April Favorites 2016!

April Faves 2016

Hello everyone!  We’re a few days shy of the end of April and I’ve got a great collection of items to share so let’s get started!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare

One of the items I picked up at the Sephora sale, I can’t get over this beautiful shade.  If you’re in the market for a great liquid lipstick, pick this one up, if you can find it.

Colour Pop Ultra Satin Lip in Echo Park

If you’re looking for an affordable liquid lipstick, then Colour Pop is your brand.  At $6, this warm peachy nude applies smoothly and surprisingly lasts even though it’s not a matte formula.  It does come off as it never fully dries and I did find this to be on the drying side but lip balm underneath helps.

The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder The Barest Lip Color in So Bare

A collection I initially dismissed, I’m glad I went back to take a closer look.  A lipstick/lip balm hybrid, this feels creamy, hydrating and imparts good pigmentation

Lancome Juicy Shaker in 252 Vanilla Pop

Lancome’s newest take on the original Juicy Tubes, this lip oil is unique.  You shake the bottle to mix the lip oils and pigments to create a nice, albeit sheer, wash of color.  The applicator is a stubby sponge attached to the cap which feels plush and melts the product onto your lips.  This product gets addicting so you have been warned. 😉

Lipstick Swatches


L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C3 

I was a fan of the Laneige BB Cushion Compact so I wanted to give this one a try.  This does give a nice luminous look to skin that doesn’t feel heavy.  I’m not a big fan of the sponge that’s included so I use my beauty blender to apply the product.  Overall, I’m happy with this one.

Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation #3

I requested a sample of this foundation at the Charlotte Tilbury counter and this one is pretty much perfection.  It’s light-weight and provides enough coverage for me where it doesn’t look cakey and covers up my redness.  I was worried that this would be to glowy for my combination skin but so far it gives a nice sheen without looking like an oily mess.

Foundation Swatches

Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow

Another iconic item from Charotte Tilbury, I had to pick up this Film Star Bronze and Glow palette after one of the makeup artists tried it on me.  I will say that the Sculpt shade is lighter than expected but it sculpts cheek bones in a not-so-obvious way.  It blends in pretty nicely too.  The highlighter is also not that obvious looking but adds a subtle ethereal glow.

Becca Mineral Blush in Wild Honey

I love using this blush as it blends effortlessly and looks great applied over bronzer.  It’s not matte and has small shimmer particles but when it’s on me, it looks a bit matte.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

A perfect shade for sculpting and contouring, I’m only sad I didn’t try this sooner.  Love that the color is dark enough to define cheekbones but not overpowering.  I use this instead of the CT Sculpt shade when I want more definition.

Blush Swatches

Renee Rouleau Soothing Eye Makeup Remover

I received this when Renee was in town and I have to say that this did not irritate my sensitive eyes. Sometimes certain makeup remover wipes or formulas sting my eyes but this one was very gentle with no burning feeling.  It did well in removing minimal eye makeup but I had to use something more oil based if I had heavier eye makeup.

Skin Script Glycolic Cleanser

I ordered a few samples of these and boy these are very active products.  Containing 17% glycolic acid, I use this about twice a week when I’m experiencing some breakouts.  It’s also doubling as my beauty blender cleanser as it effectively removes all the gunk that accumulates on it.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask

I’ve been impressed by this hair mask.  As soon as I apply this, it leaves my color treated hair softer and smoother feeling.


Skincare Hair

Govino Go-Anywhere Carafe and Water Glass Set

I know this is missing from the main picture, but I didn’t have it with me at the time.  I received this carafe and water glass set in my March PopSugar Must Have Box and since I’ve kept it with me at work, I’ve been staying way more hydrated than I normally do.  The carafe is 28 oz and I refill it a few times a day.  I also love the fact that it’s easy to store and doesn’t take up too much space as you can place the water glass upside down on top of the carafe.


 Please let me know your favorites this month and if you’d want a full review of any of these products!



Sephora VIB 15% Mini Haul!

Sephora VIB

Hi readers!  I hope you all had a great weekend!

As promised, here are the final items that I purchased during the Sephora VIB sale along with mini reviews.  Enjoy!

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

I purchased this on a whim and because I couldn’t help but love the new mini travel size options.  This one cost $15 and it was smaller than I expected but it’s well worth it.  A little goes a long way and the color is visible enough to sculpt cheekbones but light enough to not look fake.

Becca Mineral Blush in Wild Honey

The Tarte Celebrated blush didn’t work out for me as it emphasized my pores and looked patchy so I exchanged it for this one instead.  This is described as a peachy nude shade and it looks so pretty on! This is nicely pigmented and blends in easily.  Perfect for any season.


Benefit Hoola

Top-Bottom: Benefit Hoola/Becca Wild Honey Blush


The Estee Edit by Estee Lauder The Barest Lip Color in So Bare

I must admit that I first walked by the Estee Edit display a couple of times but dismissed it.  After reading good reviews on the lipsticks and later taking time to swatch the colors, I had to have the shade So Bare.  As luck would have it, I got the last one and as soon as I tried it, it did not disappoint.  Lip balm texture and nicely pigmented color, you should give these a try.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare

This shade is frequently out of stock online and in store so I was ecstatic when I found the last tube in store.  Describes as a cocoa blush shade, this shade is gorgeous and will look great on many skin tones. It has good lasting power though it does fade with heavy drinking and eating. You need this shade.



Top-Bottom: KVD Double Dare and Estee Lauder So Bare

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder

One of the sales associates recommended this setting powder and although I haven’t used it as much, I do like.  It really helps set your concealer and helps prevent it from separating.

Sephora Sale

That’s it for my mini haul. 🙂

What did you get at the Sephora sale? 


Skin Tip: About Lemon Juice in DIY Skincare!

Happy Friday everyone!

I’ve heard and seen many people post about using lemon juice in DIY skincare treatments due to its vitamin C properties. While lemons do have a high concentration of vitamin C, they have a very low pH which can actually burn your skin.  Carefully formulated vitamin C formulas might be a better option to get your topical dose of vitamin C and if you have sensitive skin, look into magnesium ascorbyl phosphate.

Have a great weekend!



PopSugar Must Have Box Unboxing April 2016!

PSMH April

Happy Thursday everyone!  Subscription box week continues with April’s PopSugar box! This monthly box includes items that range from fashion, beauty, home, fitness and food, making it a well rounded subscription box.  All items are full size and valued at over $100. This box is$39.95 per month while the new PopSugar mini box is $18.95.

Take a look at what’s inside!

PSMH Kitchen

Chrissy Tiegen’s Cravings: Recipes For All the Food You Want to Eat, $29.99

A cookbook from supermodel Chrissy Teigen that features craveable concoctions including some of John Legend’s top picks. I’ve flipped through the pages and this cookbook does not disappoint with recipes including Sweet Chili & Mustard Glazed Salmon and John’s Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Yum!

Canvas Home Tinware Salt & Pepper Shakers, $12

These vintage-looking hand glazed salt and pepper shakers are from the Canvas Home’s bestselling Tinware collection.  They are super cute and antique looking.

Noon Design Shop “Lemons” Flour Sack Tea Towel, $18

A handmade supersoft towel that is made in the US and gets better with every wash. A dish towel is always welcome and will come handy.



Next By Nature Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, $3.99 

“These dark chocolate espresso bites are a natural alternative to your favorite candy-free of gluten, corn syrup, and preservatives, they are a healthier way to satisfy your sweet tooth.”  I ‘ll take dark chocolate covered espresso beans any time and these ones are delish! I can satisfy my cravings without indulging in The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’s Black Forest drink.

Royal Apothic Field Poppy Conservatories Hand Creme, $24

Inspired by recipes from an antique apothecaries manual, this rich hand cream has notes of fig, tea, jasmine, lily, moss and leaf.  I found this hand creme to smell a bit more on the masculine side, sort of like Giorgio Armani’s Acqua di Gio. I do like the scent but I’m not sure I’d want it for a hand cream.

Bloom That $20 Gift Card

A special extra, this gift card can be used to treat yourself or a loved one to beautiful floral arrangements. It feel this will come in handy as Mother’s Day is just around the corner.


Farmacy Sleep Tight Firming Night Balm, $48

Applying this lightweight balm before going to sleep will transform into a gentle oil gel to replenish and nourish skin overnight.  I have yet to try this item but it seems interesting.

I’m happy with this month’s box, especially the cookbook.  Can’t wait to try out the recipes. 🙂

What did you think of this month’s box? 


April Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

April BB

Happy Tuesday everyone!  April’s Birchbox is in and I have to say that this month’s box design is gorgeous.  Very spring and elegant. 🙂

Scroll on down to see what’s inside!

Inside BB

amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner 

This dry conditioner detangles and softens strands to “make them manageable and lustrous.”  I was very happy to see that my box included an amika  product.  This product smells so good.  Hard to describe but it says Sea Buckthorn Berry so I’m guessing it smells like that.  When I use it on straight hair it tames the frizz a bit but I didn’t notice any added shine.  On curly hair, it didn’t make much of a difference except make my hair smell nice.

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask 

An ultrahydrating mask with avocado, sweet almond and argan oils to condition and strengthen hair.  It also has a blend of vitamins B5, D, A, E and biotin to repair damaged hair. This was the sample I choose for this month’s box since I am looking for a good deep conditioner now that my hair is lighter.  I’ve only used this once but I was very impressed with how smooth and soft my hair felt.  If this works out, I wouldn’t mind purchasing the full-size.

rms beauty The Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes 

These makeup remover wipes are made with, “pure, naturally antibacterial coconut oil, which melts away even the most stubborn makeup.” The coconut scent on these is very prevalent and reminds me a a coconut popsicle. Unfortunately, the scent is the only thing I liked about these.  The wipes felt a little dry and hardly removed my mascara.  Since they were a bit dry, they felt abrasive and rough. I’ve heard great things about rms beauty but this just didn’t work for me.

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick- Guava Nice Day 

A lip crayon offers a tint of color that “features hydrating, good-for-you ingredients,” like sweet almond oil.  Another great smelling product that features a nice spring summer lip color.  The lasting power on this is decent though I like to put on a little bit of lip balm underneath so that it applies smoothly; otherwise, it will cling to dry patches.

PBJ Smoothie

A swatch of PBJ Smoothie Stick in Guava Nice Day

Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream- Lavender 

A shea butter, green tea, coconut oil and jojoba seed oil shaving cream that is infused with a lavender scent.  The lavender scent on this is not really my favorite as it smells kind of artificial.  It spreads evenly though, has a smoother glide due to the oils and does leave skin a bit hydrated, which is great for summer time.


April Birchbox

Overall, I was happy with this month’s box.  They also included a discount coupon for Rifle Paper Co and I’ll definitely be checking that out as the designs are pretty.

What was your favorite item in this month’s box?



Chemical Peels 101!

Chemical peels

When you hear the word chemical peel, usually what springs to mind are horrifying images of red blotchy, blistered, maybe even bloody, skin.  However, not all peels are created equal.  Enzyme peels can offer a more gentle form of exfoliation while a TCA peel can penetrate into the deeper layers of skin.

Here’s an overview on what you need to know about chemical peels.

Chemical Peels Defined

A chemical peel  is an accelerated form of exfoliation that involves an injury of a specific skin-depth.  It involves a process of removing excess accumulations of dead skin cells from the skin through acids, retinoids or enzymes.

Types of Chemical Peels 

  • Very superficial/superficial- performed by estheticians and used for fine wrinkles, sun damage, acne and some cases of rosacea
  • Medium Depth- performed by doctors or estheticians under medical supervision and used for more obvious wrinkles, sun damage and precancerous lesions like actinic keratosis
  • Deep- performed only be a pysician, this peel is used for severe wrinking and sun damage and healing can take several weeks

Benefits of Chemical Peels

  • Improves texture of the skin- looks and feels smoother
  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles
  • Can potentially stimulate collagen and elastin production
  • Can improve skin conditions such as acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sun damaged and dry skin
  • Increased moisture retention

 Contraindications for a Chemical Peel 

Although a chemical peel is a great treatment, not everyone is a candidate for them.  Being honest with your esthetician or medical professional will significantly reduce adverse reactions. The following list details some reasons that can contraindicate a chemical peel treatment:

  • Recent cosmetic surgeries, waxing, laser resurfacing, other chemical peels or dermabrasion
  • Recent fillers or Botox
  • Use of Retina-A, retinol, Accutane (Isotretinoin), or other medications that exfoliate or thin the skin
  • Allergies to the ingredients/aspirins
  • Pregnancy
  • Herpes simplex
  • Infectious diseases
  • Open sores or lesions
  • Sunburned or irritated skin
  • Medications that make the skin sensitive to the sun

Post Chemical Peel Care

Once your procedure is completed, follow your esthetician’s or medical professional’s advice on how to care for your skin.  Key points to remember are:

  • Avoid direct sunlight for 48 hours and wear SPF as your skin will be extra sensitive to the sun.   Physical sunscreen is best for sensitive skin.
  • Stay cool and avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms, hair dryers or any activity that can generate heat for about 2 days as heat can cause hyperpigmentation.
  • Whether you peel or not doesn’t determine if the peel “worked”.
  • Do not pick or pull on loosening or peeling skin.  You can lightly exfoliate with a dry towel if flaking occurs.
  • Do not wax for 72 hours after a treatment or immediately before.
  • Use gentle products for a few days after the treatment and avoid anything with active ingredients such as retinol.

Before you opt to receive a chemical peel, consult with your esthetician or medical professional to discuss your goals and concerns see what options are right for you.  Also, be mindful of the fact that it may take more than one treatment to see results so make sure that you are financially prepared.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any other questions, let me know!

Have you ever received a chemical peel?  What was your experience like? 


What Your Skin Does For You!

Brush up on your knowledge on what your skin does for you in this post!

Stephie Estie

skin works

For the most part, I write about skin and how to take care of it.  Investing time in a skincare routine, along with adopting healthy lifestyle choices, leads to skin health, enhanced appearance, protection from skin cancer, and prevention from premature aging.

However, have you ever stopped and wondered what your skin does for you?

Confession: Before esthetic school, skin to me was just…well…skin.  I knew it encased our organs, protecting them from falling out and responded to sensation but my knowledge about the subject was limited.  So what did I learn?

Skin, also known as the integumentary system, is the largest organ in the body and has six primary functions: sensation, protection, heat regulation, excretion, absorption and secretion.

Sensation: Our skin contains sensory nerve endings that respond to touch, pain, colds, heat and pressure.  These nerve endings detect stimuli, sending messages to the brain to react as…

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Skin Tip: Spring Clean Your Skincare!

Happy Friday everyone!

While you’re busy doing your spring cleaning, don’t forget to do the same for your skincare items.  Toss out any items that have expired-you might be surprised at what you find!  Also, remember that with the change of seasons, your skin might also experience changes so pay attention to what doesn’t seem to be working for you anymore and find an alternative. Always feel free to contact me with any questions. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!