5 Things to Know Before Getting a Facial

For me, getting a facial is one of the most relaxing, satisfying experiences to have!  Not only am I relaxing, but doing something good for my skin that is going to keep the signs of aging at bay!  Whether you are like me and get facials often, or have never had a facial and are thinking about getting one, read on to get my 5 tips for being prepared and getting the most out of your service!

Be prepared to answer some personal questions.  No one is trying to invade your privacy but understand that it is important for your practicioner to understand if you are pregnant, have any allergies or are taking any types of medications as sometimes this can react negatively withsome ingredients in the skincare products used during the facial.  Be sure to answer their questionnarie as accurately and thoroughly as possible to ensure you have the best facial experience possible.

Stop using retinol products 48-72 hours prior.  Every facial has an exfoliation component to it, and depending on the type you are getting some are more intense than others.  If you have just used a retinol product your skin may be too sensitive for certain types of exfoliation so let your practitioner know immediately so that the appropriate products can be used for your skin.

Leave the eye makeup at home.  As a step in every facial, the esthetician is going to cleanse your skin, removing any makeup you have on.  I know sometimes it’s difficult to go to a facial with no makeup if you are coming from work or somewhere where you need to have makeup on, but eye makeup is especially challenging to thoroughly remove during a facial.  From my experience as an esthetician giving facials to clients, I believe the time it takes to remove this detracts from the time the esthetician can be doing other parts of the facial, like the heavenly facial massage!  To ensure you are getting the most out of  your facial, I’d recommend removing your eye makeup prior to your appointment.

Aaah! Be sure you communicate with your esthetician so you can have the best experience at your appointment.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your esthetician!   Be sure that your preferences are known about massage pressure, likes, dislikes, any issues with your skin you want to address,  etc.  Also, if you are claustrophobic, let your esthetician know.  Sometimes that towel wrap over your face can get intense so let your practicioner know so she can make the appropriate adjustments and ensure you have the best experience.  Remember this is YOUR facial and the goal is for you to have the best, most relaxing experience.  Trust me, your esthetician WANTS to have your feedback so don’t feel like you’re being mean or a diva.  What one person prefers is different for another and your practictioner is not a mind reader.  Help HER help YOU have a great appointment!

Hit the restroom before your session.  I don’t think I need to elaborate on this one.  Running down the hall of the spa with just a wrap on and product all over your face is not a relaxing experience!  Also, laying there preoccupied about having to pee only detracts from your experience, so plan ahead!  Most estheticians will ask if you need to use the restroom prior to getting started for just that reason.

So now that you have all my tips for a fantastic facial, get ready to relax and have one of the most luxurious experiences you can have!  Enjoy!

Product Review – AHAVA Time to Smooth Age Perfecting Hand Cream

In my quest to slow down the aging process as much as possible, I’ve been looking for a product that could help with the overall appearance of my hands.  As I mentioned in my Anti-aging post, while it’s natural to focus our anti-aging efforts on our face, we can’t forget our necks and hands or else they will giveaway our true age!  I heard about a product from AHAVA (Age Perfecting Hand Cream) that has a hand cream that protects hands with SPF and also addresses dark spots.  I don’t really have a dark spot issue but the SPF is a plus and anything I can do to be proactive with my hands is fine by me!

About the Brand

Ahava was founded in 1988 and focuses on harnessing the power of dead sea minerals into its products.  They are an environmentally responsible company with several programs focused on sustaining the Dead Sea region.  Their products are paraben and SLS free and the company does not test on animals.

Product Claims

  •  Multi benefit cream for youthful looking hands
  • 88% of women had a significant reduction in the appearance of dark spots.
  • Approved for sensitive skin, allergy tested and paraben free (one of my personal prerequisites!)

My thoughts

When I first applied the lotion to my hands, I liked the feel (not too greasy but moisturized.)  I also liked the way it hydrated my cuticles.  In my experience, some lotions don’t help the appearance of my cuticles.  The one thing I did not like initially was the smell of the lotion.  I’m not sure how to describe it; it was not perfume-y, or like SPF, but was very strong.  After using the product for a couple of weeks this did not bother me any longer.

Verdict

Overall, I am happy with this product.  This is a more expensive product so from the beginning I had high expectations about the performance of the cream.  I do feel that it has improved the appearance of my hands, and I like having the security knowing there is an SPF on my hands when I am out and about.  Like I mentioned, the smell did bother me at first, but now I am used to it and actually enjoy it.  I plan to repurchase this when I am finished with it and look forward to seeing more long term improvement in the appearance of my hands!  Want to try it?  I purchased it at Nordstrom.com.

Comment below and let me know what some of you favorite hand creams are.

5 Ways to Transition your Skincare for Spring

As we get ready for spring, whether it’s cleaning your house top to bottom or adding new pieces to your spring wardrobe, it’s important not to forget to transition to a spring skincare regimen as well.  Our skin acts differently as the temperature and climate starts to change, so you need to be sure you are using the best products to care for your skin in the current season.

I have combination skin, so as the weather gets warmer and more humid, I start to have an oily t-zone, so I need to slightly modify some products that I am using in the colder winter months to be sure I am taking care of my skin the best that I can.  Does that mean buying all new products?  No, not at all.  Read on as I outline the specific products you should evaluate as the season changes:

#1 Cleanser – What kind of cleanser are you currently using?  If your skin tends to act dry in the winter, you may be using a milky, creamy type of cleanser.  As we transition to warmer weather, it may be time to use a foam or gel cleanser that can work to keep your skin balanced in the warmer weather when it may act more oily.  One cleanser that I’ll be transitioning to is Murad’s Time Release Acne Cleanser.

#2 Moisturizer – If you are using a moisturizer with a thicker consistency for extra moisture for dry winter skin, you may want to consider transitioning to a lighter formula for warmer, humid days.  Don’t skip moisturizer, even if you have oily skin!  I made that mistake in my teens, thinking that it was bad to add moisture when my skin was oily, but what that did was make my skin produce more oil, causing breakouts.

#3 SPF – If you’ve ready my anti-aging article, you know that SPF is a vitally important part of your skincare routine all year long.  So if you aren’t using a daily SPF, you need to start ASAP and continue using all the time.

#4 Primer – I know this is delving into makeup a little, but there are lots of primers out there that do a lot of different things, so it is important to assess this seasonally.  For example, in the winter months I use a hydrating primer to add more moisture to my dry skin.  In the spring moving into summer, with warmer more humid days, I like to use a mattifying primer to keep my skin less shiny.  One that I’ve used and enjoyed is Dr. Brandt’s “Pores No More.”

#5 Nighttime serum/lotions – Another part of your skincare routine to evaluate for the warmer seasons is your nighttime regimen.  You may want to shift from thicker moisturizers to lighter formulas, or Retin-A, as that can be drying to the skin.    With any retinol product, remember that it does make your skin more sensitive in the sun, so even more reason to be extra diligent with your SPF (see #3 above).

Summary

Everyone’s skin type is different so this is not a one-size-fits-all equation, so you may not be making the same modifications to your spring skincare regimen that I do.  However, what is important is that you evaluate how your skin behaves from season to season and take the time to make sure you are using the correct products to keep your skin in the best condition all year around!  Comment below and share what changes you make to your spring skincare routine for the spring and summer seasons.

My Rose Gold Obsession – How to Rock the Trend

Rose gold - the obsession is real

With Spring here I am LOVING all the blush/rose gold colored EVERYTHING.   This color is the new neutral of spring and can be achieved so easily with a few key pieces.  Read on to see some great clothing/accessories I have found to achieve this look!

Rose Gold Aviator style glasses from Ann Taylor LOFT.

Rose Gold Aviators – (LOFT) – What better way to accessorize all my other blush color finds than with a pair of rose gold sunglasses!  I stumbled on these at LOFT on sale a few months ago but have been wearing non-stop lately.  Unfortunately, these are not on their website and I’m not sure if it is still in stores.  There are, however, similar styles available and some are on sale!

Kendra Scott Elisa necklace  (NORDSTROM) – This delicate necklace is right up my ally and has dozens of color/metal combinations to choose from.  The one I have is called Iridescent drusy and rose gold.  This is the perfect necklace for the spring!  It has the rose gold chain and the center stone is a sparkly iridescent.  The length can be adjusted to suit my fancy and I’ve already gotten compliments on this one.

Adidas Superstar (they call it copper but it’s rose gold) – I have not really ever been a sneaker person but in the past few months, now that I am not working in an office and heading to the gym more often, this has become more of a mainstream accessory for me.  When I saw this style on one of the YouTube channels I watch my interest was instantly piqued.  This sneaker is HARD to get!  Nordstrom was sold out and many other online retailers I checked out did not have the rose gold color in my size.  I found a website (sheikh.com) that did have them and quickly ordered.  Shortly after I saw that they were back in stock on Nordstrom briefly, then sold out again.  I am so glad I was able to snag a pair! If you are in the market for these shoes, it’s recommended you size down one size.

Bomber jacket – pink

Gap blush jacket/sweater – I love this sweater from the GAP not only because of the color, but the weight and weave is perfect as we transition into Spring.  It goes with so much – I love with denim as shown in the picture, but I’ve also been wearing with light grey skinny jeans and can’t wait to pair it with some distressed white jeans!  I also got the bomber jacket which I’ve been wanting for awhile, but it’s beautiful in the blush color!  This looks great with black distressed jeans and a black tank.  Add the Adidas tennis shoes and you’ve got the perfect Spring look.

Rose Gold Bracelet– found these adorable bangles on Nordstrom, called Mantra Bands.  They are adjustable to the size of your wrist which I love.  They come in silver, gold and rose gold and of course I bought the latter.  There are a bunch of inspiring quotes on each one and you can select the ones that are most meaningful or inspiring to you.  Mine says “Live Laugh Love.”

Calia sports bra and tank – Ive carried the blush pink trend even to the gym!  If you checkout out my article on the athleisure trend and what brands I’ve been loving, you know I listed Calia (Carrie Underwood’s brand) as one of them.  I found this beautiful blush pink sport bra and tank top on sale at Dick’s Sporting Goods a few weeks ago and love them!

I hope you are all enjoying Spring whatever trends you are following.  Leave a comment and let me know what you are loving this Spring!  If you found the tips helpful please like and share!

 

Best of Wet n Wild – Top 5 all under $6

Lately I have really been loving some great drug store products!  If you missed it you can catch the article I wrote on some of my favorite e.l.f. products, but there are some great products from Wet N Wild that I NEED to share with you!

I remember Wet N Wild from way back when I was in high school, but I don’t remember using a lot of their products or thinking they were good quality.  Today, the brand has really upped their game and the products are so affordable it is a fantastic value.  In addition, I love that everything is cruelty free.  Read on so I can tell you about my top 5 products from this brand!



Photofocus Foundation ($5.99)- I am blown away by the quality of this $5 foundation!  It promises to prevent any photo flashback, being tested under various lighting conditions with different Smartphone models.  I don’t really care about all that so much, but what I DO care about is that this goes on easily, gives a smooth semi-matte finish and has great lasting power.  I also like that it doesn’t feel heavy on my skin when I wear it.  The applicator is a spatula which I find makes application easy.  There is a great shade range selection with 20 colors to choose from (some high end foundations don’t even have that broad of a range!)  The only drawback that I’ve found with this foundation is that it does not contain an SPF so be sure to apply one separately!

Coloricon blush ($2.99) There are five colors in this blush collection and my favorite is  “Pearlescent Pink.”  This color is a beautiful peachy pink with a slight sheen.  This formula blends perfectly and gives a beautiful flush to the cheeks!   These blushes really have a generous sized pan that will last a long time for the price.  The color is very pigmented, and a little goes a long way so don’t be too heavy handed with this product!  Another nice blush color in this collection is “Apri-Cot in the Middle” which is a peachy nude also with a hint of sheen.  Ooh la la!

Color Icon Bronzer in “Ticket to Brazil” ($3.99)- This is a perfect shade for lighter skin tones and not too orangey.  There is no chunky glitter or shimmer which is something that I look for in bronzers also. The pan is a really generous size – I think it might take years to hit pan on it!  It just adds the right amount of color to give more dimension to the skin.  Another plus is that it has SPF 15.  I feel like I look relaxed, having just returned from vacation, every time I put it on!

MegaLast Liquid Catsuit lipstick ($4.99) These liquid lipsticks are a recent release from Wet N Wild that has taken the beauty community by storm.   I still cannot believe that these liquid lipsticks are $5!!  There are 13 shades ranging from your nudes to your really dark vampy shades.  “Rebel Rose” is my favorite shade – it’s a beautiful pinky brown mauve.  Another honorable mention goes to the color “Give Me Mocha,” a warm pinky brown.  The product has great staying power and does not over-dry my lips.  Note that this is a matte formula, so if you are a shiny, glossy type of girl then you probably won’t enjoy this product.  I love the packaging – you get a generous amount of product and the applicator has a little curve in it which makes it so much easier to apply on your lips.  If you are a liquid lipstick fan, then you know that these products are not forgiving and need a precise application to look good, both of which can be achieved easily with this lipstick.

Photofocus pressed powder ($4.99)- I actually purchased this is a darker skintone to use as a bronzer when I am self tanning and darker than I am now, even though it is actually a pressed powder that can be used to set foundation and concealer into place.  I really like the feel of the powder and it has a great shade selection with 8 different shades to choose from.

 

So you really have nothing to lose in trying out these products if you haven’t been using Wet N Wild.  Many drugstores and retail chains like Target carry their line and they also have their website if you like to shop from home.  Let me know what your experience has been with Wet N Wild and what products you are loving from the drugstore!