Dry Brushing

I bought a dry brush! It all started with a Sephora sale, upcoming wedding, and an upcoming honeymoon in Cabo!

I’ve heard amazing things about dry brushing, and since I’m trying to look my best, and feel my best I decided I’d give it a go.

Dry brushing is an age-old beauty and health practice that dates back centuries. It has been used by almost all historical civilizations including the Native Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Ancient Indians, Russians, Turks and the Scandinavians, for various healing benefits.

Dry brushing is said to stimulate circulation and the body’s lymphatic systems. It is also supposed to help the body shed excess water and toxins. With continues brushing is can give you smoother skin, help improve your digestion, help with kidney function and help eliminate cellulite.

I’ve researched how to brush and it seems the best way is to begin at the ankles and work up in long, firm circular motions. When you brush the back, you work down from the neck towards the ankles. I haven’t experienced any adverse reactions since I started brushing, but I’ve read that some people begin peeling, or their skin becomes really sensitive. You can over brush, and you can brush too hard, so be aware of what your skin can handle and always moisturize after you get out of the shower! I’ve been using a body oil after I shower and my skin is drinking it up!

I’ve also seen reports that say drinking a glass of warm water and lemon is great for after brushing. I have yet to try this, but I might add this to my routine in the morning. I use to drink warm water with lemon and apple cider vinegar every morning and it’s about time I start again.

I purchased my brush for $14 from Sephora, but I’ve been told you can buy them at just about any health food store. You should always opt for a brush made with natural, non synthetic bristles. Synthetic bristles can be too harsh on the skin. The one from Sephora is made of Boar hair, and is intended to be used dry. Brushing in the mornings is best, but always try to brush before you get in the shower so you can wash off the dead skin and impurities left behind.

I’ve been brushing every other day for about a month, and my skin already seems a lot smoother. I was getting really dry after the first few times, but I upped my moisturizing routine to twice a day, and it’s all under control now. I’ve noticed that I don’t have to shave my legs as much, and that my skin is a lot softer.  A few weeks in I started feeling a little under the weather, but I’m thinking it was because I was “brushing” the toxins out of my body. I honestly feel like dry brushing has improved my skin’s overall appearance, and has really helped get the blood moving and toxins out of my body. It takes all but 2 minutes before I hop in the shower, so it doesn’t add much time to my routine at all. I see myself dry brushing for the rest of my life honestly!

I’m interested to know if any of you have tried dry brushing, and if you have, what where your results?

 

 

SEP Beauty

I was introduced to a new brand this past month at a beauty class run by Beaut Chat and Beautibi. I’m so thankful I was invited to join in on the learning and testing of these new products!

Sep Beauty is a chic and sustainable beauty company based out of Korea. You can tell they are chic just by the packaging and design of their products. None of their products are available in the U.S. market as of right now, but will soon by launching at select Nordstrom’s locations and on-line. Their products contain minimal ingredients, and they refrain from using any harsh or toxic chemicals. They really believe in healthy and safe beauty. SEP products don’t contain any talc, paraffin, artificial perfume, or triethanolalamine (can be found in up to 40% of beauty items, also known as TEA, is a reactionary byproduct of two toxic substances: ethylene oxide and ammonia).

I have been lucky enough to test out a new product that has yet to be released. It will be available soon, and when I get a release date I will certainly share with you all!

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The all new Liquid Sticker has quickly become a favorite of mine. My manicure never lasts longer than 3-4 days because I’m hard on my hands and nails. I always get bored with the color I choose too, which frustrates me. I hate the smell of polish, and I hate using acetone on my fingers because it dries out my hands and cuticles.

Knowing all that, you can probably imagine how excited I am for this new nail polish! It applies easy, dries in literally minutes, and peels off when it’s time for a change. No base coat, no top coat, and no acetone! It’s water-based and 10 – Free (most polishes are 5 – 7 – Free!). There is absolutely no smell whatsoever, and it’s perfectly safe for your toddlers (in my case, pets!).

It lasts about 2 days on me, 3 if I really feel like pushing it and touch it up. It isn’t designed for its lasting power though, and will start peeling rather quickly. The color is amazing, and extremely pigmented. I only have one shade, Ruby, but already know I am going to want all of them when they launch! I am told that they will retail for $15 and will have 18 beautiful shades to choose from.

I am literally blown away by this polish! I give it a 2 thumbs up and 5 stars!

I think the price tag is amazing given the fact you don’t need a base or top coat, and can change your polish without using acetone. You can eliminate 4 products from your routine and change your color whenever you want!

Check out my quick little demo bellow and tell me your thoughts on this product! Would you buy it?

 

Freebies?!?

Have you ever wondered how so many people are scoring free product on-line?

I use to wonder too, until I did a little research and started asking questions. You don’t have to be a blogger, or influencer to score free stuff from brands. A lot of brands like to partner with sites that help get their products into the hands of the everyday consumer…meaning you!

 

 

The first site I signed up for was Influenster*. Influenster allows you to connect your social media profiles and then grades you on how much on-line presence you have. They send surveys to your e-mail that you must complete in a certain time frame to be considered for their “Vox Boxes”. A Vox Box is the box of freebies they send you to try out and review! Not everyone gets the same stuff, but if you stick with them long enough, your bound to get some goodies! I’ve received makeup, snacks, nail polish, hair care, skin care, and even a Keurig! You have to make sure you are willing to post to your various social media profiles before signing up, because if you don’t, they will ban you from receiving future boxes. They honestly don’t ask very much of you, and they work with some pretty awesome brands! If you haven’t already sign up here*!

Another site I’ve grown to love is BzzAgent. BzzAgent is a no frills type of site, and I believe they rate you on how well you review the products you receive. I’ve received air fresheners, snacks, candles, and perfume from them so far! I love how easy it is to navigate the site, and to review the different products I’ve received.

Pinch Me is another site that you can score freebies on! They actually let you pick the samples you receive too, which is awesome! I’m new to this site, and I’ve only received a few samples of dog treats and NyQuil. They don’t ask much of you, just honest reviews after you receive your products. They come out with different products to choose from periodically, so you have to check your e-mail often to stay in the loop or you can miss out!

.08 Liter is one of my favorite sites to use. They mainly have asian skin care products up for grabs. The shipping times vary, but they typically take forever to arrive. You have to apply to try a product for free, and they select those who get the product after a certain time period. You are then required to review, and use specific hashtags before a preset date in order to be eligible for future campaigns.

These are just a few of the sites out there that you can score free stuff from. A good thing to keep in mind is that brands partner with these sites to get their products into the hands of real life consumers…meaning you! They are looking for real reviews, and real exposure from the testers. Altering a review in a particular brands favor just because the product was free is wrong, but it sadly happens all the time. Leaving less than stellar reviews won’t get you banned from any of these sites! Be honest, and open when testing new products…and most importantly have fun!!

Are there any sites that I’m missing? I know there are tons out there, but these are the ones I have personal experience with! Leave me a comment if you know of anymore!

 

Disclaimer: Links with “*” are affiliate links. If you wish not to use one of my affiliate links, just open a new browser window and manually type the web address in.

 

 

June Skin Care Favorites

As the seasons and weather change, our skin changes. We have to swap out products, and find new ones that will make our skin happy! In June it typically gets hotter in Southern California, and I have to change out my cold weather products for ones that won’t melt off my face in 100 degree heat. If you read on, you will find the products I used on a daily basis in June, and what I thought of them! These products will be staying on my counter this summer, and they will all be purchased when I run out!

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Isntree Aloe Soothing Gel* – I’ve been using this Aloe Soothing Gel in my morning routine before I apply my makeup. The directions say to apply a moisturizer after, but I’ve been applying my SPF then makeup and it seems to really help my foundation last all day. It’s been super hot, and I needed to switch up my routine to make my makeup last more than an hour! The gel isn’t sticky at all, and seems to absorb very well. It’s thicker, but melts right into the skin. It’s made with more than 80% Aloe Leaf Juice, which is nutrient rich and can help with signs of aging and acne. There really is no strong scent that I can detect in this product, which is great for those who don’t like fragrance!

You can grab this for $12 and the ingredients include – Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (80%) • Water • Butylene Glycol • Glycerin • Sodium Hyaluronate • Polyglutamic Acid • Betaine • Trehalose • Allantoin • Panthenol • Arginine • Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract • Soy Isoflavones • Chamomillia Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract • Centella Asiatica Extract • Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract • Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract • Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract • Pulsatilla Koreana Extract • Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract • Carbomer

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The Ordinary “Buffet” – Who doesn’t love this brand?!? They are all the rage, and for good reason! I picked this up for $14.80 from Beautylish. I use it in the mornings and at night before I apply my moisturizer. It isn’t tacky or sticky at all, and there is no scent whatsoever. It absorbs nicely, and I’ve noticed my skin seems to be more even since I started using it. I especially like using it around my eye area!

What it does: This treatment improves multiple signs of aging at once with various anti-aging ingredients. It reduces fine lines and wrinkles, fades dark spots, hydrates, brightens, and promotes a firm, smooth texture.

Key Ingredients:

  • Matrixyl 3000: a peptide complex that firms and plumps skin by boosting collagen and elastin
  • Matrixyl Synthe’6: a peptide complex that reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and imperfections
  • Syn-Ake peptide complex: prevents the formation of deep wrinkles and restores elasticity
  • Relistase peptide complex: increases skin firmness and elasticity by boosting collagen
  • Argirelox peptide complex: fights expression wrinkles, like smile lines and crow’s feet
  • Probiotic complex: promotes healthy skin barrier function and better hydration
  • Amino acids: proteins with moisturizing, antioxidant, and restorative benefits
  • Hyaluronic acid: multiple hyaluronic acid complexes hydrate and create a plump, supple feel

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Jill2 7 AM Energizing Morning Essence*– I’ve been loving this essence in the morning. The crisp, fresh smell really gets me going! It’s lightweight and absorbs really nicely into my skin! You can grab it for around $13 too, which is a steal! It contains apple water, hyaluronic acid, and cliff swallow flower extract.

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9 Wishes Vegetable Capsules Rose Essence* – This essence is super lightweight and I’ve been using it morning and night. It absorbs nicely, and the scent it heavenly! It will cost you about $22, but it’s totally worth the price! The bottle is gorgeous too, and looks really nice on my counter! Rose in anything is a favorite of mine because its mood elevating properties!

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Benton Honest Cleansing Foam*– Benton is an awesome brand, and I trust their products. I don’t like fancy cleansers, because I often double cleanse. I like a cleaner that will do it’s job, and that’s about it. This baby is pure gold to me! A little goes a very long way, and for around $10, you can’t beat it. It smells fresh, and leaves my face feeling super clean!

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UnTamed Natural Care Activated Detox Charcoal Mask*– If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me post about this product. I love a good mask, and I hit the jackpot with this one. The ingredients are amazing, and it’s handmade. I’ve been using this at least once a week, and it’s really helped my mini breakouts. it’s $12 for a 4 oz. jar, and you’re helping a small business. I actually love quite a few of their products!

Ingredients: Bentonite Clay, Activated Charcoal, Witch Hazel, Castile Soap, Aloe Vera Gel, Sweet Almond Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil

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McArthur Hydrating Facial Cream*– This cream is really different from any other cream I’ve tried. It’s on the thicker side, but absorbs quickly. I’ve been using it at night before a sleeping mask, or in place of a sleeping mask. It has really helped my skin stay moisturized in this summer heat. I love the smell because it’s not artificial. It smells all natural if that makes any sense at all, and the ingredients used are out of this world! They use PawPaw extract, which is amazing for your skin! The company is Australian, and they seem to know a thing or two about natural skin care. This will cost you $32.95, but I honestly think it’s worth every penny. If you live in the U.S., you can find this brand at some of your local health food stores. I know I will be keeping an eye out for it when I get low.

Ingredients:

Aqua (Water)
Purified water

Carica papaya fruit extract
McArthur Pawpaw Extract™ – our own specialised active extract derived from pawpaw

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil
Obtained from dried kernels of the almond tree, this oil contains Vitamins A, B and E and is also a great emollient encouraging soft, smooth skin

Cetearyl Alcohol
Derived from coconut, cetearyl alcohol is used to integrate the water and oil components of a cream together to create a creamy moisturizing base

Coco-Caprylate
A skin conditioning agent derived from coconut

Glycerin
Used to maintain the moisture in the skin

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
Derived from both coconut oil and glycerine, this is used as to retain moisture in the skin

Glyceryl Stearate
Widely accepted as a safe, non-toxic ingredient in skincare products, it is used as a lubricant to the skin as well as maintaining hydration in the skin

Glyceryl Stearate Citrate
An emulsifying and stabilising ingredient derived from glycerin

Beeswax (Cera Alba)
A safe, non-toxic ingredient that has softening and soothing properties and helps to retain moisture

Gluconolactone
Derived from corn this hydrates and moisturises the skin

Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Natural compound that acts as an antioxidant

Xanthan Gum
Made through fermentation of corn sugar, it is used to bind and stabilise the product

Stearic Acid
Commonly used emollient and emulsifier

Glyceryl Caprylate
Plant sourced, this is a moisturizing and conditioning agent that is also antimicrobial

Magnesium Aluminium Silicate
Naturally derived mineral derived from refined and purified clay used as a thickener; it contains large molecules and is unable to be absorbed into the skin

Citric Acid
Derived from citrus fruits, citric acid balances the pH of the product

Sodium Citrate
Citric acid salt used to adjust the pH of the product

Sodium Benzoate
Due to the high percentage of active ingredient in our products, we have chosen to use a food grade preservative approved for use in certified organic cosmetics to maintain the integrity of the products

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McArthur Muscle Aches & Pain Cream*– I’ll start by letting you all know I have Planter Fasciitis in my left foot. I’m a runner, or used to be, and this causes extreme pain from time to time. I haven’t found anything that really helps, except intense stretching, and sometimes that doesn’t even alleviate the pain. I’ve been using this cream for about two weeks straight, every morning and every night. The pain has seemed to ease up on me since I started using it! I’ve also been using it for minor sore muscles from working out. It doesn’t have a strong scent like other pain creams I’ve tried in the past, which is a plus for me! You can pick this up for $26.95 on their website or at your local health food store.

Contains active natural ingredients Aloe Vera, and Arnica which is traditionally used in herbal medicine for the relief of mild pain in muscles and joints.

 

Disclaimer – Although the products marked with ” * ” were sent to me for reviewing purposes, all opinions are my own.

June Empties

I finally have some empties to report! I swear, I never run out of product for some reason. I either switch to using something else, or just stop using a product all together. Maybe I do the so I don’t run out? Separation anxiety? Who knows! At least I’m going through my stash!

 

My first empty from this last month was the A’PIEU Aqua Peeling AHA Toner. I purchased this on-line from Mask Sheets. It’s made for combo or oily skin and contains a mild peeling agent. I really enjoyed this toner. It didn’t make my skin dry at all, and it really seemed to help even out my skin tone. I used a cotton pad to apply after I moisturized morning and night. This toner seemed gentle enough on my skin, and I would repurchase again if I ever get low on toner.

The product info from Mask Sheets says, “Daily peeling toner with AHA, BHA, 10% lime extract and papaya extract. This toner is an excellent daily clearing routine for oily skin and dry skin with visible keratin flakes.

This products contains mild peeling agent, so please use sunscreen in the morning.

 

  • Skin resurfacing agent AHA and BHA effectly removes dead skin and promotes better penetration of the active ingredients.
  • Moisturizing complex from lime and papaya extracts remove dead skin and hydrates your skin at the same time. “

 

The ingredients include – purified water, lime extract, glycolic acid, papaya extract, propanediol, glycereath-26, PEG/PPG 17/6 copolymer, sodium citrate, sodium hydroxide, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, algae extract, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, hydroxy methyl cellulose, arnica flower extract, salicylic acid, ethyl hexyl glycerine, disodium EDTA, chlophenesine, phenoxyethanol, fragrance.

 

My second empty was the infamous May Coop Raw Sauce. I ordered it on-line from Sephora. At the time I ordered it, I had only tried one other essence, which was the CosRX Snail Mucin. I was looking to expand my essence horizons and stumbled upon this product. I bought the smaller bottle (1.35 oz. opposed to the 5.07 oz.) just to try out. To my surprise, the bottle lasted quite a while! This essence is really watery, but the smell is amazing! It has maple tree sap as one of the ingredients, which was a total first for me! I will be repurchasing for sure!! I used this in the morning typically and it left my skin feeling hydrated and soft every time I used it.

What Sephora says about Raw Sauce “This essence helps effective ingredients penetrate into skin, thanks to its unique maple-tree sap base. The innovative formulation is packed with nourishing botanical complexes, along with ingredients possessing antioxidant properties, which neutralize free radicals and support natural skin cell regeneration. This luxuriously silky liquid has a smooth, non-sticky texture that quickly absorbs into the skin for an instant boost of hydration, resulting in skin that’s not only healthier-looking, but better able to obtain the benefits from any product applied afterwards. It’s further enriched with unique, botanical, herbal, and floral complexes to intensely hydrate and promote a radiant complexion.”

The ingredients include – Acer Mono Sap, Alcohol, Glycerin, PEG-8, Sea Water Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Water, Betula Alba Bark/Leaf Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Bark Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Pinus Sylvestris Bark Extract, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Flour Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Germ Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Arginine, Panthenol, Creatine, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Fructan Powder, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Parfum, Sodium Hyaluranate, CI 15510.

 

Hopefully I can get through some more of my stash this next month, and share my thoughts with you all!

Sheer Beauty

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Pixi never ceases to amaze me with their products. The whole Sheer Beauty line is so perfect for summer and those long days in the sun. The products are lightweight, and can be used for that no makeup vacation look or layered on for a night out. The colors are great for every skin tone, and are super easy to use.

Pixi says, “The Sheer Blush Gel creates a natural looking and long-lasting flush to brighten and beautify your complexion in an instant”. I have to agree with this completely! I’m not one to like gel or cream blushes at all, and I fell in love with these! It was easy to use, and blend. I made sure I set my foundation with powder, then applied to the apples of my cheeks and blended out with my fingers. I went in with a Beauty Blender to make sure I was all blended out and the color pay off was very natural looking! They offer three different colors of the Sheer Cheek Gel priced at $14 each. I’ve been using Rosy, and it’s perfect for my light/medium complexion. Natural and Flushed are the other two colors they offer. Natural would be best on fair skin, and Flushed on someone with a medium/tan complexion. They are oil-free, fragrance free, hypoallergenic and paragon free!

The GelTint and SilkGlosses come in three color combos and are $12 each. The lip tint gives stained effect, while the jojoba infused gloss helps to keep the lips hydrated and nourished. You can wear these alone, or together. I’m really loving these color combos and the way the gloss makes my lips feel! The tint is so lightweight, and the gloss isn’t sticky at all. They pair perfectly with one another. They really do have lasting powder throughout the day, and are perfect to toss in your bag when you’re on the go this Summer!

You can find Pixi at select Target locations, on-line at Pixi Beauty, and at their new store in Venice, California!

 

 

*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored. I received these products for free from Pixi. Although I received these products free, all opinions/reviews are my own and nothing can sway me from being honest.

Perfect Summer Nudes

I’m talking about lipstick!

I’ve never really been a lipstick wearer, until recently. Honestly, I think I just needed to find shades and formulas I am comfortable wearing.

I attended Phame Expo a few weeks ago and picked up some lipsticks thinking they would get thrown in a drawer with the rest of my collection and never see the light of day.

To my surprise, I was wrong!!

 

I grabbed a gloss and a matte liquid lipstick from Kokie Cosmetics in the colors Hearts Delight and Infamous. I also picked up the new In The Nude collection from Makeup Geek Cosmetics that included a Plush Matte Lip Cream in the color Beach Bunny.

Kokie Cosmetics is a newer brand on the scene, and I’ve been hearing tons of great reviews about their products. The lip glosses go for $6 and the matte lipsticks run $7. Not bad pricing at all! You can find this brand at select Wal-Mart stores too, which is super convenient! The gloss isn’t sticky at all, and is really pigmented. They claim their glosses are high shine, but this shade isn’t that shiny on me in my opinion. It’s perfect, and I can top any lip color with it! The matte formula is amazing! It takes a bit to dry down, but it’s super creamy and not at all drying. It literally lasts all day on me too, which surprised me! Totally worth it! I’m planning on picking up some more shades in both formulas!

I have never tried Makeup Geek Cosmetics before my purchase from Phame. I was really surprised that I loved the whole collection I picked up. The Plush Matte Lip Cream is phenomenal! The formula is so lightweight, and flattering on the lips. It takes a bit to dry down completely, but after it does, it’s not going anywhere. It’s not hard to remove either,  which is a total plus! You can pick these up on their website for $12, which is a total steal considering the formula is more comfortable than some of the brands I’ve purchased for double the price!

I’d love to hear your feedback, and what your go to lipsticks currently are!