Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 2012 Empties!

Today I'll be going over the few products I used up in September. I absolutely love reading these types of posts and watching the videos on Youtube. It's always a good feeling when you use something up, because then I use it as an excuse to buy some more! So lets get started!

The first thing I used up is my Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash. I really like this stuff. It doesn't smell the best but it makes my skin so soft and it helps keep those reds bumps on the backs of my arms at bay. This took me a little while to go through because I'm using another body wash as well and I liked to switch it up sometimes, but this was the first one that was used up!

Next, I used up the Garnier Fructis Length & Strength Shampoo. I still have a ton of the conditioner left over, probably about half of the bottle. For some reason I always go through shampoo like crazy but conditioner lasts me a really long time. Anyways, I really liked this shampoo. It made my hair really soft and the smell of all the Garnier shampoos is uh-may-zing! 

I finally finished up my Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock with SPF 55. I don't even know how long this took me to go through, but I've raved about this sunblock in quite a few of my blog posts, so you all know how much I love this. I actually just opened a new one of these this morning, so we'll see how long it takes me to go through. 

When I took the picture of the products I used up, I still had one day's worth left of the Garnier Nutristioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I used the rest up this morning and today is the last day of September, so I had to include it in this post. I have mentioned this in a few other posts and I'm not a fan of it. I've said before that the smell of it is very overwhelming and I personally didn't think it was that good of a moisturizer. I'm glad it's empty now! 

Next, I used up The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Facial Blotting Tissues. I think these are okay. They're basically your standard oil blotting tissue and there's nothing really remarkable about them. They're not terrible, they get the job one, but I don't use blotting tissues that much so they lasted me a very long time.

The last thing I used up is the Lash Fusion XL Mascara by Fusion Beauty(well, it really just dried up on me. Not sure if there was anything left in it). This came in one of those Sephora Lashstash boxes where you get a bunch of little mascaras to try. For me, I notice mascara doesn't really do much to my eyelashes. None of the ones I've tried have particularly lengthened or separated them. I basically look for if it doesn't flake off and that it lasts on my lashes. I have very oily eyelids and sometimes it causes my mascara to flake off and give me raccoon eyes, which isn't very attractive but this stuff really lasted for me. I would do my makeup in the morning before work and before I would take it off at night, I didn't have any smudges or flakiness so I liked it alot because of that. 

Well there you have it! I know I didn't use up that many things but I'm really going to try and go through a bunch of stuff in October so hopefully I'll have more to talk about.

What did you guys use up in September?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My Top 5 Favorite Facial Masks

I probably have said before that I love masks. Really, I'm obsessed. If I can find a mask that helps control all the oil, helps prevent breakouts and just keeps my skin looking beautiful, I'm sold 100%. Seriously, for me, finding a good mask is probably one of the best feelings in the world. None of these masks are in any particular order, they're just ones that I've used or am currently using and feel they deserve mentioning.

Okay, so I don't think I have a favorite mask of all time but the one I'm currently using, Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Carbon Mask, is pretty high up there in rank. I did a full review on it here. A quick thing I'll say about it is that it truly helps to control oil production and if I do have a little zit popping up, it's gone the day after I use this mask. Can you say amazing?

The next mask I like, but haven't used in quite a while is the Proactiv Refining Mask. I used this back when I was a teenager and had really bad acne and I absolutely loved this! It helped heal all my blemishes quickly but didn't irritate my skin, which I had and still kinda have issues with. Sometimes my skin can be so sensitive that I have to be really careful what I use. But man, this stuff did the job. It's a clay mask that has sulfur in it, which is a really good ingredient to help treat acne. I always remembered when I used it, that it made my skin so soft and my pores were a lot smaller as well.

Another really amazing mask is Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores. This mask is similar to the Paula's Choice mask, but this dries a lot more and is a lot darker in color. When I use this, it feels like this mask is literally sucking out all the bad stuff from my pores. The only downside (which I guess for some people isn't really a downside) is that it dries so much, you can barely move your face or it cracks and of course someone always had to make me laugh when I had this mask on and it would crack and sometimes it hurt, but not bad. This is still an amazing mask to help clear out pores and treat acne though.

The next mask is The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Mask. I used this a lot back in my late teens to about 20 or 21. My acne wasn't terrible then, but my skin wasn't exactly clear either and this helped to smooth things out a bit and take care of breakouts. It's also pretty cool that this mask is a bright green color which I thought was so fun. For some reason, colored masks other than black or white really make me happy. Plus, the tea tree oil in it is great for treating acne.

The last mask I love is also another one from The Body Shop and it's the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. This is good for if you don't really suffer from breakouts, but still have oily to combo/oily skin. I've used this fairly recently withing the last couple years or so once my skin started to really clear up. The seaweed in this actually helps to balance your skin tone and helps purify and clarify the complexion (at least that's what it says on the website), and I do have to agree with that. I never really had issues with uneven skin tone or post acne marks but this definitely seemed to help make my skin more even than it was and really helped with controlling oil. 

So there you have it! Those are my top 5 favorite masks, but in no particular order. I really do think that adding a mask to your skincare routine can really help in a lot of ways. Even if you only use a mask once a week, it'll make all the difference in the world. 

What are some of your favorite masks?

Friday, September 28, 2012

HAUL! Urban Decay & Sephora

This is a collective haul. I bought the things from the Urban Decay website back in August and the stuff from the Sephora site I bought just last week. You'll notice a theme with this haul but I was so excited about the sales I got so I have to share!

My first products are from the Urban Decay website and I purchased six eyeshadows when they went on sale for $9. I'm kinda kicking myself because now they're on sale for $6, but oh well, I'm still very happy with them. (Also, sorry for not having swatches! My camera doesn't seem to pick up the color right on my skin, but hopefully these photos help a bit!)

As you can see, I bought Blunt, Sin, Sell Out, Mildew, X, and Aquarius. I'm obsessed with Sin because of the Naked Palette and for me, it's the perfect highlight color for your browbone and inner corners of the eye. I love all the other colors as well, but haven't really played around with them much. Aquarius is actually a very beautiful color with my hazel eyes. It makes them look more green than normal.

My next purchase comes from the Sephora website (yes, I love buying almost everything online!). Again, I bought more Urban Decay eyeshadows, but only because these were on sale for $6! I guess I take back the statement about kicking myself for not waiting because once I purchased these, pretty much all the colors were gone after a couple days. I also purchased a Korres Pomegranate Toner because I've been wanting to try it for a while. (Sorry again for the bad photo of the toner! I have to figure out settings on my camera)

From Sephora I bought Lounge, Last Call, Psychedelic Sister, Chopper and Smog. I have to say I can't wait to try out Lounge! It's like this duo-chrome brown shadow with a tint of green to it depending on how you hold it in the light. Smog is another color from the Naked Palette that I love to blend lightly into my crease and Chopper is my favorite color from the Naked 2 palette that I put all over my eyelid. Urban Decay never fails me when it comes to eyeshadows and I know I'm definitely going to pick up some more in the future! As for the toner, we shall see how I like it as I will probably have a review on it later on.

So that's my little haul for you guys! I have bought some more things between these things so if you want to see a haul post on them, please let me know! These were just the super exciting things I bought ;) 

I'll see everyone later!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Nighttime Skincare Routine

Today I'm going to be going over my nighttime skincare routine. Some people may think I use a lot of products but this is how I've been doing my routine since I was a teenager so I'm used to a lot of steps. So lets get started! 

First I start off with my Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser. I'm still on the fence with if I like it or not. It's very liquidy which I don't particularly care for, but I can get it to foam up alright. I have had this cleanser for quite a while so I don't remember if when I bought it, it was a thicker consistency or not. It's an okay cleanser though. Doesn't smell too bad and rinses off nicely. I haven't noticed if it's helped with any blemishes I've gotten and I probably won't repurchase, although I do love other Juice Beauty products. I use this when I'm in the shower, sometimes with my Clarisonic as well. 

After my cleanser, I follow up with The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner. I absolutely love this cleanser and I have no idea how many I've repurchased over the years. This toner will be replacing my tea tree toner soon that I use in the morning because of the changing weather and this definitely keeps my skin more hydrated in the cooler months. I think I've mentioned before that there are only six ingredients in this, so in my opinion, there is no reason for this to have any kind of bad reaction on your skin. It is a very basic toner, so if you like more bells and whistles, you might not like this. Another really nice thing I found is if you stick it in the fridge, it feels amazing when you put it on a cotton pad to rub on your face, especially if you've gotten sunburned. I think this will be a staple in my skincare routine for a long time.

After I put on my toner, I use Paula's Choice 2% Beta Hydroxy Acid Lotion. This stuff is particularly good of you suffer from super clogged pores and blackheads like I do. It also comes in a gel and liquid form depending on what skin type you have. Now I know the lotion says it's for dry skin on the website, but I bought this when my skin was going through a dry spell, but I just want to use it up because I hate wasting product. I have to say, since I started using this, my skin has gotten a lot softer and my blackheads have diminished quite a bit as well. I'm always going to have blackheads no matter what I do, but as long as I can control them a bit, I'm okay with that.

Now for the next step, I actually mix these two products together. They are The Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum and Tea Tree Blemish Fade Night Lotion. I just put half a pea sized blob on my hand of each, rub my hands together and put all over my face, neck and chest. With all lotions, serums and creams I use, I always bring them down my neck and chest because you have to take care of that skin too. I am in love with the aloe serum. It's got no smell and it really helps calm down any redness I get. The blemish lotion I like, but I don't love it. I love the smell of tea tree in general, but this product has an overwhelming tea tree smell. Sometimes, I'll even skip the tea tree lotion and just use the serum. I do like that this lotion hasn't done anything bad to my skin though. It hasn't broken me out and it's not overly heavy, but it is definitely a night lotion like the name says. 

Lastly, I use The Body Shop Vitamin E Eye Cream. This is a very simple, but nice eye cream that helps hydrate my eyes when they're feeling a little dry. I definitely prefer a heavier eye cream at night to help hydrate and protect the skin around my eyes as I sleep. Even if you have oily facial or eye skin, I always say use some heavier products at night because they'll help keep your skin nice and it heals and protects your skin better than lighter products would. That is my opinion though and what I've noticed for my skin. Some people may break out from using heavier products, so just be careful.

There you have it! That's my night time skincare routine that I'm currently using. Definitely by the time it gets colder outside, my routine will change so I'll be doing an updated routine probably in a few months. Talk to you all later! :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Carbon Mask

Today I'm going to be talking about one of my favorite masks and that is the Paula's Choice Skin Balancing Carbon Mask. Paula's Choice products are really good especially for the price. You can find her stuff on her website and there is skincare, makeup, body care and a bunch of other stuff. She also has books out called Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me in various editions. I am totally obsessed with those books because I love hearing what she has to say about different products.

As you can see, the packaging is very, very simple. I don't mind that because I've used a bunch of her other products and they are amazing, so simple, understated packaging is fine with me as long as the products work. Here's the description of this product that's on the back of the bottle, "Skin Balancing Carbon Mask absorbs excess oil and purifies the skin using a unique blend of clay and carbon (charcoal). This silky light, glycerin-rich formula with anti-inflammatory agents cools without any irritation, and rinses away easily. Your skin is left feeling incredibly soft and perfectly balanced." I agree with this 100%! My skin always feels amazingly soft after I use this and my pores are a lot smaller. I also notice that it helps shrink up any blemishes I might have too.

This is what the product looks like spread on the skin. It's a very dark gray, almost black color and it also smells to me, kinda like sulfur but that has to be the carbon I'm smelling. It's not a terrible smell though. You leave a thick layer all over your face and neck and leave on for 10-15 minutes to dry. I leave it on for 15 minutes to get the best effect. It says to rinse thoroughly with tepid to warm water, but I always take it off with a washcloth first then rinse with lukewarm water to get the rest off. This mask is made for normal to oily/combination skin so if you have dry skin, I wouldn't recommend using this. Paula's Choice has many different products depending on what your skin type is. This 4 ounce container costs $15. 95 but you can also buy a sample packet for 80 cents to test it out if you don't want to buy the full size. $15.95 is definitely a good price considering the container I'm using now has lasted me for a long while, and I try to use this at least once a week

After I rinse everything off and pat my skin dry, I follow-up with my toner, treatment, moisturizer and eye cream. When I wake up in the morning after using this mask, my skin is very greasy but I don't care because when I wash my face, my skin is soooooo soft! 

Paula's Choice products are definitely worth a try, especially because they're not too pricey, yet they're very effective. So check out the website and give them a try! I hope everyone has a nice day! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Morning Skincare Routine

Hi Everyone! The weather has been really beautiful lately which is why I haven't posted in a while but today I wanted to share with you guys my current morning skincare routine. As of right now, my skin hasn't been too finicky with what I've been using so I'm very happy with this routine! So, lets get started.

Now the first thing I do in the morning after I wake up is my skincare routine. For some reason, I just can't stand not washing my face right after I wake up. It feels so good washing off all the oil and grease that's built up overnight and the cleanser I've been using as my morning cleanser for I wanna say about a year now, is the Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser. I've read that this cleanser is mainly for dry skin, which baffles me because in my opinion, it would make dry skin even drier. I just love how gentle it feels on my skin and it doesn't strip my skin either. It just makes it feel clean and soft.

Next, I use The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner. I know I've mentioned this in a blog post before but I wanna say again how wonderful this stuff is! It leaves my skin feeling soft and matte, which really helps control the oil on my face. I will have to retire this toner in a few weeks because of Fall approaching and I'll have to use something a bit more moisturizing as this usually makes my skin too dry during the colder months. I can't wait to bring it back into my routine when Spring arrives again though!

After toner, I use the Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. Okay, now I know I've said before that this isn't the best moisturizer and I'm gonna say it again. It's not that good in my opinion. I don't care for all the fragrance it has either. It smells too much like perfume to me. It's almost gone which I'm happy about because then I can use something I know I'll like better. I know you're probably wondering, "why use it if you don't like it?" The answer is because I hate feeling like I'm wasting product if it's just gonna sit there but it's not absolutely terrible either. It hasn't broken me out at all and it keeps my skin somewhat moisturized. Unfortunately, I do have another one of these in my closet to use up, but I won't use it again until it gets warmer outside.

Once my moisturizer has settled into my skin a bit, I put on my favorite eye cream of all time, which is The Body Shop Vitamin C Eye Reviver. If you've read my All About Eye Creams blog post, you know I raved about this stuff there. It truly is the best eye cream I've ever used and I'm very sad they decided to discontinue making it. They made another version of it but to me it just doesn't compare. Check out my eye cream post to learn a little more about it. 

Now this is the most important part of my skincare routine. I use the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock in SPF 55. I've said before how pale I am which is why I use such high SPF and I know I've raved about this sunblock in plenty of my posts. It feels very light on my skin, has a light, fresh scent and doesn't make me greasy! Which by the way, is a total miracle for me. I absolutely love this sunblock and the only way I'll use a different one is if I totally run out of this and can't go out to buy a new one. 

There you have it. That is my current morning skincare routine. It will be changing as the seasons change because my skin is fussy like that, so I'll definitely do updated routines later on. Have an awesome day and I will talk to everyone later! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How to Treat Your Body Skin: Body Lotions and Creams

Hey Everyone! Today I'm going to be talking about different body lotions and creams. I'm such a sucker for all kinds of different lotions. Anything that smells really good and keeps my skin moisturized is a keeper in my book. 

Now when you think about your body skin compared to your facial skin, they can be vastly different. Like with me, my facial skin is typically super oily and my body skin is usually pretty dry. It really depends on the season. Right now my body skin is getting a little bit drier than it was during the summer because the weather is finally changing some. I'm still using the moisturizers I was using in the summer because I want to use them up before switching to something richer. I'm not particularly fond of one lotion I'm using at the moment, only because it doesn't do much for my skin, it just smells really good and that's the Body Shop Milk & Honey Body Lotion. As far as I know, they don't even make this anymore but there are a ton of other body lotions they have that are amazing. I use the Milk & Honey lotion on my legs as they're not the driest part of my body at the moment, and it's an okay moisturizer, but like I said, not amazing.

The second lotion I'm using at the moment is Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion. I use this on my arms because they're always super dry, and this stuff works wonders. I have those nasty red bumps on my upper arms and this helps smooth them out and doesn't irritate my skin at all. I have about a third of the bottle left and I'll be kinda sad when this runs out because I really like it. I have to use up everything else I have though before I can buy another one of these babies!

Now for drugstore body lotions and creams, there are a ton that I like. I use a ton of creams and especially body butters in the winter because my skin can't get any drier. I mostly use the body butters from The Body Shop, but those aren't drugstore so I won't talk about them much (although the shea butter, coconut and cocoa butter ones are my favorites! :)). Okay, so one of my favorite body lotions is Olay Quench Daily Lotion. Omg, this stuff is freakin' fantastic! Every time I put it on after my shower, I practically drown myself with this stuff, it's that amazing. I shower at night, so when I wake up in the morning, my skin is so soft and hydrated, and it stays hydrated all day. I also love Aveeno body lotions and my favorite one is the Daily Moisturizing Lotion. A very simple, but very effective product. The skin on my body is rarely sensitive, but sometimes in the dead of winter, it can be and this lotion is amazing at hydrating and calming my skin. 

There are so many options for body creams and lotions. Seriously, go into a Walmart or Target or any drugstore and look at the different options. It can be pretty overwhelming, especially being a product junkie like I am! But hey, I love all my lotions and potions and makeup, and wouldn't trade it at all :)

Take care everyone!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

August 2012 Favorites!

So I figured I'll do an August 2012 favorites blog since I don't have access to a video camera to post on YouTube (maybe in the future sometime). I absolutely love watching those videos and reading about who loves what. So lets get started.

The first favorite I have is a nail polish by Zoya called Lotus. This is a tiny bottle but that's because I recieved it in a Birchbox. I LOVE this color! Here's a description from the Zoya website describing the color (because I'm terrible at describing colors): "Zoya Nail Polish in Lotus is a very soft, dusty blue-toned amethyst purple with colorful shimmer that reflects pink, red and gold. A dreamy smoky shade for purple lovers that looks both soft and luminous." I pretty much agree with this description except for the dusty blue part. I just don't see it. It's such a beautiful purple color and the shimmery particles show up very nicely but it's not over the top. I used two coats of this and it turned out very opaque and lasted for quite a few days for me before it chipped.

My next favorite is the Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Gel Shadow in Bad to the Bronze. Yes, I know I'm late with saying how wonderful this is, but I just recently purchased this within the last couple months and it really is incredible. I use this underneath my eye shadows especially when I'm using either of the Urban Decay Naked palettes. I have to use an eye shadow primer first as well because I have super oily eyelids and my eye shadow looks amazing all day. I can't wait to try out some of the new colors they have for Fall.

Next, I have a blush from The Body Shop and the back of the package just says 04 cheek colour, so it doesn't have a name, just a number. To me, this blush reminds me a bit of Nars' Orgasm, just a little bit lighter and with a tad bit more sparkle but again, not over the top. This was usually my go-to blush pretty much everyday in August, aside from a few days when I'd use the Nars or some other brand. I've also had this blush for almost 3 years and I still haven't hit pan on it. I know you're probably thinking eewww gross! But, it hasn't changed color, it doesn't smell funny, and plus, powder formulations of any makeup tend to last a while as long as it's stored properly.

My next favorite is a lip balm by a brand called on10. This container came in a package of I believe 9 lip balms and I got it from Sephora a couple years ago. The flavor I have pictured is lime and it has an SPF of 15 which is really good especially when you're going to be outside in the sun. I've been using this for I wanna say almost 2 months and it's almost empty. This lip balm is amazing too. It makes your lips so soft and moisturized, and it smells wonderful! I still have some flavors left as I'm a lip balm freak and have way more than necessary.

My final favorite is The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Toner. I am totally obsessed with this stuff. The bottle pictured is still full because I just opened a new one last week sometime, but I've been using this toner all through Summer. I will have to put it away by the end of September because it really helps control oil production and keeps skin matte, which will actually be too drying for me once Fall rolls around. The only downside to this product is that the second ingredient is Alcohol Denat. which is basically plain alcohol and is very drying to the skin. I will say though, I haven't had any issues with this over-drying my skin or irritation so I do recommend it if you're super oily and have acne-prone skin like I do. Just remember to use a moisturizer after using this, or you probably will have super dry skin.

So that's everything for August! I'll definitely be doing a September favorites and I hope this gave you a good idea of a few things I like. Bye everyone! Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How to Treat Your Body Skin: Body Scrubs

Like body washes, there are tons of choices for body scrubs as well. Personally, I love all kinds of body scrubs, whether they have super fine grains in them or big chunks of sugar or salt. It's super important to exfoliate your body because like your facial skin, you don't want a buildup of dead skin that clogs your pores, so it's good to exfoliate your body 1 to 3 times a week depending on your skin.

Now, I love a good scrub with salt or sugar in it. Mostly because it makes my skin really, really soft plus the sugar and salt dissolves once it gets the job done, which helps prevent irritation. Philosophy used to have amazing hot salt scrubs but for some reason they don't make them anymore. Seriously, they were the absolute best and like typical Philosophy, they smelled incredible. So, because I can't find those scrubs anymore, I mainly use the ones from The Body Shop. The absolute best one they have, in my opinion, is the Shea Body Scrub. All of their products are natural and this is made from organic sugar and salt grains. It's also got organic soy oil in it which is an essential fatty acid that helps repair skin to make it soft and smooth. It also smells really good too. The body Shop has so many different scented scrubs to choose from, so go to a store if you have one and smell all of them to see which one you like. Another good one is the Coconut Body Scrub. Obviously I love the smell, but it's not as exfoliating as the shea scrub. The grains in it are very small, and honestly I'm not even 100% sure what the little grains are made of, but it's definitely not salt or sugar. This scrub is a lot more gentle so if the skin on your body is sensitive, this is a good option. Looking in my closet, the scrubs from The Body Shop are the only ones I have now, that's how much I love them. 

I gotta admit, I am not really a fan of drugstore body scrubs, mostly because I can never really find them! Seriously, every time I'm at Walmart or Target I can never find a single scrub I want to try. One lone scrub I have found to be pretty nice is Neutrogena Body Clear Body Scrub. I love the body wash version of this too and it's actually in my shower right now. I sometimes get acne on my body, especially with how hot it's been this summer. I haven't used this scrub in a while but I believe the scrub particles in this are just synthetic beads, which does help exfoliate, but it can be a little harsher on the skin depending on how big the particles are. It does have salicylic acid in it, which helps to clear out your pores and heal acne though, which is the nice thing and i remember it not smelling bad either. 

Hopefully this post helped. I know it's not very long, nor did it mention many products. I am very particular with the body scrubs I use and I just haven't come across many that I liked but everyone should still look around at different products to see what catches your eye. I will definitely stay loyal to The Body Shop because they make such wonderful products. Anyways, I'll talk to everyone in my next post! :)