October 2016 Favorites!

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Happy Thursday everyone!

October is coming to a rapid end so here’s some products that have gotten me through with stellar results.  Take a look!

L’Oreal True Match Lumi Cushion in C3 

Words can’t express how much I really love this cushion BB cream.  It provides a natural “my skin but better” look and leaves behind a nice glow that is not overwhelming.  One of my go-to products for practically any given day.

Too Faced Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake

Included in the Too Faced Naughty Kisses and Sweet Cheeks holiday set, I’m pretty obsessed with these lip glosses.  With just the right amount of shine, I love the plumping effect of this gloss and they last a pretty good while.

It’s a 10 Miracle Shampoo plus Keratin

Pretty much my holy grail shampoo at the moment!  Finding a shampoo that does not make my scalp or skin itchy is painstakingly difficult.  This sulfate free, sodium chloride free, paraben free, keratin protein infused shampoo lathers nicely, cleans my hair without feeling harsh, smoothes my curly and often times unruly hair and the best part? No irritation.

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask 

Basically the only worthy product included in my Birchbox box this month, I like using this mask in the shower to gently exfoliate my skin.  Although it’s compared to a traditional peel, I disagree.  I can’t see the levels of willow bark and pomegranate enzymes these have but it doesn’t appear to be too concentrated as I felt no activity once I placed it on.  I like this for cooler weather at the moment because it provides hydration without feeling heavy.

Clinique Nude Pop Cheek Pop Blush

This blush is one of my favorites for a reason.  It provides both a natural look and finish and is perfect when you want to look put together in a jiffy. It blends seamlessly onto skin.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel

Look no further than this product when you need to groom and define your eyebrows stat! Since this has a spoolie like application, a few quick strokes helps fill in sparse gaps and brush them at the same time to save you time.

What are your favorites this month? 

Stephanie 

 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing October 2016!

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Hi everyone!

I have a look into the October Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Cool Cut, with products that truly stand out from the crowd and destined to become mainstream with breakthrough formulas.

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How cute is this Lipstix and Chill bag?!

Let’s get into the rest of the contents!

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel 

An advanced, non-abrasive peel that is supposed to gently exfoliate skin to reveal a bright and renewed complexion.  The active ingredient is AC-11, which is derived from cat’s claw and helps gently exfoliate.  As an esthetician, I have a different expectation for a peel.  Personally, I didn’t see a difference with this at all and it actually left behind a sticky feel and residue. Not impressed at all.

Christophe Robin Regenerating Mask with Rare Prickly Pear Seed Oil 

A conditioning hair mask that strengthens strands while enhancing color and shine.  The unique ingredient in this is prickly pear oil that comes from the seeds and contains over 80% fatty acids that provides an unparalleled amount of deep nurturing oils to hair.  This mask it quite thick and has an interesting smell.  When I used this mask, I found that it did leave hair shiny but it didn’t have a conditioning effect as I assumed it would.  It does not state that it’s supposed to condition hair so it’s best to mix in your own conditioner with this mask to get knots out.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick in Driver’s Seat 

This matte liquid lipstick claims to last 8 hours and have a water-resistant, non-feathering formula. Jojoba, apricot and sunflower oils are included to provide a non-drying finish.  The shade I received was Driver’s Seat which is described as a warm pink however I kind of find it to be a terracotta-red type shade.  The shade is gorgeous and it is highly pigmented.  This does come off when drinking and eating food and I do find this formula drying to lips.  If you’re looking for a true matte liquid lipstick, then definitely check this one out.

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Blinc Mascara Amplified 

What makes this mascara special is the innovative “tube technology” that coats lashes with easy-to-remove, tiny water-resistant tubes that won’t run, smudge or flake.  Removing this mascara is simple as you only need warm water and a cotton round or ball to remove.  I’ve used this mascara before as part of my simple makeup routine and I love it for a natural look.  I find that it doesn’t provide much volume though.

Belief The True Cream Aqua Bomb 

This South Korean skincare brand is made with Scottish botanicals and based on the research of Duncan Napier, a Victorian botanist from Edinburgh.  This lightweight gel-cream is meant to tighten the look of skin and sink in for a smooth, supple feel.  It can also be used as a mask and tissued off after 5 minutes. I love the feel of this cream and it does feel very lightweight and refreshing when applied.  However, I did notice that as I was using this, my face started to breakout.  I’ve discontinued use and will try again to see if this was the source of my breakouts.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris 

Inspired by a love for the sophistication and allure of Paris, this scent layers fruity and floral notes over a musky base.  It contains notes of bergamot, pear, raspberry jasmine, musk and patchouli.  My sense of smell hasn’t been the best so I haven’t tried this one yet but I will update this once I’ve had a chance to give it a fair try.

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Overall, I’m happy with this month’s box and look forward to receiving November’s.

What did you get in your box this month? 

Stephanie 

 

Too Faced Naughty Kisses and Sweet Cheeks Review and Swatches!

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Happy Thursday everyone!

I’m excited to bring you a review on one of Too Faced’s Holiday 2016 sets.  First off, can anyone beat the Christmas in New York theme? Call me crazy but it’s my dream to travel to NYC during the holiday season. Something about it just fascinates me but until that happens, I’ll gladly enjoy dreaming about it.

Okay, back to the review.  I tried the Too Faced Lip Injection and instantly knew I had to get it.  So I went on the hunt for this one and wouldn’t you know that all the stores I checked didn’t have these in stock.  So, the next best thing was this set as it had 3 of the lip plumpers and matching blushes.  Was it worth it? Keep reading!

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Too Faced Naughty Kisses and Sweet Cheeks

Described as: This fabulously festive set comes with three deluxe Lip Injection Glossy Lip Glosses and three coordinating Love Flush Blushes, all wrapped up in one pretty package. Give as one present or spread the love (and kisses) by gifting each pair separately.

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I love how these come ready to gift in case you choose to do so!

 

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This set includes: Mini Lip Injection Glossy Original (clear) and Love Flush Crazy in Love (bright pink); Mini Lip Injection Glossy Milkshake (nude) and Love Flush Baby Love (nude peach); and Mini Lip Injection Glossy Like a Boss (orchid) and Love Flush Dream Lover (lilac).

Pros 

Great value set ($36)

Unique/variety of shades

Can be gifted

Blushes are nicely pigmented

Good lasting power

Cons 

Blushes are smaller than I’d like

Colors may be too sheer for darker skin tones

Overall: I’m very happy with this set.  Considering that a deluxe size of the Lip Injection costs $14, receiving 3 of these plus the blushes makes it a good value.  You can keep all 3 or gift them and they come imprinted with a gift tag, ready for you to personalize it.  I was a bit skeptical to try the lilac blush and lip plumper but it’s actually a very flattering shade and it sheers out a bit more pink on my cheeks.  Both the blushes and lipglosses have good lasting power, with the blush lasting almost all day and the gloss a solid 3 hours.  The lip plumpers do tingle for about a minute or so but it does deliver a pouty, fuller lip.   My only complaints would be that the blushes are on the small side and it takes a few swipes for my brush to pick up product; also, some of the shades might be too sheer for darker skin tones. Other than that, Too Faced did a great job with this set!

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Here is a swatch of the blushes. Top-Bottom: Dream Lover, Crazy in Love and Baby Love

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And a swatch of the lip plumpers. Top-Bottom: Original, Like a Boss and Milkshake

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I’d love to know, what holiday sets are you looking to buy?

Stephanie

 

Morphe 35O Eyeshadow Palette Review and Swatches!

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It’s Thursday and as promised, I have a review on the popular Morphe 35O Eyeshadow Palette. Morphe was one of the vendors at ICES 2016 and since the line was short I decided to take a look.  Instantly, I knew I had to purchase this palette. It’s one of the most talked about palettes and, hello, gorgeous fall colors-how could I walk away without purchasing this?

So, does palette live up to the hype? Keep reading to find out!

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Morphe 35O- 35 Color Nature Glow Eyeshadow Palette

Description: “From cooler grey-toned browns to fiery sunset colors, this palette is a beautiful mix of wearable warm neutrals that give you effortless versatility whether you are after a daytime look or full-on glam. The perfect balance of matte and shimmery finishes make it a go-to for makeup lovers at every skill level. Get everything you need to highlight, blend and transition without ever wearing the same look twice.

Pros

Cost effective at $22.99

Gorgeous shades

Variety of finishes

Most shades have great pigmentation

Most shades blend easily

Cons

Lots of fallout

A few shades don’t blend as smoothly

A few shades apply patchy

Overall I really love this palette as it’s perfect for fall and you get 35 shades for a great price.  I gravitate to the orange, warmer browns in this palette and they do not disappoint.  I find that most of these shadows have a creamier consistency, making the application and blending process fairly easy.  A few of the cooler toned shades and a least one orange shade apply a bit patchy and require a bit more effort into blending.  Other than that, most shades have great pigmentation and with a primer, they last all day. The shade selection is great so you really don’t need another palette as you have matte, shimmer and satin colors all in one. A problem that I have with this palette is that practically every shade has major fallout.  Whether you’re dipping a brush into a shade or simply swatching, it kicks up a lot of color and can turn into a mess fast if you are not careful.  I found that lightly patting the shade instead of swirling helps decrease the amount of product fallout so it’s just something to be mindful of.

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Here are swatches of the shades. Since these shades don’t have names, I labelled the rows so you know what row I swatched (e.g. R1 = Row 1).

Row 1 Swatches 

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Row 2 Swatches 

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Row 3 Swatches 

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Row 4 Swatches

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Row 5 Swatches

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A few shades took about 3 swatches to fully show up on camera but other than that, they’re pretty pigmented.

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Have you tried this palette? What are your thoughts on it? 

Stephanie 

September 2016 Favorites!

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Hi everyone!  I apologize for being MIA mid last week but I had some unexpected things to take care of. Originally, my review and swatches of the Morphe 35O palette should have been up last Thursday but I’ll have it up this coming Thursday so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, we’re in October so let’s get started with a few of my favorite items I have been using.

PCA Skin Nutrient Toner

Pumpkin spice is everywhere and it’s found its way into my skincare regimen too!  Comprised of pumpkin wine, lactic acid and vitamins, this toner leaves my skin soft with a nice glow.  The amazing scent also helps me get my pumpkin fix without adding any calories. 😉

Eminence Pink Grapefruit-C Gel

I picked up this up at ICES last month as I was looking for something that would calm my skin down. This light-weight gel is rich in vitamin C and contains peppermint to clear and heal skin while helping to prevent the appearance of blemishes. I’ve definitely noticed that my skin looks more clearer and though this contains peppermint, it doesn’t sting my skin.  I use it during the day underneath my moisturizer and it absorbs fairly quickly.

Sweet Treat Lashes in Cake 

I received these lashes courtesy of the Peachy Queen boutique and I love them. From the chic casing to the luxe feel, these tapered and layered silk lashes are soft, easy to apply and look glamorous.  With 10 different ‘flavors’, you’re sure to find a style that suits you. Bonus perk, the owner, Aimee, is super nice and helpful.

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BH Cosmetics Illuminate by Ashley Tisdale Cream Cheek and Lip Tint in Cabana

Part of my birthday haul a few months back, I’ve been using this blush almost every single day for a quick and effortless look. It’s a gorgeous pink shade that has major lasting power and doesn’t compete with your other makeup shades.

Kat Von D Tatto Liner in Trooper

Included in last month’s Sephora box, this liquid liner has become an HG status along with the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Jet Black. It has great pigmentation, glides on smoothly and is long-lasting. *Note: I always wear eye primer.

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation

We’ve had some extremely warm weather here in So Cal so this light-weight moisturizer was perfect for those days.  I used this moisturizer with my foundation to create my own custom made tinted moisturizer.

 

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Here’s a picture of me using the lashes in Cake and the blush in Cabana.

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What are some of your favorite items? 

Stephanie 

September Birchbox Unboxing 2016!

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Hi everyone!  The last subscription box of the month is here and this month’s theme was all about multitaskers.

Take a look below to see what I received!

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Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

A creamy cleanser that sweeps away dirt and makeup while gently exfoliating.  This product was paired with a muslin cloth to aid in the removal of it, although you can remove it separately. First off, I really love how this product feels- so very creamy and luxurious.  However, it did leave a film behind and although I tried to remove it with a different cleanser, it never really went away.  It kind of made me breakout a little too.  I will try this again once the weather cools down.

Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer

An eco-friendly, lightweight sunscreen that has a cucumber scent.  This is a chemical sunscreen that has antioxidants like evening primrose oil and acai which are a nice addition.  It doesn’t feel heavy at all but as much as I like Coola products, I’ve been receiving them a lot lately and would love to explore other brands.

Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek in Perk

This lip and cheek stick melt on contact with body heat for sheer, buildable color.  The sheer coral shade is a great option as a cheek color or lip shade.  I prefer to use it as a cheek shade and it goes on nicely and blends out evenly.  I will be trying this out further to see if it causes breakouts or not.

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Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color

A lightweight formula that protects and adds gloss to hair ans strengthens and nourishes hair with watermelon, lychee and edelweiss.  I’m a fan of a few Oribe products so I was curious to see how this worked since I have color treated hair.  This did make my hair feel softer and left a nice, glossy sheen behind.  However, most Oribe in shower products cause a little bit of a reaction on me and this made me slightly itchy.  I might just use it sporadically to minimize the reaction time as I was impressed with the results.

Bonus: Oribe Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color

While I really like the Oribe shampoos and conditioners (hello amazing scent and lovely feel!), I do seem to have a reaction to them as my hair and body start to itch.  I decided to hold off on these as I tried the Oribe glaze and didn’t want to increase the risk for a reaction.

Tocca Florence Eau de Parfum

Notes of grapefruit, bergamot, jasmine, blue iris, blonde wood and white musk make up this scent. Unfortunately, this was a no-go for me as the scent of jasmine was a bit overwhelming.

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Overall, this box was just okay.  I could do without the perfume and while I appreciate the sunscreen, I have plenty samples to last me a while.

What do you think of this month’s Birchbox? Will you be keeping your subscription?

Stephanie 

 

Play! By Sephora Unboxing September 2016!

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Hi everyone!  How was your weekend?  I can’t beleive fall is just around the corner! Cra-zy.

I’m kicking off subscription week here on the blog with a look at the September Play! By Sephora box.  In case you don’t know, this is a monthly $10 curated subscription box featuring samples of different brands available at Sephora.  The theme for this month is The Unbasic Basics, with products meant to become the building blocks for your beauty routine.

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Kat Von D Tatto Liner in Trooper 

A waterproof liquid liner that glides on to reveal precise, bold strokes of highly pigmented color. The applicator on this liner is thin enough to provide a very fine line bit can also be tilted to provide a thicker line.  This eyeliner doesn’t budge which is always a plus.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector 

You’re supposed to work this product into damp or dry hair and leave it on overnight.  You can rinse it out in the morning or leave it on to get a full week of softness and shine with this long-lasting, weightless solution that keeps hair looking its best. This did make my curly hair softer but other than that, I haven’t seen a dramatic change.  Perhaps the more I use it, the more I’ll see results?

Sephora Collection Rouge Shine Lipstick in Love Spell 

This pink creamy, moisturizing lipstick is formulated with shea butter and caster oil to nurture lips.  The consistency of this lipstick is very much like a lipgloss and with the weather changing, it’s a great formula to have on hand.  The shade of pink is a gorgeous color that is perfect for daytime or paired with a smokey eye.

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Top-Bottom: KVD Tropper and Sephora Love Spell Swatches

Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia 

This refreshing floral blend balances delicate notes of magnolia with layers of wood and citrus.  At first scent, this smelled okay but then as the day went on, it kind of made me nauseous so unfortunately this one didn’t work for me.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel 

A light-weight, flexible clear gel that sets, defines and keeps brows in place for a polishes look that stays all day. I’ve actually had a sample of this one before and I really like it.  My brows tend to get unruly as they grow in so this is perfect to help tame them a bit.

 

Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation 

Light, silky, and oil-free, this moisturizer melts into skin to help soften, brighten and even skin tone.  It contains licorice root to brighten, chamomile to soothe and vitamin C to help encourage collagen production. I do like this moisturizer as it does sink into skin without feeling heavy, however with the weather changing, it doesn’t provide enough hydration on its own.  I decided to pair this with a serum and it worked better.

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Overall, I’m really happy with this box!

Have you tried any of these products? Which ones are your favorites? 

Stephanie

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor Review in HD Kisses and HD Embrace!

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Happy Thursday everyone!  This week is flying by as it’s almost Friday-what?! That’s the perk of a long weekend I guess and I’m not complaining. 😉

I have another review on some budget friendly lippies so let’s get started.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor

Described as a, “lightweight, high definition velvety matte color. Moisturizing, velvety feel. 100% wax-free, gel formula.”  I picked up HD Embrace, a nude pink and HD Kisses, a raspberry mauve shade.

Pros 

Cost effective at under $10

Sleek packaging

Clear tube allows you to see the color

Color glides on smoothly

Good lasting power

Good array of colors

Excellent pigmentation

Cons

Not truly matte

Dry down time takes about 30 minutes

Lighter colors accentuates any imperfections

Sweet scent may not be for everyone

Overall: I’m a big fan of these lip products.  They are reminiscent of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams in both the feel and sweet scent.  I found that the formula glides on smoothly provided your lips aren’t chapped. Both leave behind a stain while eating and drinking, with HD Kisses more pronounced than HD Embrace.  The pigmentation on both are great and usually one swipe is all you need to get excellent coverage. Even as these dry down, I don’t find that these are completely a true matte because I can still rub my lips together and feel a bit of slip to them. With this said though, they aren’t really that moisturizing after they dry down either. I’d describe it as in between a satin and matte. The packaging on these is very sleek and the color you see is pretty much the color you get.

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Some swatches of the shades.
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Have you tried the Revlon HD Mattes? What’s your favorite matte lipstick? 

Stephanie 

ColourPop Review on Flitter and My Jam!

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Happy Tuesday everyone!  I’m still recovering from my long and fun-filled weekend!  I attended a wedding so it’s always fun to get glam for an event.  You can check it out on my Instagram.   Did you do anything fun for Labor Day weekend?

A few weeks back I purchased two new items that ColourPop released so if you’re curious about what I thought, keep on reading!

ColourPop Ultra Metallic Lip in Flitter 

Described as, super intense color with high impact metallic pearls and a non-drying formula that is extremely long-wearing.  The shade Flitter has a warm pinky undertone with flash of gold on top in a Metallic finish.

Pros 

Cost effective at $6

Beautiful and unique shade

Smooth application

Good lasting power

Cons 

Tube looks about half empty

Not very hydrating

Accentuates dry lips

Overall:  As soon as I saw swatches of this shade on several beauty blogging sites, I knew I had to have it.  The color itself is ah-mazing! It’s a nice pink shade that has gold swirled in it and pictures don’t do this shade justice. It glides on smoothly and lasts a decent time without heavy drinking or eating.  I sometimes pair this with my Lancome Juicy Shaker to get a more hydrated feel.  It does accentuate any lip imperfections so it’s a good idea to prep them beforehand. One of the biggest cons is that this tube looks half empty. As soon as I took the applicator out, I could see through the tube.  I know it’s priced at $6, but all the other glosses are filled so I’m not sure what happened here. Other bloggers have complained about this issue too. I love the color so I would repurchase this again-I just hope they fix the half-empty issue.

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Top to Bottom: ColourPop Flitter and My Jam Swatches

ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip in My Jam

Described as, “a full coverage gloss with a smooth pearl metal finish that does not contain any glitter.” (Note: This is the description for the Ultra Metallic finish).  The shade My Jam is depicted as a warm golden nude shimmering with silver and gold in a Metallic finish.

Pros 

Cost effective at $6

Hydrating

High shine without the glitter

Tube was filled with product

Cons 

Not long lasting

Shade on website doesn’t match the actual color

Slightly sticky

Sheer

Overall: I like this color but in all honestly, it was very different from the picture on the ColourPop website.  I was expecting a warm golden, sort of peach nude but when I pulled the tube out, the shade was more copper/brown like.  It’s still a nice shade that has a high shine and is great for layering but I was kind of disappointed with this one.  Though hydrating,there is little bit of tackiness and the color is pretty sheer so the lasting power isn’t the best.  I would not repurchase this shade again.

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Have you tried any new ColourPop items?  Which are your favorites? 

Stephanie 

 

August 2016 Favorites!

August Favorites 2016

Happy first day of September everyone!  It’s time again for my monthly favorites and you’ll notice that most items here are skincare.  Well, my skin has been acting up lately and I had to pretty much stop wearing all products until I could try to figure out what the culprit was.  I’m thinking I have a slight sensitivity to something in my kickboxing class.  These products have been instrumental in keeping my face calm so let’s get to it.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 

Described as, “flawlessly undetectable like it belongs on your skin, this innovative formula features medium, buildable coverage and a modern matte, natural finish that feels uniquely airy and silky on skin.”  On a whim, I decided to pick up this foundation and I absolutely love it. It silky texture melts right into your skin and enhances it in the most natural way.  You’ll forget you’re wearing makeup.  I haven’t really heard much about this foundation but I highly recommend giving this a go.

PCA Skin CliniCalm 1% 

This product contains 1% hydrocortisone to soothe and provide temporary relief of itching and irritation, both of which I’ve been experiencing lately. While the formula is safe to be used for 7 consecutive days, I find I only need to use it for 2 days before my symptoms start to clear up.

PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Not pictured above, I received a few sample packets of this and I have to say I am impressed.  This is a universally tinted, water resistant physical sunscreen (Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) that can be used alone or layered under makeup. Since it’s a purely physical sunscreen (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), this has been perfect for my sensitive skin.  The coverage is very sheer, so a tiny bit of redness still peeks through but overall, it’s a great product and I’ll be picking this up at the trade show this month.

Skin Script Green Tea Citrus Cleanser 

Most of my cleansers were off limits for a bit and this one was really the only one that didn’t feel irritating.  With a blend of antioxidant rich green tea, grape seed extract to counter skin irritations to offset redness and inflammation, and wild cherry bark extract to help soothe skin, this gentle foaming cleans without stripping skin dry.

Caudalie Resveratrol Eye Lifting Balm

Featured in this month’s Play! By Sephora box, this eye cream absorbs quickly into skin and provides a nice brightening effect. Read review here.

Dermalogica After Sun Repair

One of my most cherished items from Dermalogica, this is my holy grail skin saver.  I keep it in the fridge and when my skin feels like it’s burning, I apply a generous amount of this to my face and the coolness instantly calms my skin.  This product is left on and is formulated with lavender, cucumber, chamomile, yucca and algae extract to restore moisture loss and aid skin recovery.

Stephie Estie Skincare

Another huge favorite this month has to be of course my new business doing skincare.  I opened up the first weekend of August and I’m so blessed and thankful to God for this opportunity. It’s a work in progress and pretty stressful but so far a lot of people have been so supportive and I couldn’t ask for more at the moment. 🙂

Facial Room

Note: For the most part, my skin is slowly returning to normal.  I notice that once I stop the kickboxing class for a few days, my skin feels better. I’ve participated in other fitness activities where I sweat just as much, but I don’t get a reaction.  I’m assuming my skin is either sensitive to the cleaning solutions they use or perhaps the gloves/punching bags.  Of course I don’t want to give up the class because I really enjoy it so I’ve found that right after completing my session, I immediately remove my wraps, wash my hands and arms thoroughly with soap and water and then rinse my face with cold water. This process has helped tremendously in reducing irritation/sensitivity.  

What are your favorites for August?  And, have you experienced any skin reactions when exercising? Share your thoughts below! 

Stephanie