2017 Winter Essentials

2017 Winter Essentials

Hi All!

I have been MIA for quite some time and I have missed writing posts, reading up on other bloggers posts, and the blogging community as a whole!  Time got away from me for a bit there (how is it December already?!) , but I’m going to do my best to have blogging as a part of my routine again!  For my first December post, I wanted to share the items that I’ve constantly been reaching for so far this winter.

I have one hair item, and the rest of the items are different types of moisturizers.  I have long been a fan of Aveda’s Dry Remedy Daily Moisturizing Oil.  I reach for this on days where my hair does not feel as smooth and as hydrated as I would like.

Aveda Dry Remedy Hair Oil

A little bit goes a really long way with this as well.  I use maybe 1-2 drops with each application and this little bottle will last me at least 8 months.  I only apply this oil on unwashed hair days as it leaves my hair moisturized with a beautiful, healthy shine to it!  I’ll also rub the excess into my cuticles for extra moisture.

I’m sure most people experience dry hands and feet during the colder months, and unfortunately my own hands have even cracked /peeled already this winter.  These next two items have really kept me moisturized and I haven’t had any issues since I started using them.  For my hands, I’ve been loving the Kiehl’s Richly Hydrating Hand Cream “Grapefruit”.

Kiehl's Richly Hydrating Hand Cream

I purchased mine at Nordstrom and there were 3 additional scents to the grapefruit scent – in case grapefruit is not your cup of tea.  This hand cream is extremely hydrating without leaving the slick, greasy feel to your hands.  It dries down while leaving my hands feeling very moisturized.

The foot cream that I love to use when my feet are feeling really dry is the L’OCCITANE Shea Butter Foot Cream.

L'OCCITANE Shea Butter Foot Cream

At night, I’ll add a bit to each foot, rub it in, and then put soft, cozy socks on to bed.  In the mornings, my feet feel brand new!  I’ll do this maybe once a week because of how effective the cream is.

Up next, we have a face mask that I’ve written a post about in the past (👉 REVIEW: Glamglow Face Masks) and it is definitely part of my winter essentials.  It’s the Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment.

Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

This is a must have in my skincare regimen year round, but especially in the winter when my skin needs the extra hydration.

Speaking of extra hydration, I can’t seem to get enough of hydrating face masks, so I’ve also been throwing the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask into my nighttime routine.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask

This product is at a much friendlier price point than the Glamglow mask, and OMG I LOVE the smell of this product so much.  I think what I smell is a fruity scent – but I could be wrong because I’m not the best at describing scents!  In all honesty, this is a great intense moisturizer, but to me, it does not offer as good of results as the Glamglow mask.

The last item that has been an essential for me is a brand-new-to-me product that I’ve never used before, the Laura Mercier Hydrating Foundation Primer.

Laura Mercier Hydrating Fondation Primer

I’ve always had either oily skin, or combination-oily skin, so I’ve only ever used primers that were mattifying or for the purpose of minimizing pores. However, recently I have been finding that my skin would feel SO dry throughout the day after applying my makeup, so this product was recommended to me.  I have not applied my makeup without this primer ever since I purchased it!  It really has been helping with leaving my skin feeling hydrated under all the makeup, and even with my combination skin, my makeup lasts through the day and I have never felt that I look shiny or greasy while using it!

What have your go-to essentials been this Winter?!

I hope you all are well and have been enjoying the holiday season so far!

xo,
Lauren

August Favorites

August Favorites

Hi All!

I’m back!  I’ve had a busy past few weeks here and I haven’t been able to keep up with blogging as much as I’d like to, but I’m hoping to get back into a normal schedule moving forward!  I’d like to start off this week’s post by recapping my August favorites, so let’s get started!

BEAUTY:

First up is the sunscreen that I’ve been using all month by Neutrogena and it’s the Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunblock Broad Spectrum SPF 70.  This is a really lightweight formula that does not have a strong sunscreen-y smell to it.  I strongly dislike the scent of sunscreens and how thick and sticky they can sometimes feel, but this product is just the opposite of that!  I also like that it’s non-comedogenic!

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The next product has been my go to concealer for a bit now, but especially in the month of August and it’s the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer (if you haven’t read my recent post about it, you can check it out here 👉 My Go-to Under Eye Combo)!  This provides the coverage that I’m looking for and it does not crease on me 🙌.

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The last beauty product is also something that I’ve mentioned in a recent post, the Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals.  The price point, the color payoff, the longevity – just 🙌!  If you don’t own this already and you’re into highlighters, I highly recommend it!  It also now comes in 6 different shades so I’m thinking there’s an option for everyone’s taste!

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SKINCARE:

My first skincare favorite is the Foreo Luna Mini 2 Compact Facial Cleansing Device.  I received this as a gift in July and have not stopped using it ever since.  I find that I cannot use this at night if I’ve worn a full face of makeup (I broke out the couple of times that I tried to use this over my Clarisonic) but this has become my go to in the morning and on nights where I did not wear makeup during the day!  It really does feel like a mini-massage which is a nice treat each time that I reach for it.IMG_2884

 

The other skincare item that I’ve been loving is this sample sized moisturizer by Estée Lauder, the Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Creme.  I really am enjoying this product, but once it runs out, it’s out because the price point on this item is wayyy out of my price range for a skincare item!  But if anyone is interested in it, it has a very pleasant light scent to it and the moisture that it provides is pure perfection.  It makes my skin feel extremely moisturized without feeling like I have too much product on my face and my makeup sits on top of this beautifully.

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NAILS:

The one nail polish that I wore a lot (but ironically not on the day that I took these photos) is from the new Fall 2017 collection by Essie and it’s the polish called Mixtaupe.  This is described as a “warm ivory with a hint of pink”.  If you’re into the off white nail polish colors, definitely check this shade out!

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RANDOM FAVORITES:

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I love office supplies and wish that I could be a professional back to school shopper for people, and in the spirit of back-to-school shopping I’ve recently restocked on some of my favorite Sharpie items!

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I LOVE the way that Sharpie pens write and how they don’t bleed through paper!  And here are a few other random favorites from this month…

  • MOVIE:   Moana (I watched it 3 more times in the month of August 😆)
  • SONG:     Watcha Gon’ Do? by Puff Dadd ft. Notorious BIG & Rick Ross
  • NETFLIX BINGE SHOW:   I re-watched Parks and Rec, and per usual, loved every second of it!
  • SNACK:   Doritos Spicy Nachos

 

I hope everyone is having a great start to September!

xo,

Lauren

Unboxing: PMD Personal Microderm Pro

Unboxing: PMD Personal Microderm Pro

Hi All!

Today I wanted to share with you the second skincare device that I received last month, but I want to do it as more of an unboxing via pictures!  I’m going to start by sharing a little bit about my skin history.  I began to have acne problems at a fairly young age; I remember that in 5th grade I had to see a dermatologist as acne was pretty heavily appearing across my forehead, on my cheeks, and chin.  I still am acne prone today but it has gotten better as I’ve aged.  I do have combination-oily skin and I also have larger pores especially on my cheeks.  I have some scarring around my face as a result of the acne that I had in my younger years that I’ve always wanted to at least try to lighten (to completely get rid of would be perfection), but I am not in a position to see an in-office specialist on a regular basis.  I had heard about this device last year and was lucky enough to receive it last month as a gift!

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

When you first open the box, you see a leaflet explaining step-by-step how to use the device from start to finish.  It also provides a link to an online training video!

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

Below the leaflet is the device itself along with additional parts for both face and body use.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

The main thing that drew me in to the device was that it claims to offer the same results as in-office microdermabrasion treatments, but in the convenience of your own home!  According to Nordstrom’s website (where the device was purchased) “It reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, blemishes and enlarged pores, allowing makeup to go on smoother and skin care products to penetrate significantly deeper.”  I also have a dark spot on my face that I have to heavily conceal that I’m also hoping that the device can possibly lighten as well.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

PMD Personal Microderm Pro
Base of device where you plug the charging cord in.

This is the power cord that comes with the device.  You don’t charge it as it’s not battery operated, but you simply plug it in with each use.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

PMD Personal Microderm Pro
White training disc for the face.

The device came with extra discs, for both face and body, made of aluminum oxide crystals (this is what removes the top layer of skin).  You start with the white training disc as that is the most gentle disc, and then if you choose to, you can make your way through more intense discs in the grey, blue, green, and lastly the red.  The discs are anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic.  You are also able to get up to 4 uses out of each disc (which is a month’s worth) as the most frequent that it’s recommended that you use the device is once every seven days.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

The disc sits slightly below the device’s cap and vacuum suction brings your skin up to the disc to work its magic.

PMD Personal Microderm Pro

The Pro version has 2 speed settings to allow for a low intensity or higher intensity, depending on your preference.

Overall, I’m really excited to get started with this.  With the YouTube videos that I’ve watched so far, users have found results within 60 – 90 days so it is definitely a process and something that I’d imagine will require upkeep as well.  I will do my best to document my progress so that I can do a full review possibly in 3 months or so showing my results!

Have you ever tried the PMD before?  If so, what was your experience with it?

xo,

Lauren

 

 

First Impressions: FOREO Luna Mini 2

First Impressions: FOREO Luna Mini 2

Hi All!

Last month I received a couple of new skincare tools as birthday gifts from my Mama Bear and today I’m sharing the first of the two items!  I had never heard of this device until I opened up the present, so it is completely new to me and I don’t know much about it at this point (other than what I’ve learned in my quick research), but I received the FOREO Luna Mini 2 in the color Fuchsia!

FOREO Luna Mini 2

FOREO Luna Mini 2

In a nutshell, this is a silicone facial cleansing brush that uses T-Sonic pulsation technology to cleanse the skin.

FOREO Luna Mini 2

The biggest feature that got me excited about this product is that the device is made out of non-porous material therefore it is bacteria resistant!  I’ve been using a Clarisonic (a holy grail skincare item of mine) for the past 5 years and I love it, but I dislike that you have to switch out the brush heads because they are quite pricey.

FOREO Luna Mini 2

The packaging was minimalistic, and the main components were the device itself plus the charging cable (which you can connect to any USB brick).  I saw somewhere (I can’t remember exactly where) that one 1-hour charge is supposed to last up to 5 months.  If that’s the case I will be pleasantly surprised!  Here are some close up images of the silicone bristles.

FOREO Luna Mini 2
Front.

The front of the brush is called the “general-cleansing zone” and the bristles are the smallest here.  At the very top of the front there is a smaller section of bristles to be used for precision cleansing.

FOREO Luna Mini 2
Back – waterproof charging port.

The back of the device has larger bristles and is called the “deep-cleansing zone”.

FEATURES:

  • Available in 6 different color options.
  • 1 power button; (- / +) buttons allow for 8 different intensity settings.
  • Recommended for all skin types.

CLAIMS ON FOREO’S WEBSITE:

  • T-Sonic pulsations can remove up to 99.5% of dirt and oil.
  • Will exfoliate without irritating the skin.
  • Overall you can experience a deeper cleanse while still being gentle, to reveal healthier looking skin.

I’ve only used the device a handful of times at this point and my thoughts on it so far are that first off, it is much less intense of a cleanse than when I compare it to my Clarisonic, so right off the bat I knew that I would not be using it at night if I had worn any makeup during the day.  HOWEVER, my Clarisonic is too intense for twice-a-day use, so I am finding that the FOREO is perfect for my morning skincare routine!  It is very comfortable in the hand, and to be quite honest it feels like a gentle massage on the skin!  It also doesn’t create suds the way that my Clarisonic does, so if you like to see soapiness as you wash your face, I would not recommend this to you.  If you have sensitive skin, I definitely would recommend you giving this a try because it is very gentle on the skin and again, it feels somewhat like a mini massage!  I have fairly sensitive skin and I haven’t turned pinky-red after any uses so far which I love!  As with any first impressions, I’d like to try this out a bit more before I do a full in-depth review, so I’ll be back with that at a later point.

Have you tried any FOREO skincare devices?!

xo,

Lauren

Ulta Surprise Gift?!

Ulta Surprise Gift?!

Hi All!

So I went to check the mail when I had returned from vacation last week, and there was a small box waiting for me.  I was caught off guard because I wasn’t expecting anything, and upon closer inspection I realized it was from Ulta.  On the box it showed Ulta’s address, my address, and the word “Surprise”.  I thought this was very odd, but I obviously was excited.  I opened the box up and inside was a fun little makeup bag containing 3 Estée Lauder products (2 sample sized skincare, 1 makeup)!

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(The cute little makeup bag.)

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I had to look up what 2 of the 3 times were as I haven’t tried them before.  Here are close-ups and more details of the products from left to right.

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Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme.  On Ulta’s website, this product is marketed as the way to achieve younger looking skin!  I perused the details section and it claims to be for all skin types, but especially for those users who are looking for help with reversing multiple signs of aging such as wrinkles, dullness, and loss of firmness.

 

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Estée Lauder Pure Color Love in Radical Chic.  I was the most excited at this FULL TUBE of lipstick.  Radical Chic is a warm toned pinky-red…it’s really pretty.  The reason I was most excited for this product is because this is a color that I would never purchase.  I am extremely boring when it comes to lip products as I tend to stick with nudes, so the only way I’d ever have a color like this in my collection is by receiving it as a gift or sample!  I tried it out just once so far, and what I can tell you is that firstly, IT SMELLS LIKE COTTON CANDY 🎉!  It was pretty opaque yet still moisturizing and not drying at all.  I only wore it for about an hour before I wiped it off to eat, and it slightly stained my lips to a pinkier shade of my own lips.  Again, I would not repurchase this exact color, but I now am interested in looking closer into the nude shades that the line has to offer!

 

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Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.  This is the only product that I’m familiar with from this surprise gift set, so I linked the first impressions post that I did on it last month 👉 (First Impressions: Estée Lauder Skincare).

I did some investigating because I was so perplexed by this surprise box, and it appears that if you are a Platinum member with Ulta, they will randomly send you sample products…for no reason at all.  What a great perk in addition to all of their other great perks!  I started my makeup journey with Sephora being my go-to spot, but slowly yet surely, Ulta has taken over due to their better rewards system and perks such as this!

If you’re an Ulta Platinum Member, have you received a surprise box?!

xo,

Lauren

 

Product Comparison: Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Product Comparison: Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Hi All!

When it comes to shopping, like most people, I like to find a great product for the best deal possible.  One of the types of blog posts that I’d like to do more of is a product comparison where I test out a brandname product and compare it with its dupe to see how the dupe matches up.  Today I’ll be comparing deep cleansing nose pore strips by Bioré and seeing how the up&up dupe from Target compares!

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

Let’s start with the brandname strips from Bioré.  At Target, I picked up the Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Nose Strips 6 Count and this retails for $5.99 USD.  (Please note that the only difference from this “ultra strip” product is that it is a bit longer than the non-ultra version.)

Bioré Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

The process is pretty straight forward – remove strip from packaging, wet nose, apply strip for 10-15 minutes, peel strip off nose.  The effectiveness of the Bioré brand is unreal.  I’m not going to do a before-and-after because my “after” strip will scare you – yikes!  You just have to trust me when I say that this stuff really works on clogged pores!  My skin type is combo-oily and I am acne prone, and every time that I use this product the strip removes dirt and oil from my pores.  If you have very sensitive skin, I’d like to warn you that this strip slightly hurts to remove.  You have to peel it off very slowly (my eyes tear up every time) or else you may tear off some skin with the strip.

 

up&up Deep Cleaning Pore Strips

For the up&up brand, it’s called Deep Cleaning Pore Strips and you get 14 strips for $5.89 USD.  (Again, please note that the only difference is that the Bioré strips above are slightly longer and that is the only difference between the ‘ultra’ and non-ultra.)  I tried to love this dupe, I really did, but it is terribly ineffective.

up&up Deep Cleaning Pore Strips

As I mentioned above, with the Bioré strips dirt and oil are removed with every use, but when I use the up&up brand, nothing is removed.  I didn’t just give this one or two tries, I used 6 strips over a period of time and came up with the same results (or lack there of) with each use.  What made me finally give up on the up&up brand was the time where I used a strip and nothing came out, then I followed up with a Bioré strip about an hour after my skin had calmed down, and A LOT of dirt and oil came out, per usual.  You still have to be careful when removing the up&up strips, but it’s nowhere near as intense as the Bioré brand.

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(The strips themselves look very similar.  Left: Bioré ; Right: up&up)

It’s pretty obvious by now what my final verdict is – for pore cleansing strips, I will absolutely pay more money for the the brandname Bioré strips and know that I will get great results when I use this product.

Have any of you tried either of these products?  What were your thoughts?

xo,

Lauren

 

Travel Beauty Essentials

Travel Beauty Essentials

Hi All!  

I am writing today’s post from Portland, OR as I’m currently on vacation visiting friends and family here!  I wanted to quickly share the beauty essentials that I brought along with me.

Hair Product:

Batiste Dry Shampoo

Other than standard shampoo and conditioner, the hair item that I must have with me at all times is dry shampoo.  This Batiste Original is hands down the one that I reach for the most as it takes away the greasiness without leaving behind any filmy layer or white residue.  I also love that it comes in a convenient travel sized option for trips!

Face Products:

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I tried to limit myself with how many makeup products that I brought with me, but when it comes to makeup, THE LIMIT DOES NOT EXIST! 

Face primer: Rimmel Stay Matte Primer

Concealer: Cover FX Correct Click Color Corrector in Orange

Foundation: Chanel CC Cream

Blush: MAC Cosmetics Powder Blush in Harmony

Face setting powder: Ulta Finishing Powder in Banana

Bronzer: Laura Mercier Bronzed Press Powder in Dune Bronze

Highlighter: Maybelline FaceStudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Gold

 

Eye Products:img_0226

Eyeshadow Primer: NARS Pro Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base

Eyeshadow palette: OF COURSE it’s the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Palette

Mascara: L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Blackest Black

Eye Liner: L’Oreal Infallible Super Slim Liquid Eye Liner in Black

 

Lip Products: IMG_0227

I am obsessed with Tarte lip products at the moment, and these 3 times were a must for this trip!

Lip liner: Tarteist Lip Crayon in Latergram

Liquid lipstick: Tartest Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Festival

Lip Balm: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Lip Rescue in Nude

The Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter is a product that I absolutely cannot live without.  My lips get dry very easily so I prefer to apply this every morning and night in order to prevent cracking.

 

Skincare:IMG_0224

I’m still working my way through the Estée Lauder skincare products that I did a first impressions on last month (check it out here if you’re interested)!  My thoughts have not changed too much from my first impressions, but I’m going to use everything up so that’s why I brought it all along with me!

Serum: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Eye Cream: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

Day Moisturizer: Estée Lauder Daywear Matte

Night Moisturizer: Estée Lauder NightWear Plus

I apply sunscreen after my daytime moisturizer and before I apply my CC cream, and I’ve really been liking the Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid-Lotion Sunblock in SPF 55.

 

Do I have any beauty essentials similar to what you bring along on your trips?!

xo,

Lauren