5 Ways to Make Retinol Work For You

woman applying retinol
Less is more when applying Retin A – only a pea size is needed!

I’ve been using retinol and Retin A on and off for years.  I would start to use it, then experience extreme dryness and flaking and quit using it.  Then I’d continue to read about how retinol is such a key ingredient for anti-aging (heck I’ve even written about it myself here), and I’d try again…. you get the point.  I’ve finally figured out how to use this ingredient consistently with little to no side effects and I want to share with you how I did it.

#1 – Start SLOW

Just like with dieting, sometimes we are so psyched to try something that we dive straight in – BAD IDEA.  You are almost certain to set yourself up for failure.  With incorporating any new routine into our lives, we need to make gradual changes or it will seem so overwhelming that one day we’ll say “Screw it,” and give up.   I don’t know about you, but in the anti-aging game I REFUSE to give up!  Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You are looking to incorporate a skin care treatment for the long haul, so you need to ease in.

If you’ve never used retinol before, I’d recommend buying an over-the-counter product to start with, as they are not as strong as a prescription.  In addition, do not start out by using it every day!  Start with a couple of days a week (not consecutive) to see how your skin is handling it, and then slowly work up from there.  I personally like some retinol products that are in a facial oil form as it helps to maintain the skin’s moisture and keep flaking at bay.  Sunday Riley’s Luna oil is one I’ve really enjoyed using.  Also, Colleen Rothschild just came out with a new Retinol Supreme Night Oil  (the site is also having a sale so it’s currently 25% off with code FAM25)! On a budget?  Head to the drugstore and try the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle repair with Retinol.

Tretinoin cream is another name for Retin-A. It comes in varying strengths.

If you get a trentinoin prescription from your doctor, I’d start out with .025% strength first before building up to the higher strengths.  You don’t need the highest strength to see the best results.  Be gentle with your skin!

 

#2 – Apply correctly

A pea size amount is all that is needed to spread evenly over your face.  Yes, a pea!  Again, remember- marathon, not sprint.  More is definitely NOT better.  Also, make sure your skin is BONE dry before applying.  The product is not as effective on damp skin.  So, after you wash your face, go do something else for about 20-30 minutes before you apply this.  The drier your skin is, the less chance of irritation.  I wish I had known this years ago but trust me, this makes a huge difference!

#3 – Continue to Moisturize

I don’t know why when I started using retinol years ago, I didn’t think to add a moisturizer on top.  Hello, your skin can get dry and flake off as a side effect of the product!  I think that I was afraid to add anything that could compromise the efficacy of the product.  But I’m here to tell you that you CAN and SHOULD add a moisturizer to your face after applying retinol.  However, I would wait another 20 -30 minutes prior to doing that so the product has time to settle into the skin.  You’re probably thinking this is sounding WAY too complicated and that you just want to slap on all your products one after the other and go to bed.  Trust me, I get that, I do.  I’ve found a way to incorporate this into my evening routine to make it work.  For instance, I’ll wash my face after cleaning up after dinner.  Then I go and help my son with his nighttime routine.  After I tuck him in, I spread the trentinoin on.  Then I go watch a little TV and head back to the bathroom to add the moisturizer.  Done!  Trust me, the extra effort that this takes has more than made up for it for me personally with no side effects.  Once you’ve established a routine that works into your schedule and have been doing it for awhile, then you will enjoy the results on your skin!

#4 – Be EXTRA anal about sunscreen

If you are not good about putting sunscreen on your face every day, rain or shine, winter or summer, then I would NOT begin any retinol routine until you get good about it.  This stuff is no joke; remember, it is stimulating your skin cells to turn over rapidly to smooth your skin texture and reduce lines and wrinkles.  In that process, your skin is not only prone to the side effects we’ve talked about, but it is more sensitive to the sun.  If you use this and are exposed to the sun without protection, not only are you undoing any benefit the retinol will provide, but you are setting yourself up to have a bad skin reaction.  Please, please proceed with caution!

#5 – Be careful about other exfoliators you are using

Take a look at all the products you are currently using before starting your retinol.  If you have cleansers or toners with glycolic acid, I would stop using them in the evening before applying your retinol.  You want to use very gentle products with the retinol to avoid irritation.  You can continue to use exfoliating treatments, but avoid using them on the same day that you plan to use your retinol.

Hopefully you picked up a tip or two or five, that you didn’t know before.  Retinol is a powerful skincare ingredient, but that shouldn’t discourage us from using it.  With the right care, you CAN make this work for you and enjoy the results!  Good luck!  If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase the product, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog.

Product Review – Shiseido Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

Shiseido Pure Retinol Express smoothing eye maskOk, this is the real deal!  I purchased the Shiseido Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Pads at Sephora just because I am constantly looking for eye products where I will see visible results.  In my anti-aging journey, I am still trying to find products that will address the fine lines, wrinkles and crepey skin under my eyes with results I can notice.  And was I beyond impressed with this eye mask!

If you’ve read my other articles on anti-aging, you know that retinol (vitamin A)is a key ingredient to incorporate into any skincare regimen.  I was curious to see this in an eye mask, as sometimes retinol can be harsh on the skin, especially the delicate under eye area.  This product promises to instantly reduce the appearance of visible fine lines and wrinkles with its special proprietary “Benefiance WrinkleResist24” ingredient.  It comes with individually wrapped eye sheets saturated with the product.  You lay them carefully under each eye and let sit for 15 minutes, then gently remove.  You can then pat in any excess product into the under eye area.  I really like how firm and smooth my under eye looks right after this treatment and that the product does not cause any irritation whatsoever.  You could also use this for laugh lines and place the pads around the mouth, but I haven’t used it I that way.

The left is my under eye before using the product, and the right is after. You can see in the after picture that the texture is smoother and tighter and the discoloration is also improved! All that in 15 minutes – I’m blown away!

The only negative is I have with this product is that these suckers are pricey!  It’s $65 for 12 packettes (I did find them cheaper -$51 for 12 packettes on Amazon here).  I have the 3 packette size, which is $17.50 but that size is currently sold out in Sephora.  I plan to order the larger size now that I’ve seen the results for myself and plan to use them at least once a week in addition to my normal under eye creams that I currently use.  In the meantime, I’ll be on the hunt for a drugstore dupe (if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears)!  I would love to know what anti aging products you are all loving right now!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase the product, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try it.

5 Best BB and CC Creams

BB and CC creams
L-R (Burt’s Bees BB Cream, Osmosis CC Cream, IT Cosmetics CC Cream, Erborian BB Cream.) Not pictured: Bareminerals Tinted Gel Cream.

I know I’m a beauty junkie, but I may be one of the few who really isn’t into foundation.  I don’t know what it is, but I always feel like it looks cakey and makes me look older than I am (which trust me, I DON’T need).  However, I do like something to just even out my skin tone and make the rest of my makeup look put together.  That is why I love BB and CC creams!  I find that they improve the overall appearance of my skin without feeling or looking  heavy and “made-up”.  So here’ s a round-up of  5 favorites in my collection right now!

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better ($38)- If you aren’t crazy about foundation but feel you need to use it because you need full coverage with your skin makeup, then this is definitely the product for you!  This not only color-corrects, but really has great coverage, and is available in 7 shades.  I use this on days that I may have a blemish or something extra that needs some covering.  In addition to all that, it has an SPF of 50+.  Another feature I love with the packaging of this product is that it has a pump!  A lot of BB or CC creams usually come in tubes, but I think a pump is so much easier to use.  This product was also recognized by Allure

Erborian BB Cream ($39)- This is a Korean Skin Care line and this product, similar to the IT cosmetics one, also has pretty awesome coverage!  It also has sunscreen in it (SPF 20).  This product is known for its use of ginseng which is a natural ingredient known for its moisturizing and smoothing properties.   There are only three shades available in this product and at the time I bought it only the medium shade was available so I typically use this product in the summer months when I am self-tanning and want my complexion to look a little darker.  It promises to give a non-oily, velvety finish and in my experience, it lives up to this promise.

BB and CC Creams

Osmosis CC cream  ($44)- This is the newest product in my collection.  Osmosis is a medical grade skin care line that also has makeup products that contain “good for you” ingredients.  It claims to help reduce age spots and smooth skin discoloration. It also comes with a pump in it s packaging and it promises to soften, lift and illuminate.  I’m not sure about the “lift” part, but it has a very natural finish and I do believe it blurs out flaws and does give a healthy look.  It comes in various shades, but when you initially pump it out, it looks white and then as you apply it changes to your skin tone.  This one, unlike the others, does NOT contain any SPF, so I always use another SPF when applying this.

Burt’s Bees BB Cream ($11)- This is an awesome drug store find that I literally just stumbled upon when I was shopping for something else.  I had never seen a face makeup product by this brand, which I love, so I had to check it out.  This product does not disappoint!  It has a light, comfortable feel on the skin and does a good job evening out skin tone.  It also contains an SPF of 15.  I feel good wearing this knowing that it contains more natural ingredients as well.  The shade range is also limited to light/medium or medium/dark.

Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream ($30) – This is another one of my favorite products!  When my skin is dryer in the winter, I like to use this for the extra hydration it provides.  It goes on nicely and is light on the skin with light coverage.  It has a wider range of shades with 30 available and has SPF 30.  It promises to blend the best of a BB and CC cream in one and I believe that it fulfulls this promise.  I use the shade Vanilla 02.   (I actually finished my tube of this which is why it is not photographed here.)

Do you like BB and CC Creams? I’d love to hear which ones are working for you right now!

5 Best Exfoliating Masks for Anti-aging

One of the basic rules of thumb for any anti-aging skin care regimen is to EXFOLIATE.  As we age, our cells turn over more slowly, which causes our skin to look dull and old.  By exfoliating 2-3 times per week, we can retain a healthier glow and make our fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.  And exfoliated skin not only looks better, but will make your makeup look even better on the skin.  All exfoliators are not the same. Luckily, I’ve tried so many that I can share my top 5 exfoliating masks for anti-aging with you.  All of these products will give you RESULTS immediately.  To me there is nothing worse than using a product and not seeing any noticeable results in your skin.  Note that if you have sensitive skin, not all these products are going to be right for you.  I will mention them in order from most intense to most gentle to help you find the right one for your skin concerns.

Best antiaging exfoliating masks.Peter Thomas Roth – Pumpkin Enzyme Mask – If you read my post about the fall, then you know I love all things pumpkin!  With this mask, not only are you getting the benefits of the natural enzymes in pumpkin that help exfoliate your face, but you get to enjoy the smell of pumpkin while you do it!  Plus, the pumpkin packaging is so cute!  I’m not gonna lie, this one tingles, and, based on your tolerance, it could be a bit intense.  You spread a thin layer all over your face and make circular motions on your skin.  In addition to the enzymes working there is a polish in there that also helps to slough off dead skin cells.  I would start off with keeping it on just a few minutes and working your way up to the maximum recommended time if you are using it.  However, if the tingling doesn’t bother you, I think this product absolutely lives up to its claim to “reveal smoother, younger looking radiant & revitalized skin.”  As soon as you wash this off, you are going to see a dramatic improvement in the texture and the softness of your skin.

Colleen Rothschild – Dual Enzyme Polish – This is a new skincare line that I’ve recently started trying and am really impressed with the quality of their products.  In particular, the Dual Enzyme Polish is a winner!  It has a fresh clean scent and you will see noticeable reduction in large pores and a smoother texture as soon as you wash it off.  This formula is not intense like the Peter Thomas Roth, so this could be a better option if you want something that is effective, but not so intense.

Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask – This is another mask with a real “WOW” factor.  You spread a thin layer all over your face and it has a fresh, cool scent.  In fact, your skin feels so cool and fresh while you have the mask on which I find very relaxing.  Similar to the Peter Thomas Roth mask, you are instructed to make circular motions to gently slough off the skin while you are rinsing it off.  My pores are tight and my skin has a great glow when it is washed off and I find that it continues to have a “fresh” feeling for a while after I rinse it off, which leaves me feeling invigorated.  For that reason I love to use this in the morning before my day gets started.

Dermologica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – This is another solid product that has been part of my skincare routine for years.  It’s quick and easy to use – just spread it all over your face, wait 10-15 minutes, then wash off.  Bam!  There is no tingling and no little granules in this product so it could be a better option for those with sensitive skin.

AHAVA – Facial Renewal Peel – This is the gentlest of this group of products.  You will feel a difference in your skin but the results are not as dramatic as with the other products.  However, it is important to exfoliate even if you have sensitive skin, so if you are new to adding this step into your routine, I would start with the very gentle products first to ensure your skin will tolerate it.

If you are using these or any other exfoliating products in your skincare routine, be sure that you are also protecting your skin from the sun with the appropriate SPF products.  I break down what those are here.  Exfoliating does make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays so be sure to be extra vigilant with your suncare.  I’d love to hear what you are using to exfoliate your skin.  Let’s all help each other to anti-age!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

10 Great Fall Lipstick Shades – Drugstore and High End

10 Best Fall Lipstick shades
Here they are – my rainbow of fall shades!

If you read my post last week, you already know that fall is my favorite season!  I’ve recently cleaned out my makeup and found all my favorite fall lipstick shades that I love to wear.  They range from drugstore to high end.  If you love mauvy-browns, rust orange and berry shades, then this is the place for you!

Maybelline Matte in “Touch of Spice” ($5.50)- The best way I can describe the color is a rosy brown.  It is so beautiful on.  It really lights up your whole face!  This is matte, so it is not shiny but it is comfortable to wear and not drying to your lips.  I also like that this formula does stay on the lips.  You will need to reapply after meals.

Colour Pop “Frick N Frack” ($6.00)- Colour Pop is a newer brand that is only available online currently (it will become available at Sephora in the near future).  They are based in CA and have great quality products at drugstore prices!  This shade is a deeper brownish-pink and a demi matte (there is a little shine).  This is their ultra satin lip formula which is my personal favorite.  Very matte lipsticks are not the most flattering on more mature lips like mine.  This is super long lasting on the lips!

Loreal Infallible Paints in “Taupeless” ($6.29)- This is the coolest toned shade in these lipsticks.  I personally gravitate more toward warm shades with my makeup but this cool toned purply-taupe is so unique and this formula is really nice to wear!  I also really like the packaging of these lipsticks – they are in a tube and have a unique shaped applicator that really conforms to the shape of your lips for easy application.

Wet N Wild Liquid Catsuit in “Give Me Mocha” ($4.99)- I spoke about this lip product in a review of some Wet N Wild products and am still loving this!  This is in the warm pink-brown family, similar to the color pop “Frick N Frack” but a shade lighter.  With neutral eye shadows like browns and golds this really puts a finishing touch on a fall makeup look.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lip in “Chutney” ($24.00)- This is a product I just purchased about a month ago and LOVE it.  This brand is known to use more natural ingredients in their products and this formula is so hydrating on the lips I love wearing it!  It also has long lasting wear.  The color is on the mauve side but not as brown as the other shades I’ve talked about.

fall lipstick swatches
Here are the swatches of these lipsticks in natural light. From l-r Touch of Spice, Frick N Frack, Taupeless, Give Me Mocha, Chutney, Chihuahua, Beeper, Out Loud, Lyin King, Hells Bells.

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in “Chihuahua” ($21.00)- This is another mauvy tone but is cooler and more purple than the Bite Beauty product.  I love how this smells and it has a dispenser that squeezes out just the right amount of product to apply to your lip.  I like the tube packaging – it’s really easy to take with you.

Colour Pop “Beeper”  ($6.00)- This is a deeper more brownish purple shade which is great if you like a bold, dark lip.  A lot of the mauvy shades on this list are daytime wearable, but this one is a bit darker, so it’s really personal preference depending on how you like to wear your lip colors.  This is a different formula than the Frick N Frack color mentioned before.  This is a super matte formula.  It’s not my favorite formula but it does look great on and is comfortable to wear.  As I’ve mentioned, with other Colour Pop lip products, it is great quality for a great price and the colors are extremely long wearing.

Smashbox Always on Liquid Lipstick in “Out Loud” ($24.00)- This is my FAVORITE fall shade and definitely breaks the mold of the other colors in my round up.  It is a burnt orangy brown that is just stunning on the lip.  It reminds me of pumpkin spice and everything nice about fall!  It is a very wearable orange shade and it more deep than bright but is so unique I just love it!  It is a matte liquid lip so it is not shiny but is extremely long wearing.

Colour Pop in “Lyin King” ($6.00)- Now we are moving on to my berry shades which I love to wear in the fall.  This liquid lip is a bright vibrant berry shade.  If I’m feeling tired and put this color on, it immediately brightens my whole face!  With a brighter lip I like to keep things simple on my eye makeup for a quick get ready and out the door look.

Charlotte Tilbury Hell’s Bells  ($34.00)- This is the most expensive lipstick on this list.  First, the packaging is STUNNING.  It is a traditional solid lipstick in a beautiful rose gold tube, that makes you feel like a movie star just having it out on your vanity!  It is also in the berry/burgundy family but is a more matte formula.  Sometimes I prefer to use a tube of lipstick instead of a liquid lipstick so I keep this handy for those days.

Phew, that was a lot of lipsticks!  Did you see any that you like?  What are your go-to lipstick colors for the fall?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

Natural Beauty Products that Work

You’d think that spending a week at the beach with no Sephora or Ulta Beauty stores in sight would keep this beauty junkie from buying beauty products?  Right? Wrong!  I actually picked up two natural beauty products in local stores in the Wildwood/Cape May, NJ area when I was on vacation last month and in the past few weeks that I’ve been using them I LOVE the results so I  wanted to share them with you.

I discovered these natural beauty products that work!The Naked bee Moisturizing Hand & Body Lotion in Coconut & Honey.  I found this in a souvenir shop in Diamond Beach where we went to pick up a boogie board for my son.  It looked interesting and I liked that it contained all natural ingredients so I picked up a tube.  Note:  this product is paraben free, alcohol free, and contains no dyes and no mineral oil!  The product was available in two sizes, and now, looking back, I wish I’d picked up the larger one.  It was $5 for 2.25 fl. oz. This stuff went beyond my expectations.  It hydrated without being greasy, had a nice scent that wasn’t overpowering and made my cuticles look hydrated!  Since I’ve been home I checked out their website and found out that they have many other products and scents available (you can’t order directly from their website, but can find them on Amazon here.

Sweet Dreams Sugar Scrub – I found this gem in a little store in Cape May called A Place on Earth (if you’ve ever been there, they are at the Washington Street Mall, downstairs from the Christmas shop!)  The store reminds me a little of LUSH.  They have a lot of handmade soaps, bath bombs and scrubs to explore.  It gets a little tight in there if there are a lot of shoppers but it is fun to browse!  After smelling a bunch of their scrubs, I picked the “Oatmeal Milk & Honey.”  It smells delicious, and is a comforting smell I love as the weather starts to get cooler.  You can buy different sizes – I grabbed the smaller one but they have a larger version in a mason jar that the salesperson told me you can return to the shop to refill!  So, if you visit Cape May on a regular basis that is a nice feature.  I also bought a soap with the most amazing Watermelon smell, but I haven’t used it yet so I can’t give you all a full review.  They have some interesting fragrances (Monkey Farts) and a fun website so check them out if you are in the market.

So, while I didn’t bring back many souvenirs from my trip, I am happy with these items, and isn’t it better to leave vacation with smoother, more hydrated skin?  Also, I always get a little extra excited if the products are natural, as I prefer products without parabens or phthalates.  What natural products are you enjoying now?  Would love to hear your comments below and please share with anyone you know who loves natural beauty products!

 

Favorite Hair Products for Frizzy, Flat Hair

I have talked about so many products I love on this blog, but I haven’t tackled hair care products!  Maybe it’s because I am so picky, but I’ve narrowed down my list to these products that I keep reaching for!  To set the stage, I have naturally curly hair that I typically blow out to give a smoother look. When I shop for products, I look to combat frizzy, flat, color treated hair. In these summer months, however, I have been letting it dry naturally.  So my issues are mainly frizz and I HAVE to have volume.  There is nothing I hate more than flat hair.  Maybe it’s because I am a product of the 80s trend, but it is definitely one of my prerequisites.

Kenra Blow Dry Spray– I discovered this recently and LOVE it.  You spray it into you damp hair and it protects your hair from heat damage caused by the blow dryer and other styling tools.  And did I mention it smells awesome?

Kenra Volume Mousse Extra – Did I mention that I have to have volume in my hair?  That is why I typically use mousse as one of my styling products.  This one from Kenra is one that I am loving right now.

 

 

 

 

Deva Curl Ultra Defining Gel– As I mentioned, I wear my hair curly, with its natural texture, mostly in the summer, so I’ve recently tried this Deva Curl product.  I find that it does keep the frizz at bay and allows the hair to curl without being crunchy or looking wet.

 

 

Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full form mousse – This is another mousse that I use and it absolutely fits the bill on giving your hair great volume!

 

 

 

 

 

Bed Head Masterpiece Massive Shine hairspray (all time favorite) – I have been using this hairspray for well over a decade, and although I occasionally try something else, I always go back to this.  It has great hold without being sticky or giving you a helmet head look, and it adds shine to your style (with frizzy hair like mine, I am always looking for shine.)  This one also has a great smell!

Loreal Root Cover up – If grays aren’t an issue for you, then consider yourself lucky!  Unfortunately, it is a big issue for me.  This product is a miracle worker at covering your grays that peek out in between colorings!  It is basically spray paint for your hair!  Spray it into your roots or wherever the gray is peeking out and Voila!  they are covered up!  There is a similar product that Sephora sells by Rita Hazan that does the same thing, but the Loreal is much less expensive and, in my opinion, has the same quality of the Rita Hazan product.

 

 

Amika Perk up dry shampoo – I know there are literally hundreds of different dry shampoos out there.  Why do I like this one?  First, there is the colorful packaging (yes I am a sucker for packaging), the smell is heavenly (you are probably catching on that smell makes a difference in the hair products I like) and most importantly, it works!  My one word of caution, especially if you have dark hair, is to not spray it too closely to your head or you will see a white cast.  I generally hold the can about 6 inches from my head and spray lightly and have not had a problem.

 

 

Triple Sec by drybar 3 in 1 Texturizes, Amplifies, Refreshes.  This is sort of a dry shampoo and volumizer in one so I sometimes switch off with this product and the Amika dry shampoo.  The smell of this product is to die for!!!

Pureology Smooth Perfection Shampoo and Conditioner – I have been using this shampoo and conditioner for almost a year now and I’ve been happy with it.  It keeps the frizz at bay and is formulated for color treated hair, so that’s a plus as well.  The large bottles have lasted me a looonnngg time, especially because I don’t shampoo my hair every day.

 

 

Let me know what hair products you are loving!  As with any type of beauty product, it really is a personal choice and everyone’s hair needs and type are different!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

Looking for a great Organic Beauty Line – Try Treat Beauty

I feel like a space explorer who just found a new planet because I have discovered an AWESOME beauty line that is totally organic.  It’s called Treat Beauty (www.treatbeauty.com).

The philosophy of Treat Beauty is simple: find nature’s most beneficial active natural and organic food ingredients and craft them into products that are good for the skin.

Inspired by nature’s most delicious ingredients Treat uses food grade antioxidant and vitamin rich butters and oils.

They sell body lotions and have these mega-sized lip balms.    There are two products from their line that I am totally OBSESSED with right now.

Confetti Cake Lip Balm

Now I’m not typically a lip balm person, but the larger size makes it harder to misplace (which is what usually happens when I buy regular lip balms) and these smell SO GOOD!  Now, if you don’t like smells associated with yummy things (cake, fruit) then this probably won’t get you as excited as it gets me.   They have different scents, but I purchased the Confetti cake and LOVE it!  It absolutely makes my lips softer and a bonus is that I rub it on my cuticles or any dry patches on my knuckles and have seen immediate results with them.  I love products that can serve a multiple purpose – it makes me feel like I am getting my money’s worth.  I just drop the tube in my purse and I am good to go!  And did I mention it smells DELICIOUS?

Birthday Cake Hydrating Body Butter

*My birthday is coming up in about a week (shout out to my fellow Leos out there) so I decided to treat myself to the calorie-free version of a birthday cake with this body butter.  OMG – this is the perfect vanilla-lemony-buttercream scent.  It’s so good I swear there might be calories in it!   Besides the scent, the consistency of the lotion is not too thick which I personally hate.  And no one likes to slather a thick cream on their bodies in the middle of summer, right?  It spreads nicely and really leaves my skin feeling cool and hydrated, which is exactly what I look for in a body butter.  The fact that it’s organic and cruelty-free is just icing on the cake (sorry I couldn’t resist the pun)!

The brand also has lip scrubs, a cellulite cream (called Butter your Muffin – love their cheeky humor!) and a redness reducing cream so there is something for everyone.  Whether you want to “Treat” yourself to some of these products or are in the market for a unique gift for someone, I highly recommend this brand and these products.  Happy shopping, fellow beauty explorers!

**I realized at the time of posting this that the body butter is currently sold out!  However you can have Treat Beauty notify you of when it is back in stock.  Trust me, it’s that good!

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

Full Body Skincare 101: How to take care of the skin NOT on your face!

When we think of skincare, we usually are focused on our face, but it is so important to remember to treat the skin all over your body with the same care you use on your face!   Remember, our skin is our largest organ and makes up 15% of our body weight!  There’s too much there to neglect it!

Body scrubs are a great way to exfoliate the skin on our arms and legs.

Like our faces, the skin on our arms and legs can get dry and flaky and also get crepey as we age.  That is why you should follow an exfoliating regimen on your body the same way you would do on your face!  The best way to do this is with a good body scrub.  I love the Tree Hut body scrub in the scent Brazilian Nut.  The scent is delicious and this product is very affordable!  Sometimes I don’t like the tub in my shower, so I recently picked up Bath and Body Works clay body scrub in Almond & Vanilla.  It’s in a tube which makes it easier to use and travel -friendly.  And the scent of this one is AMAZING!  Once your skin is exfoliated, just as with the face, you want to make sure it is moisturized!  One moisturizer I am loving this summer is AHAVA’s body oil is the scent “Sea Kissed.”  (Which by the way is on sale now at Ulta!)  I could smell this all day!  This body oil sprays on and dries into the skin quickly so there is no greasy feeling when I use it!  On other days, I use Alpha Skin Care’s Renewal Body Lotion which has 12% glycolic acid.  This addresses any bumps I have on my legs and addresses crepey skin I am starting to see on my arms.  Because it has a glycolic in it I would not use it on a day you are going to the beach or right after shaving your legs.  It is a fabulous product for the body that really does a deeper exfoliation than just the scrubs and it does moisturize at the same time.

Give some love to the skin on your hands!

How about your hands and feet?

These are two areas that often get neglected but really need a little extra TLC to be looking their best!  As I’ve said in other blog posts, the backs of your hands can show signs of aging, so many of your facial skincare products should also be applied on the backs of hands, including your SPF.  Keeping my hands and cuticles looking good is always a challenge for me, but I recently discovered a phenomenal product by Deborah Lipmann called “Marshmallow Whipped Hand and Cuticle Scrub with AHA and BHA.”  Hello?  Did I hear marshmallow?  Enough said.  But seriously, aside from the sleek packaging of this, shiny black and white square jar, this product delivers not only a great scent but immediate results!    Follow with your favorite hand lotion (mine is the  AHAVA Time to Smooth Age Perfecting Hand cream with SPF 15) and you are good to go!

Finally, we need to keep the skin on our feet looking good, especially between our summer pedicures!  Walking in flip flops or on the sand can really do some damage to the bottoms of your feet.  Use your body scrubs on your feet a couple of times a week and once a day, use the Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Foot Cream.  This is my holy grail and the only cream that keeps my heels smooth, winter to summer!  I also use the Amope Pedi Perfect foot file, especially in the summer.  Being in flip flops and walking on beach sand, etc. can really do some damage to your heels.

So if you’ve been neglecting the skin on other parts of your body, it’s not too late to start giving it some love now!  I’d love to hear what all of you do in your bodycare routines!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!

 

How to Pack Make-up for Vacation: Summer Packing Series #1

What’s in my make-up bag on vacation?

Packing for any trip can be daunting, but how can you decide what make-up products are most important to bring on vacation without lugging your entire collection?  It’s important to think about the season, your destination and what you will be doing to help sort out what to bring.  Also, if you separate your products into categories as I have below, that can also help you stay on track.  I recently returned from a week at the Jersey shore, and want to share what I brought along.  It turned out to be the perfect amount of items; I didn’t forget anything and didn’t over pack!

Face

Most days I used the CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 followed by IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC cream SPF 50.  If I’m just going out to grab a coffee or for a walk and don’t want a full face of make-up, I just put on my Obagi tinted SPF 50 sunscreen lotion and go!  For more recommendations on SPF you can check out that blog post here.   For concealer, I use two – Maybelline Age Rewind and Tarte shape Tape.  The combination of these two in my undereye area is perfect!  I set the face with IT Cosmetics Bye Bye pores pressed powder.  It is very travel friendly and is great at keeping skin from looking oily and giving a flawless airbrushed look to the skin.  For bronzer I used NARS Laguna that I have in a palette with Hot Sand highlight.  The two in one is great for travel!  My favorite summer blush is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blush in the shade “Tipsy.”  It gives the perfect corally-peach flush and it’s goof proof!  I never can put too much on.

Eyes

I brought one eye palette, the e.l.f. Mad for Matte 2.  This is a great travel-friendly size and has all the neutral warm shades I love that can make many great summery looks!  If I was going out to dinner, I’d do a whole look with it, but for a quick look, I’d just use a little light brown color in my crease and I’d be done!  If you want to know my other e.l.f. cosmetics favorites, you can check out that post here.  The elf palette has a black and dark brown color which can be used as eyeliner, but I also threw the Estee Edit Inside Track Eye Kajal in 02 Bold Bordeaux.  This is a double ended liner with the bordeaux color on one side (beautiful for green or hazel eyes) and a cream color on the other which I use to brighten my lower water line and inner corner of the eye.  This is the quickest and easiest way to make you look awake and alert.  (Another mini palette that’s great for travel is the Tartelette tease palette.  It has six shadows and is no bigger than a credit card holder.)  For my brows, I never leave home without Anastasia’s Brow Wiz.  For mascara, I am currently loving Tarte’s Maneater.  It’s not waterproof but I usually don’t care for waterproof formulas in general.  For my other favorite mascaras, you can check out this post.

Lips

I packed a couple of neutral options and one brighter option.  Tarte has a line of lipsticks called color splash lipsticks in a gorgeous turquoise tube!  I have the colors “Daiquiri” (coral) and “Sunkissed” (neutral pinky peach).  I also have my Kokie cosmetics liquid lipstick Lip Poudre in the shade “Infamous.”  For more recommendations on Kokie cosmetics, click here.  I brought one lip pencil that works with all the shades – it’s Urban Decay’s 24/7 glide on lip pencil in the shade “Liar.”  This is the softest, smoothest pencil I have used and it really helps to keep your lipstick from fading.

Tools

Of course my beauty sponge needs to come wherever I am!  As for brushes, I try to keep that simple too.  I have some travel brushes that I have had for years, but basically bring a couple of eye brushes, one to set powder and highlight, and one for blush/bronzer.

Ready to Go!

So there you have it!  I’ve worked to streamline the basics which really had me feeling organized and prepared for anything on my beach vacation.  Stay tuned for future blogs on packing  that will include packing clothes and beach bags for vacation!   Wherever you are headed this summer, I wish you happy packing and fun adventures!

 

Please note that some of the links in this article are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of those products, I receive a small commission.  This is at no additional cost to you.  I appreciate your support of this blog if you do decide to try some of the products!