2020 Skin Care Favorites

2020 skincare favorites

FTC NOTES: Some products mentioned in this post were originally received in PR (which will be noted with a **).

First, a little bit about my skin! My skin is currently normal-to-oily with a tendency to be dehydrated, and not particularly prone to breaking out except when I have to wear a mask for more than a quick errand thanks to Miss Rona. My main skin concerns are redness/hyperpigmentation, hydration, and anti-aging. I am just about to turn 34 and I do have a few fine lines. These are the skincare products currently keeping my skin bright, clear, and happy.

Cleanser: Friends, I have found a true holy grail cleanser in the First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Cleanser ($21, FAB/Ulta/Sephora). This cleanser helped calm my skin down within just a few uses. It’s so very gentle. What I also appreciate about this cleanser for first-timers is they sell several sizes at varying price points, so you don’t have to dive into a huge tube you aren’t sure you will like.

Exfoliating: For my more regular exfoliating, I go for the Tarte Knockout Tingling Treatment ($39, Tarte/Ulta/Sephora). This product packs a punch at 10% acid complex with both salicylic and lactic acids. It also contains sulfur, niacinamide, and glycerin which help with stuff like fine lines, pores, and evening skin tone/redness. I use this up to 3x/week and it really helps keep my skin clear.

Another exfoliator I love and have purchased many times is Dr. Brandt PoreDermabrasion** ($58, Dr.Brandt/Sephora). I originally got this in PR, but have bought 3 more tubes since then. This is an extremely fine-grit scrub that also contains salicylic acid for that double-whammy of both physical and chemical exfoliation. 1-2x per week (on days when I’m not using the Tarte toner) I mix a glob of this into my First Aid Beauty Cleanser to cushion the scrub (not required, but the Dr. Brandt team recommends this method for sensitive skin). I use it on my whole face, neck, and decolletage.

Moisturizing: I have two favorite moisturizers and they could not be more different. First, I love the CeraVe PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion ($varies, Target/Ulta/Amazon) – another very gentle product, and like the entire CeraVe line is, packed with ceramides that help calm the skin and build up its natural moisture barrier. It’s great for healing if you accidentally over-exfoliate, or have raw dry skin after a cold. If you have dry skin they also have a heavier formula.

On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, we have the Tatcha Water Cream ($68, Tatcha/Sephora). Where the CeraVe moisturizer is rather boring and utilitarian, Tatcha Water Cream is an experience. This product is pure luxury right down to the little golden spatula it comes with that slides conveniently into a slot on the lid. Tatcha Water Cream has numerous essential oils and plant extracts, so if you are sensitive to such things you’ll definitely want to avoid it, but this cream does wonders for my skin when it is dehydrated. It has a lot of hefty claims: balanced skin, more radiant/luminous skin, improved clarity & less obvious pores. I don’t know if it does all of that, but I definitely notice balanced, radiant skin.

Eye Cream: Another product I’ve been using for years is the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Brightening Eye Cream** ($48, It Cosmetics/Sephora). Despite the name, the brightening aspect is not why I love this eye cream. I love the texture, how hydrating it is, and how it lessens puffiness. I don’t have a tremendous problem with dark under-eye circles, so I can’t really say how well it handles those. All I know is when I don’t use this and try using a different eye cream, I miss this. It also wears beautifully under concealer, so I never have to worry about a bad makeup day. My fine lines haven’t gotten any worse since I started using this either, which is a bonus. I got my first jar of this in PR, but I have repurchased it twice since.

Here are a few extras that aren’t necessarily in my everyday routine, but that I use frequently and recommend.

COSRX Acne Patches ($6, Ulta/other prices elsewhere) are little hydrocolloid patches that help draw out all of the yucky junk in a zit. Just slap one on overnight after your usual acne treatment and that sucker is usually much smaller and more manageable in the morning.

The Creme Shop Sooper Soothe Sheet Mask ($4, The Creme Shop) are my quick fix for dehydrated or mildly irritated skin (not intensely irritated or reactive situations). This mask contains rice water, green tea, and snail goop (which is actually good for your skin, who knew). It’s a lovely soothing, moisturizing treat. And to think I originally tried this to hit free shipping at some point…

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($50, Ole Henriksen/Sephora) is my current go-to Vitamin C serum. I’m on my third bottle of this bad boy as well. It’s very gentle, and also contains aloe, collagen, and various plant and fruit extracts claiming hydration, anti-aging, and brightening. The effects of topical collagen are still kind of debatable, but I like this serum for its hydrating and brightening effects.

Fourth Ray Beauty Rainfall 2% Hyaluronic Acid Serum ($16, Colourpop/Ulta) is one of only 2 products I’ve tried and liked from the Fourth Ray line (the other one I’m still kind of testing out so it’s not a favorite yet). It is nice for extra hydration when needed, and smells like cucumbers (which I love). I’ve repurchased this once as well.

I feel kind of bad about loving the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist ($28, Glow Recipe/Sephora) as much as I do. I talked so much sh*t when this was launched about how no face mist was worth $28, even if the mister is one of the best. Well, I eat my words. This mist is fantastic. I’ve purchased it not once, but twice now and I REGRET NOTHING. It’s hydrating and definitely adds a noticeable luminosity to the skin. And the mister is great.

Remember when Shiseido Facial Cottons were the must-have product for like all of YouTube? Yeah. I got sucked into paying $12 for cotton too. It’s okay. They’re great! But $12 for cotton is insane no matter how nice they are. Enter: Daiso Fresh Cotton ($1.50, Daiso). They are every bit as soft and lovely as the Shiseido Facial Cottons, but you get more and for a fraction of the price. It’s a no-brainer. If you live near a Daiso, scoop some of these up. If you do not live near a Daiso, Ulta Ultra Soft Square Cotton Pads are also a great dupe for Shiseido. Not as much of a price break, but Ulta brand stuff goes on BOGO sale a lot.

So that’s it…those are what products are keeping my skin looking as best as it can lately. What are you loving for your skin?

Updated Morning Skincare Routine – February 2017

I like to change up my skincare routine pretty often to suit my skin’s needs. I’ve found my skin changes every so often, especially because here in SoCal we’ve had some really varied weather lately. We’ll have days where it’s sunny and low 70s and then the next day be cold and pouring rain. What the hell? I adapt. Here is what has been working for me lately. You’ll see a lot of “or this”, because I don’t use the same things every day.

WAKEY WAKEY…LET’S DO THIS!

I start my morning cleansing with either Murad Essential-C Cleanser* or Foaming Pumpkin Cleanser* by Alana Mitchell. Both cleansers smell amazing (Murad smells like citrus, and the pumpkin cleanser smells like a pumpkin spice latte even though it has no added fragrance, which is incredible), which really helps me wake up. Both cleansers are formulated to brighten and even out the complexion, though they have very different ingredients. They’re both gentle and pleasant to use. In the mornings I often use my Foreo Luna* cleansing device. I have the version for normal to sensitive skin, which provides very gentle sonic cleansing. To be quite honest, I have been slacking on the Luna lately. But that’s just pure laziness. ;)

Depending on if I’ve done my cleansing in the shower that morning (I sometimes shower at night vs. in the morning), I may opt for an extra step. When I shower, my skin gets really sensitive to the heat and sometimes ends up looking red and blotchy. If this is the case, I give myself a good dousing with Mario Badescu’s Aloe Rosewater facial spray*. It calms my skin right down and smells so elegant. The facial spray has a chance to soak in and do its magic while I brush my teeth and towel off, etc. so by the time I’m ready to do the rest of my skincare I’m looking much less blotchy. Pro Tip: That facial spray is also FANTASTIC if you have a sunburn on an area that is otherwise prohibitive to treat, like your scalp.

Next up, toner. I have raved previously about the Pixi Glow Tonic, which is an extremely gentle (but potent at 5%) glycolic toner jam packed full of other delicious ingredients like aloe and ginseng. Since I’m very fair, I love anything that is formulated for evening out my skin tone. I feel like every little mark or blemish is that much more noticeable when you’re casper white like me.

After my acid toning step comes serum. I jumped on the Drunk Elephant bandwagon and splurged on their C-Firma vitamin C serum, and you know what? I am not in love with it. I know vitamin C serums aren’t supposed to smell good, but guys it smells baaaaaad. Like really bad. I’m doing my best to work through it, but it’s the type of product that you only need to use every few days. On the days I’m not using the C-Firma, I’ve been really enjoying the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Lines serum*. I turned 30 last August and gosh darnit those smile lines actually starting to bug me, so it’s time to do something about them. I’ve been using the It Cosmetics serum for about a month as a preventative measure. So far, so good. It’s very hydrating and seems to plump the area up at least.

Sometime around this time is when I put on my eye cream. I have a few that I love, but lately I’ve been really liking the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye* eye cream. This claims to smooth, brighten, and depuff. It definitely hydrates and depuffs my eye area. I have been using it about a month and have barely made a dent in it because a little goes a long way. As far as brightening goes, I don’t have a ton of darkness around my eyes so I haven’t noticed a big difference or anything at this point. But I do know the cream doesn’t break me out or anything, and it seems good so far.

At this point it’s time to get my moisturizer on so I can start the fun part (makeup!!!!). I’ve been working from a deluxe sample of Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer lately, and really liking it. It’s a pretty expensive product, so I am glad to have a sample to try. So far I like it a lot. It sinks in quickly and I’ve noticed slightly less redness. Other moisturizers I’ve used in the morning and enjoyed recently are the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet, Proactiv Green Tea Moisturizer*, and Garnier SkinActive Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream (for Dry Skin).

Once the moisturizer sinks in it’s time to paint my face and gooooo! :)

Note: Products marked with * were sent for promotional consideration. I was under no obligation to mention these products, but I happen to quite like them! 

The Best Drugstore Skin Care Products

Welcome to cheap thrills – drugstore edition! While I’m an advocate of splurging whenever you can on skin care – because you DO get what you pay for when it comes to skin care, that doesn’t mean nothing in the drugstore is worth trying. Au contraire! There are also quite a few inexpensive gems to be found there.

aloe

#1 – Fruit of the Earth 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel

I ALWAYS have this on hand. Aloe is a soothing, cooling moisturizer that won’t upset your skin. It’s great for those of you who are prone to redness as well. My only caution is keep it away from your eyes. It tends to make my eyes sting/water if I get it anywhere near my eyes at all. Available in a mini size bottle for $1 at most drugstores.

#2 – Freeman Face Masks & Scrubs

Hi, jr high called, and said to remind you THAT CHEAPASS DRUGSTORE MASK WAS THE SHIT! And you know what, they still make it! And tons more! Freeman masks are the TRUTH. I haven’t met one yet that I didn’t love! The cucumber peel-off mask is delightfully gross (if you are the kind of person that enjoys peeling dried elmers glue off of yourself, you’ll love this…), and have you even imagined anything more decadent than a chocolate strawberry detox mask? These suckers are available at Ulta, drugstores, and online (for the whole huge selection, go there!) at freemanbeauty.com from $1.99 to $3.99 each.

acnestresscontrol

#3 – Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Line

There are 6 products in Neutrogena’s Acne Stress Control line and they’re all pretty fan-effing-tastic. They’re formulated with salicylic acid (chemical exfoliant and known acne zapper) as well as soothing cucumber. Zaps zits effectively, and cheaply. If you have dry skin you’ll want to either use lots of extra moisturizer, or only use this every other day. Each product in the line is $6-$7 at drugstores.

epiellewipes

#4 – Epielle Facial Cleansing Tissues

These face wipes are the bomb dot com. They come in several varieties in addition to the “original” cleansing wipe, including Aloe, Cucumber, Citrus, and Green Tea! Green Tea are my personal favorite, but they’re all amazing. Not sure where to find these? Big Lots is a sure bet. A pack of 24-30 will run you a whopping dollar.

#5 – Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream

Duh, this product made my favorites! And I gave it a good review! So you know it’s going on my best of drugstore skin care list. Lazy person version of my review: it’s surprisingly great, more gel than cream, and is as refreshing as advertised! It’s about $8 or $9 at the drug store.

blueberryserum

#6 – Yes To Blueberries Age Refresh Intensive Skin Repair Serum

Lest you think you can’t get skin care that goes beyond basic cleansing at the drugstore – voila! Yes To Blueberries has this nifty little serum for a mere $20. This serum is chock full of antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and more goodness to help prevent signs of aging. It also smells good, so if you’re not into the science-y part of skin care, there’s that.

There are countless other products I could get into from the drugstore that are equally fab if not moreso than their high end counterparts. Have you tried any of the six products I mentioned above? Which are your fav cheap thrills in skin care?

April Favorites

aprilfaves

Sure it’s a week in to May already, but I’m telling you my April favorites dammit. And you’re gonna like it. Maybe. Or something?

Not a ton of color things this month because I’ve been all about skin care recently! As you may or may not have read, I’m obsessed with Urban Decay’s B6 Spray (see my review here). That’s definitely been a favorite. I use it every single day before I apply my makeup, and sometimes in between as a little boost, or afterwards to calm my skin down even more. ($33, Urban Decay)

I’ve also been really enjoying the Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream. I still feel weird calling it a cream, because it’s totally not. But it’s still a great moisturizer even if you have sensitive skin like mine. I like the refreshing scent too. It’s very “spa” to me. In case you missed it, my review is here(~$10, Drugstores)

If you’re in the market for a fan-friggin-tastic spot treatment, do check out Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment. The active ingredient is sulphur, which I find way more effective than salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. It’s also much more gentle on my skin than spot treatments made with those ingredients. It works beautifully, even though it smells kinda funky. A little goes a long way, so the tube will last you a while. Just keep in mind the expiration date (usually about a year is par for the course for these types of products). ($17, Ulta)

Two other secret weapons I’ve been relying on for the past month are Proactiv’s Refining Mask and Origins’ Clear Improvement charcoal mask. I’ve been tag-teaming my skin with these two masks to try and keep my pores as clear as possible. Both masks also make my skin soft and smooth. The charcoal mask from Origins is better for dry skin, gently removing impurities from pores. The ProActiv mask has an active ingredient of 6% sulphur and contains kaolin clay to absorb oil. (Origins Clear Improvement mask is $24 from Sephora, Proactiv Refining Mask is available from proactiv.com and Proactiv boutique kiosques).

I’ve been using and enjoying Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Beauty Balm, too! It functions as a primer with a bit of coverage too. It’s weird, even though it only gives you a little coverage, the “optical blurring” effects truly make it look like you have more coverage than you actually do. Does that make sense? I don’t know. But it’s pretty magical. See my full review here($34, Urban Decay) Whether I’m just wearing the UD BB cream or doing a full face, I have been setting my makeup with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder. The first time I felt this powder I literally said “holy shit” out loud. It’s sooooo silky smooth. Just a little bitty bit is needed to set your makeup and give it a smooth finish. ($34, Urban Decay)

Color-wise, my Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey has been a constant staple in my purse. How many favorites posts have I mentioned it in?? I wear it a few times a week. I can’t stress enough how much I love this lip. Mine doesn’t even have any lettering on the pencil anymore because I’ve used it so many times the lettering has worn off! These are so comfortable to wear, and the colors last forever. The particular shade Honey goes with a ton of different looks. If you like colors like MAC’s Viva Glam V, you should definitely check this chubby pencil out. You won’t be sorry. Plus, it’s super cheap. ($8, Drugstores)

A few days ago, I finished up my second Senna Sketch-a-Brow pencil. I’m sad because it’s gone, but happy because it happened. Does that sound like an InstaQuote? I’ve tried a lot of brow pencils that I like and enjoy, but I’ve never used up two of any one kind except Senna’s. On the one hand, I want to go out and buy more immediately. On the other, I’m hesitant because I apparently go through brow pencils super fast. I mean I just bought that thing the first week of March! It’s hard to decide. Bloggers have such weird problems. ;) ($18, Senna Cosmetics)

After finishing my last tube of my beloved Maybelline The Rocket mascara, I received a sample of Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam to try. Great news – I really like this mascara! It agrees with my eyes well (certain mascaras irritate the crap out of my eyes). It’s buildable, it’s really black, it doesn’t clump. Every once and a while if it’s really hot conditions it will smudge slightly, but it’s over all really solid. I would definitely purchase it again sometime. ($7, Drugstores)

And there you go! Those were my favorites during the month of April. What were you loving on in April?

Real Life Skin Care Routine

skin care routine

I’ve been getting heaps of comments and questions about my skin lately. I hesitate to tell you all my routine because it’s NOT a routine really. I’ve read tons of these and watched tons of skin care routines. They usually have so many steps and so many products. Am I the only one who thinks “I ain’t got time for that!” ?? So lets talk about my skin care routine. The products I use, exactly how I actually use them.

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Stuff I’m Trying Out

Helloooooo everyone! Just wanted to do a little update about stuff that I’m trying out right now or have tried recently. Sometimes products aren’t worth writing an entire review about but I still want to give you some quick thoughts in case you are considering them. But I will also have full in-depth reviews coming on a few of these as well.

Makeup! 

I just got a bunch of Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows – their new shadow pencils. LOVE so far!! I received 3 and they’re all lovely shades but I’ve really only had a chance to play with one of them, so a full review will come once I have been able to play with them all. But these are awesome!! If you’re thinking of trying one out, do it. :)

Earlier this month I randomly decided to buy some goodies from Tarte. I’ve been really into their Lipsurgence pencils lately, and I plan to do an overview/review of the ones I have soon (I have 3, soon to be more since I swapped for some). I also have a couple of new Amazonian Clay blushes to review, and one of their new (?) maracuja blush tints. Reviews reviews reviews!

The folks at Blanc to Noir sent me NYX‘s glide-on pencil in Jewel to review, and I quite like it. When I get a chance to take some pictures of it, I’ll have a review up. *crosses fingers* I really hope I have time to take product pics this weekend. Don’t worry poppets, they’re coming soon!!!!

Also going to be trying out a couple of lipsticks from Beauty Without Cruelty. I’ve only swatched these so far but the colors are lovely. And last but not least in the makeup category, I’m reviewing a lip product from It Cosmetics that I adore. 

Hair!

Oooooohhh you guys. I have recently had the joy of receiving the HANAair Professional Hair Dryer to review from Misikko. The peeps at Misikko are SO nice, and so is this hair dryer. Holy cow. I believe with tools that you do get what you pay for, and though this dryer is expensive, it’s AWESOME. Definitely watch out for a full review coming soon! I’ll also be reviewing the HANA Shine Shield Thermal Protectant at the same time.

Skin!

I bit the bullet. Big time. I don’t know if I’m an idiot or just brave, LOL. But during the Lancome Friends & Family sale I decided to finally break down and try Visionnaire. Visionnaire is their advanced skin corrector that claims to target wrinkles, pores, and uneven skin tone. It retails for a whopping $84 though, so uh who wants to shell out that kind of cash?! For 20% off though I thought okay, fine. I’ll give it a shot. My first impression is that it seems to have a calming effect on my skin, which I like. It’s way too soon to tell if it’s doing anything for me though. I also got a large sample of their Clarifying Toner, which I really like even though it’s kind of “stingy” – do not get this stuff in your eyes – FOR REAL. It’ll hurt! But it makes my skin feel really clean and fresh.

Recently I tried Beauty Without Cruelty aromatherapy AHA lotion, which is said to be for face or body. I have a love hate relationship with the product, so I’ll be reviewing that in full later – too much to talk about now. It deserves its own review.

Of the things I mentioned I’m reviewing soon, what should I do first? Tell me!

Skin Care I’ve Been Loving Lately

It’s been a little while since I’ve really talked skin care and that’s because since around March (honestly, right before The Makeup Show LA – great timing right?!) I’ve been struggling! I don’t really know why, but my skin that had been pretty much low maintenance and breakout-free decided to start breaking out. Super! However my skin wasn’t any more oily…it was still dry, just now with breakouts.

Awesome. So I kind of started at ground zero and redid my skin care routine. Here are the products I’ve been using that are really helping. [Read more…]

Do Eye Creams Really Work?


The following is a guest post from none other than skincare expert Renee Rouleau! I adore Renee and her products. I want to thank her so much for writing this article so I could share it with you all! Check out her website for more info, and make sure to follow her on Twitter!


Recently, I was flipping through a magazine when I read a top beauty editorsaying, “I never use eye cream becauseI’ve never found one that actually worked.”  So it got methinking. If a top editor or blogger, who is given skin care products on adaily basis from beauty brands, therefore has surely tried many of them, issaying this, then certainly consumers must be feeling this too.

Do I really need to usean eye cream? Is using eye cream really necessary?
Let me start by saying that eye creams and other skin care products are notabsolute miracles like some cosmetic companies and their sales people make themsound to be – and we want to believe. If you use an eye cream thinking you’llget rid of all your lines and wrinkles, this is just not possible. Moreinvasive treatments such as Botox will make the biggest difference fordramatically smoothing this area, but an eye cream simply cannot do this. But can they help to prevent wrinkles and keep thisarea moist and younger-looking? Absolutely yes.

The skin around the eyes is 10 times thinner than that of the face and has veryfew oil glands. Combined with blinking 10,000 times a day, squinting andsmiling, this area is the first to show the signs of aging and you really needto treat this tender area by using an eye cream every night. Of the fivefingers one can use to apply eye cream, the ring finger is the weakest fingerso therefore should be the one used.  Simply put, you need to keep ithydrated and moist to prevent it from aging as quickly.

For an example on the powerful effects of topical moisturization, I alwaysrefer back to a study done on stretch marks in pregnant women. It showed thatwomen who applied lotion to their stomachs several times a day (with any kindof lotion, no specific magic ingredient) had fewer stretch marks than those whorarely moisturized. When the skin is hydrated topically, it keeps theskin’s structure intact to keep it supple so the wear and tear is less.This means moisturizing definitely works. So in the case of the eye area, sinceit is constantly moving from smiling, squinting and rubbing, an eye cream willprevent collagen and elasticity breakdown, resulting in the prevention of linesand wrinkles.  Generally, because the skin is thin around the eyes, facialscrubs may be too aggressive for the eye area, but an acid serum can really dothe trick at managing the signs of aging around the eyes.

There have been many breakthroughs in the science of moisture retention andwhen choosing an eye cream, it’s important to use one that is well-formulatedand doesn’t use petrolatum or mineral oil. Instead, choose eye creams that usegood emollients and barrier-repairing oils like sunflower or jojoba oils. Thesenatural oils are much better for repairing the skin and preventingtransepidermal water loss so the skin is kept moist and supple – the way itneeds to be to prevent wrinkles and soften fine lines. I love Renee Rouleau SynergyEye Cream and Firming Eye Therapy.

Note: Eye creams do not have to beheavy and greasy to give moisturization. In fact, if an eye cream is toogreasy, it can migrate into the eyes and cause under eye puffiness which thenunnecessarily stretches out the skin causing a weakening in elasticity. Notgood!  Also, it’s so important to keep the eye area protected from the sunby using sunglasses when outdoors and making sure sunscreen is used on the eyearea during all daylight hours.

Clickr Skin Polishing Kit Review

I mentioned previously that I’d been trying out some new skincare goodies from ClickR, and I am finally ready to give you my review! ClickR is an all vegan skincare line formulated for younger skin. While I’m not a teen, I think at 25 I still qualify. I still have the “fun” challenges of teenage skin sometimes. I like the fact that the line isn’t enormous with 500 different things. As a product junkie that can get kind of overwhelming! The product offering is actually pretty small; they focus on quality vs. quantity. 
The products I’ve been using are ClickR’s three-step Skin Polishing Kit. What I immediately notice is it’s not your typical Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize 3-step process (a la Clinique and many others). It’s more like Cleanse-Treat-Treat Some More. But there isn’t the same harshness that something like ProActiv or AcneFree has either. Far from it. These products are formulated to be sensitive skin-friendly. 
The first product in the Skin Polishing Kit is the Pearl Wash. The Pearl Wash is ClickR’s basic cleanser (the other one is a daily microdermabrasion cleanser). It’s creamy with very tiny little scrub particles. I thought it would lather like crazy due to the texture, but it actually doesn’t lather as much as I thought it would. That is neither here nor there, just an observation. Overall I like the pearl wash. It feels nice and doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped or tight, just clean. That’s what cleansers should do. It’s only on your face for like a minute anyway– don’t expect a cleanser to do calculus or voodoo! The actives in the Pearl Wash are tea tree oil and jojoba oil. Very nice.
After cleansing comes the Vanishing Mist, which is the product I was most intrigued by before I tried this kit. They say it’s a toner, but it’s really more of a treatment because it has salicylic acid in it to help rid your skin of any impurities deep down in your pores. I’m a fan. Other ingredients include aloe and cucumber. Here’s the thing with this product. The directions say to simply close your eyes and mist over your face. The first time I tried it I sprayed it on just like I would any other face spray like MAC Fix+ etc. Wrong. It dripped down my forehead and into my eyes and it stings like a mother-you-know-what when it gets in my eyes. Well! After doing this one or two more times in the process of testing out this product I have a better system. I spray my face in “zones”, using my hand to shield my eyes each time. I make sure to pat in the spray that mists my forehead right away to avoid dripping into my eyes. If you want to fuss with a cotton pad I’m sure applying it that way would work fine too, but I was determined to make this work, haha. I definitely notice a difference in the clarity of my skin when I use it, which is the only reason I put up with the fuss.
And finally, the third step in the kit is Diamond Dust Skin Polisher. Now, any of you who know about my love affair with Purely Cosmetics‘ Diamond Perfect Finish powder will probably be perking your ears at this one. This product is actually a serum (the name made me think it was some kind of scrubby thing). It contains actual diamond dust as well as a host of other good for your skin ingredients. 
My skin has been pretty darn clear since I started using this kit. I don’t use the whole thing every single day, but I can definitely see an improvement. The pictures I posted in my last entry with my birthday crown were taken sans makeup, and my skin looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I definitely think this kit had something to do with it! 
Something to keep in mind – this kit is not a fully comprehensive skincare regime. All skin needs a moisturizer. I kept using my current favorite (The Body Shop Vitamin E cream) moisturizer throughout this process, and remember the sunscreen! 

The ClickR Skin Polishing Kit retails for $60 at Sephora.
Product provided for editorial consideration.

Lush Bb Seaweed Mask Review

As those of you who follow me on Twitter already know, I have been recovering from a minor surgery the last few days. Everything’s peachy and I’m fine, I just haven’t felt like wearing makeup, and I know I’ve been slacking on my skin care. Since the surgery was on my mouth, my cheek has been swollen and my face has been really sore. I haven’t really wanted to scrub that area much, heh. Consequently my skin has kinda been red and blotchy and I’m breaking out a tiny bit. Blah. One of the things I’m doing now that I’m doing more than popping pain killers and sleeping is using the Lush Bb Seaweed Mask to calm down my irritated, neglected skin.
I told you guys that back on Father’s Day I went in to my first Lush store. One of the things I knew I definitely wanted to try was a Fresh Face Mask. These are only sold in stores (unless you’re in the UK) because they’re freshly made with no preservatives and require refrigeration – they only last a couple weeks, too. This is due again to the no preservatives. However, I’ve had my Bb Seaweed pot longer than the expiration date and noticed no changes whatsoever to the consistency or efficacy – your mileage may vary. I don’t remember the price exactly, but I think it was under $10.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. The mask is a kaolin clay-based mixture with seaweed, seaweed absolute, honey, aloe vera, and rose absolute. There are also very tiny ground almond shell particles that can make this mask double as a scrub if you like. This mask is recommended for any skin that needs calming. It is soothing as well as moisturizing. I think it would be great for anyone except if you have extremely oily skin. I find it extremely refreshing to use, especially since you have to keep it refrigerated. It’s so nice to apply on a hot day! In the pot it sort of looks like any other clay mask, except for the pieces of seaweed mixed in. On my face it looks like I’m wearing pesto.
As the mask dries the grey bits fade away to almost clear while the little green leafy bits remain. Then it’s time to rinse. You can just wipe it off, or rub in small circles to utilize the scrubbing action of the little almond particles. Either way I recommend using warm water to remove all the clay. 
Immediately after using my skin feels calm and soothed. The next day, blemishes I had are a little less red and angry. With continued use (and in addition to my regular skin care routine) my skin will be back to normal in no time! This mask is a little extra TLC for my skin, and I’m loving it!