy scent.

I do like this oil though for my hair as a mask (do not use on dry hair if you hate oily clumps!). I run it through the ends and put my hair in a bun for a few hours and then shampoo and condition as usual. It left my hair soft and with less frizz. So I think I may turn this into a mask only kind of product.

Johnny Concert Glamour

Eyeshadow - Radioactive

Oh man, I love the duochrome nature of this shadow, it's gorgeous! I just with the product peformed better. The shade is a bronze-green duochrome with a metallic finish. The shadow is very hardly packed though and is hard to get on your brush.

To get it on my lids I first started with a flat brush and swiping it all over my lids. This left a really light wash of color with more of a shine than the duochrome or metallic. Then I tried wetting a brush and using my fingers to pack on a more intense color. I have to say the find works the best, but you have to add a few layers. It is pretty on though still pretty subtle. 

Unfortunately, I have to say I want to love this more than I do.

Z Natural Life


Ah natural deodorants... out there is some mythical unicorn of the deodorants that works, smells nice, is easy to apply, and doesn't break me out. This, however, is not it. But I really want it to be! 

The packaging is genius, take notes every other natural deordorant. The cream product comes out a whole in the top of this oddly phallic packaging and you swipe it on your pits. It also smells pretty nice. But I did find after time out in a hot day I started to smell. I would recommend this for inside, easy-going days. My biggest trouble though, was after a few days of wear I started to break out. Grr... what is in these things?!

Overall, I'm still very happy with this subscription box, even if I wasn't into everything in it. I'm excited every other month to checkout the new products that are coming!

Be sure to watch my InstaStories (@amberbutbetter) for the next Love Goodly unboxing and first impressions!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Life is Hard - An Honest Talk

When I started Amber But Better just over 3 years ago, I just wanted to talk about going cruelty-free with my beauty products. Since then, it's become so much more than that and I've begun opening up more and more about my life. This is really hard to open up on the internet, especially for me as this is a problem for me all around. But because this space is really all about becoming a better version of myself I will continue to talk about my life with you all. We're friends... maybe a little one-sided, but friends none-the-less.

When I have shared in the past though has been only half the truth. I think I've put a positive spin on my stories; I got a divorce but I'm stronger for it, dating is hard but I'm doing it and am successful, etc... Today I want to share the other side of the story, the side many of us hide when we throw that plastic smile on our faces.

Things Get Tough

And this truth is that things are not always positive and rosey and going to be okay. Sometimes things just suck! They're shit and awful and you want to cry and scream and give up. This is what happens before all of the other stuff and we dismiss it. At least I do, it's the stuff I have to get over to move on. I'm learning that there is so much to learn and gain when you're in these moments. 

After my separation and divorce I felt awful, like an udder failure. I spent days numb and watching sad movies just so I could cry. It was ugly and difficult.

And more recently I've been trying the whole dating thing online (an app) and at first it was exciting, then it was fun, and then it became harder and harder; like work. When I don't get matches, or some guy ghosts on me, or some guy I went on multiple dates disappeared on me I feel like shit. I feel like I am somehow inadequate and not worthy. It's not a good feeling. I've been anxious and depressed and finally had to uninstall the app from my phone to take a break for a while (I may write more about this in the future). 

Sometimes life just sucks and it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I would love to tell you all how I'm doing great now and so excited for the future... blah blah, fucking blah. But this is the real real and I'm being honest. Right now I'm not feeling very good about myself. I question my weight, looks, personality, future, everything! And yes, I'll get out of it one day and I know that I'm really a good person and a total catch.

All the Emotions are Good

But I've also come to realize that these moments of suck are just as important as the moments after. I'm trying to beccome more comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, sad, angry, and frustrated and all that stuff. Because they're emotions that make me human and allow me to feel all that other good stuff too. I'm allowing myself to feel lonely and sad right now, but I also am trying to move beyond it. No dwelling in these feelings, I just feel them as I need to and continue on. I am also analyzing why I feel this way and working to change my focus on dating, from need to want to date (again, let me know if you want a dating update post).

I know this has been a difficult post and not the normal postivity we all have come to expect from bloggers. But I think this kind of honesty is important, especially on the internet. Things aren't all good all the time. And that's ok because we all go through it! We're all down in the shit together, and I don't know about you but that's actually a comforting thought.

Let's Be Honest Together

I will continue with beauty, style, and confidence posts but I hope to use this platform as an honest space for us to discuss life issues. I hope you're all with me!

On this theme I chose pictures that made me feel uncomfortable, exposed, and out of my element. We're tackling it all on Amber But Better today!

For More Honest Confessions Follow Me @ Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin'

Thursday, August 10, 2017

June/July Love Goodly Box Review

I thought I'd try a subscription box again, because you know I'm crazy like that. I've tried Petit Vour and the Sephora Play boxes before (see what I thought of Petit Vour). The Sephora Play box was nice and I highly recommend it, but there's no option to choose cruelty-free only, which means it's a crap shoot on whether or not there'd be products I would use.

I liked the idea of the Love Goodly box because it's every other month and all the products are cruelty-free (of course!) and full-size. Keep reding for my review of the Love Goodly box for June/July!

Kat Von D

Everlasting Liquid Lipstick - Lovecraft

I'm sure you're all sick of hearing how I don't like lipsticks but still for some reason keep trying them all. I know blah blah blah... but recently, let me tell you all, I think I've been converted! This formula applies smoothly and is so easy to get the shape you want. I usually apply a thin layer and it covers so well without any streaks. And, of course most importanly, the staying power. It's amazing, this has lasted through drinks and meals and when it does wear off it's pretty even and doesn't look funky. 

I've actually been reaching for this on weekdays (the true testament of a good lipstick)! For the other liquid lipstick that's changed my mind check out my post here.


Nail Polish - Save the Drive-in

This color is right up my street, it's a metallic dark gray-ish blue and really pretty. I love a dark color for my toe nails... makes me feel sassy I guess. This has to be one of the best formulas I've tried from a cruelty-free nail polish. It's smooth and spreads easily and the color is opaque after one coat without streaking. Though I still used 2 to get a rich color.

And the color is gorgeous! The silver metallic finish makes it unique and shiny. Yay!


Custom Heart Bracelet and Hair Tie (black and turquoise)

I was really excited about these! I'm always wearing hair ties on my wrists or carrying them with me. And I thought it was a cool idea to turn them into jewelry as well. They're cute and simple but functional, yes please! I would say though that they are best for smaller wrists, at least until you stretch them out a bit. I have tiny child-size wrists and they do aren't too tight, but barely. Just something to think about.

Fred + Far

Trillion Pin

A cute pin that supports self-love, I'm down. I'm not really a pin gal but I did put this on my jean jacket and it adds a little bit of fun, or personality or pizazz. I like it. 

New Chapter

Perfect Hair, Skin & Nails

I'll be honest, this was not my favorite product. It's not that I don't think it's a good products or won't work. I just am not really into vitamins as you have to take them with food and I eat at funky hours and blah blah blah excuses. But for me these weren't my favorite part of the box. But I'm going to give them to a girlfriend to try because I hate to waste them.

Overall Thoughts

For my first month of Shop Goodly, I was pleasantly surprised. The Kat Von D lipstick was almost worth the price of the box itself. I think value for money on this is amazing! I like the mix of products that come in the box. But I do hope future boxes have fewer accessories and more beauty (makeup, skincare, haircare, body stuff). So I'm excited for the August/September box, I can wait. 

Don't forget to watch my Instgram stories (@amberbutbetter) for the unboxing and first impressions. Then I'll do a follow-up blog post to give my review.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Natural Suncare for Summer Fun

Orginally posted for Denver Style Magazine

It's Summer, the sun is out, the clothes are shrinking, and skin it's making it's appearance all over the place. Summer is the perfect time for swimming and beaches and barbecues; but it's also a good time to think about suncare. I know many of us want to get tan during these warmer months, but it's not worth it (at least the sun-rays way) to your skin and health. I'm a pasty girl so I know the allure, but the science of beauty has given us other options. Or you can keep it pasty!

Either way, sunscreen is crucial on sunny or cloudy days. Remember UV rays aren't bothered by clouds, they can get you either way. I just got back from a vacation in Costa Rica where I layed and played in the sun and the clouds. To protect myself I brought a lot of sunscreen - all of it natural, green and cruelty-free... even better!

For the Body

I need a spray for body sunscreen... I don't know about you but I don't have time to play around with rubbing a cream in. This Alba spray was great to get to (almost) all my nooks and crannie. It doesn't have a "sunscreen-y" smell, which I appreciate!

For the Face

I bought a Coola travel pack from Ulta with tinted and non-tinted options. Both worked well and my face never burned, though they do have weird texture you might have to gete used to. It almost feels like a mineral makeup is mixed in with the cream... odd but effective. Also, if you're buying the full size I would suggest the one that's  not tinted as the tint doesn't show up on the skin at all.

For the lips, I used this tinted lip balm by Coola with an SPF 30. I've never burnt my lips but it doesn't sound fun so I don't think I will. This gives you a little color, a nice slip, and is moisturizing, so overall it's just a great lip balm.

For After the Sun (aka when you're burned to a crisp)

In Costa Rica I made a dumb move and didn't but sunscreen on my legs (ah! The shock and horror) so I got burned. It was lame and hurt and I totally learned my lesson. But luckily this Coola Environmental Repair Plus makes the healing process better. It feels nice and cooling on the burn is moisturizing and does help with the pain a bit. Much more comfortable to put on than lotion. Love this stuff!

All these products helped me enjoy my vacation safely and I would recommend them to anyone. I hope you all get to have fun in the sun this Summer. And if you do, remember your protection!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Anti-aging Skincare Routine

One day I woke up, looked in the mirror and realized, "Shit, I'm getting older!" It's subtle things I noticed; Like my eyes are more hooded, my eyebrows aren't quite as high, and my skin is not quite as taught. So it's nothing major but I notice it. And if you all are anything like me you're noticing the changes too. 

I've started researching more about anti-aging skincare and applying them to my routine... at least a little bit. According to (an amazing beauty resource btw), the most important ingredients for a great wrinkle cream (aka anti-aging products) are retinol and hyaluronic acid. And the great thing is, we've heard about these for years so they're easily accessible in the products out there at any price range. 

Good news! did reseach on the most effective wrinkle creams with these ingredients and they came up with the top 3 (read more here) one of which is cruelty-free! Yay for cruelty-free anti-aging. 

I haven't tried any of the top 3 yet, but I have been including those ingredients in my cruelty-free skincare routine. I use a hyaluronic acid serum in the morning and a retinol serum at night. 

Daytime Skincare

I keep my morning skincare routine pretty simple because, let's face it, I'm sleepy and don't want to deal with a million steps. But I make sure to get in a few power products with hyaluronic acid and SPF.

Nighttime Skincare

My night skincare routine is more involved as I feel my skin can absorb more overnight. I want a clean slate and lots of great ingredients for my skin to soak up.

Skincare Tips for Anti Aging and Beyond

Over the years of trial and error I feel that I have developed a pretty good cocktail of skincare. I have a few tips to help your skincare routine work it's best at any price point, complexity, or type.

  • Be gentle - this is your face afterall, it's been nice to you. Try to be gentle as you wash, put on products and apply eye creams. 
  • Press in your heavy-hitting produts - After I lightly swipe my serums, oils, and/or moisturizers over my face I got back and press it all in all around my face. This helps the product sink and and ensures you get it all off your fingers.
  • Take your time between steps - some products (serum especially) should settle in before you move on. That's usually when I do the eye cream.
  • Don't forget your neck and decollete - all of the serums, oils, and moisturizers I talk about I'm also applying to these areas.
I hope this post has been helpful to you! I know skincare can sometimes be complicated and confusing. But I swear it gets better - talk to professionals, do your research, and keep trying different things until something works. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New and Loving: Summer Beauty

I know it's been a long while since I've done a favorites post (see my last one here). Truth be told, I haven't tried too many new products over the last few months... that is until recently. Within the last few weeks I've brought or received a few new products I wanted to share with you all!

So here's which makeup and hair products I've been loving so far this summer!


Rainforest of the Sea Water Foundation - fair-light neutral
I've been looking for a new foundation for AGES and haven't found anything. I feel like most foundations are too thick and cakey, too luminous, too matte, too whatever! So I usually do my "foundation" with concealer. But as I'm still always on the search, I got a sample of this at Sephora and really loved it, so I bought the full-size. This almost never happens, so you now it's a big deal.

This foundation is watery as the name would suggest and goes on super thin. It's a light coverage but you can build it up to light/medium. It looks super natural on the skin, which, of course, is the look I'm going for.

Sephora Birthday Gift
Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush - paaarty
Tarteist Lip Paint - birthday suit

Sephora's gift this year was a good one. I love Tarte blushes but never owned one, so now I do! I really like this color to enhance a really bronzed look. The brown base means it adds nice color to the cheeks without detracting from my bronzy-goddess glow.

Now the lip paint is kind of funny. As you probably know (if not see here and here) I have a love/hate relationship with lipstick of any kind. But I have yet to find a liquid lipstick that I really like at all. This little guy actually shocked me! First the color is the perfect nude, it's very beige but doesn't make you look dead. I don't know how and I don't need to know, it's awesome! The formula is thin and pigmented and stays pretty well. But what I like is that it doesn't ever really dry down, it stays slightly soft and moveable. This means my lips don't turn into dry prunes, score!

Wet n Wild (not pictured)

Photofocus Concealer - light/medium beige

Oops I forgot to add this to the pic, sorry guys! Oh concealer, the other challenge, after foundation and mascara. Hard to get right, so important. This one has become a fave and it's only around $4! What? I use it as a foundation (do you want to see a tutorial of this?) and for any redness or blemishes I have. I'll also use it under my eyes for a more natural look when I'm not looking for an intense highlight.  I think I'm in love!

Vert Beauty

Organic Concealer Pencil - lumiere

Vert is a local green beauty store and brand here in Denver, CO. I was lucky enough to receive a care package from them for summer beauty this June. In the box was this concealer pencil. I'll be honest, I wasn't excited about this product because I've never had much luck with concealer pencils in the past. They can be very waxy and hard to blend. This pencil is so differnt, it's creamy, full coverage, and easy to blend. Been using it pretty much the same as the Wet n Wild concealer and loving it!

Urban Decay

All-Night Setting Spray

Ok, ok we all know, holy grail status. Not even really worth talking about. But this stuff is raved about in the blogger and YouTube worlds for a reason. It is the best at locking in your makeup. I do notice a difference in the longevity of my makeup when I use this, especially for a glam night look. But I also use this daily to take down any powdery-ness and keep my makeup looking fresh.

This is the best, but if it's a little out of your price range, the Wet n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray is a pretty good dupe.

OGX (not cruelty-free)

Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco

I try to be honest with you guys about going cruelty-free with my beauty products. And with that I have to admit that sometimes I buy something that's not cruelty-free. Life happens.

Before my vacation I was having ridiculously dry, brittle, straw-like hair. And I wasn't having any of it. It just kept getting worse and worse. So the day before my trip I made a stop at Walmart for some Argan Oil and this is what I found. And like it or not, it has saved my hair. No more straw! I'm back to soft, manageable hair. I call it a win!

If you know of any good hair oils that are cruelty-free I would love to try them out. Send them my way!

Also, I've been loving this purse for summer so cute and practical. It still holds all my stuff. And I love that I can change the straps; over-the-shoulder, cross-body, and clutch. I'm a sucker for multitasking products!

I hope you all have been enjoying your summer months! I'd love to hear what products are keeping you feeling great this summer... drop them below! And keep enjoying all this sunshine (safely of course).

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