Let’s talk about skin safety (because yes it matters in winter too)

Beauty, Lifestyle

I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to visit my sister this Thanksgiving. I’m lucky that I got the chance while she is living in the Caribbean. Yes, I escaped the cold of the Midwest for a whole week, and don’t worry, I have plenty of cute vacation photos to show you. If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen enough already, but thank you for persisting.

 

While I was visiting my sister, I had a lot more exposure to the sun than I did back at home in the Midwest. In fact it was more sun than what I had been getting in months, and while I was very happy about it, I really had to be careful with my skin. My husband and I doused ourselves in drugstore sunscreen daily, using brands that I had grown up using and trusted. I don’t know if it was my skin’s inability to adapt to the quick increase in SPF, some failure on my part to apply correctly, or something different altogether, but this sunscreen wasn’t cutting it, and I was frustrated.

My sister pointed me toward the pharmacy, where her friend had found European brands. Years of obsessively protecting my skin had taught me that European brands contain ingredients that haven’t been approved in the US but are great at protecting us from UV rays. I was elated at this news from my sister and I ended up basically running down to the pharmacy to get my hands on those better ingredients.

Sure enough, the brand I purchased, Vichy (you can also get it in the US, but it won’t have those good ingredients), worked perfectly, absorbing quickly into my skin, smelling pleasantly, and most importantly, keeping my safe from the sun. After my new sunscreen purchase, the rest of our trip went smoothly, and honestly, I was excited to get to spend time with my sister.

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But why does this matter now? Because you should wear sunscreen year round, and not enough people realize this (yes, people who live in the Midwest with me, you need sunscreen year round). I am now a passionate believer in the importance of sunscreen, but I didn’t always feel this way.

If I’m being honest (and I am!), I hated sunscreen growing up. I disliked the smell, I disliked the oily feel, and I disliked the inconvenience of constantly needing to reapply. Obviously this is a toxic combination for this blonde-haired, freckled lady (especially since I basically spent my entire childhood outdoors playing softball).

Eventually, as I got older, I mostly got over my dislike of the smell and the oiliness. I think at some point my vanity (goodbye unnecessary wrinkles) outweighed my dislike of those things, and I sucked it up and started wearing sunscreen regularly. I’ll tell my mom it’s because I matured, but really it’s because I didn’t want to badly sun damage my body because I care too much about how I look. But who’s to say? Maybe that is it’s own kind of maturity.

Around the same time that I got over my repulsion toward sunscreen, I found out that really I should be wearing it every day. Young adult Anna couldn’t understand how to regularly wear sunscreen and reapply it with her makeup, and even though I probably only wore makeup about once a week, I used that as my excuse as to why I couldn’t wear it all the time. Then, I started buying the foundation that had SPF in it and I acted like that was sufficient, even though I knew that SPF needed reapplied regularly and I had read many articles explaining that the SPF found in makeup usually doesn’t cover what you need anyway.

Sometime during my college years, I finally held myself accountable and thought about why I was refusing to wear sunscreen like I knew I should be, and I realized it was because my skin usually reacted terribly with the normal drugstore brands that I used every summer on the softball diamonds. I knew there was no way that was what all the beauty experts were using on their faces, and I knew my reasoning for not wearing sunscreen was logical, but there was also a logical solution. At this point, I began my research. It didn’t take long for me to discover that sunscreens existed that didn’t smell terrible or leave your skin oily and gross feeling. In fact, there were sunscreens that were formulated just for your face and even meant to be reapplied over your makeup.

Let me tell you, this was a game changer for me. I used a gift card to a beauty store and I purchased my first for-face sunscreen. It was pricey, but I soon found out it was worth it. I now own multiple bottles of beauty expert approved sunscreen and I love them and I wear them year round just like all those beauty articles I read so long ago told me too.

Don’t worry, though, I still have work to do. I’m still working on my reapplying game, and if that’s something you’ve mastered, please tell me your secrets!

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Fall Things

Lifestyle

I love summer and I’m always sad to see it go, but when fall arrives, I’m reminded just how much of a fall person I am. It’s like I finally come alive again. Whenever October rolls around, I’m reminded of the Anne of Green Gables quote: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” And it’s true. It’s a month where you can truly feel the earth change, and we’re caught in this limbo between the growing season and the season of rest. We get pumpkins and apples and sweaters and jackets and booties. And we get moody lighting.

Things that are less fun about the coming season: coldness, allergies, colds and other illnesses, loss of sunlight, and dry skin. But we’re not going to focus on those things – unless we’re focusing on them to solely combat them.

So what am I looking forward to this coming season? Well, cooking out of Chrissy Teigen’s new cookbook Cravings 2. My husband got it for me as a sweet surprise gift, and I haven’t had time to cook out of it yet, but I have already poured over every page. Simply put, I’m dying to delve in.

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Also, her new Target collection of cookware? I can’t wait to acquire some it. Chrissy’s color scheme already fits the colors of my kitchen and my aesthetic taste in general.

On another note, if you remember my ChloSoup blueberry pie earrings from earlier this year, you’ll want to know that I got a fall update. That’s right, I got myself a pair of pumpkin pie earrings from ChloSoup and they don’t disappoint. I’ve already worn them so much and I’ve received a ton of compliments.

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But, I mean, how could you not compliment them? They’re adorable. The creator of the brand has tons of adorable products and just released a Halloween line, along with some general fall and Thanksgiving products.

What am I on the lookout for? Eye products. Guys, my eyes are killing me they’re so puffy and wrinkly, and I’m glad I have big eyes, but I need to be able to smile without losing my eyes in pools of skin, which is what I feel like is happening now. I’m sure my allergies don’t help, and I’m sure hydrating will also help. But if you have any tips, tricks, or products that you love and recommend please let me know. I will be indebted to you forever if I can smile big again.

Finally, I want to leave you with something that I am extremely thankful for right now: dahlias. It’s getting cold and blustery, but guess what, my husband picked these pretty things out of my garden just the other day. I’m thankful for God creating things that grow in periods of cold and darkness, a reminder that we too can grow in difficult periods.

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Oh, and one final, final thing – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expecting a baby?! I’m so extremely excited and happy for them, and I just want Meghan to have a safe and joyful pregnancy. Congrats to those two love birds.

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Summer Is Ending, But The Summer Feeling Doesn’t Have To

Beauty, Home, Lifestyle, Style

It’s officially August, which means that summer is sizzling to its end. For some people, that means heading back to school. For others, it means ending their vacations, or it possibly means sending their kids back to school. For me, it means returning to school as an educator.

Like everyone else with a career, my summers aren’t spent free of work. I’ve spent a lot of time working on licensure and professional development opportunities. Regardless of my work this summer, these next couple months usher me into a period of constant work, as I prepare and begin this coming school year. One thing that I’ve learned from being a teacher is that it can be really hard to balance your time (I have no clue how so many of my coworkers and friends with kids handle it). And I know, that as true as this is for me, it is also true for others, especially as we leave the summer and it’s time of adventuring and relaxation.

Through my time as a teacher, I’ve learned to deeply value intentional “me” time, as well as surrounding myself with things that help me relax or bring about intentional relaxing practices. If I’m honest, often when I’m busy and stressed, I’m not in the mindset to find something that will help me relax. Or sometimes my husband sees that I’m stressed and wants to help me relax. Because of this, I’ve developed an Amazon wishlist. It’s an easy go-to, and I’m not the only one who thinks having a wishlist on hand is a good idea.

Today, I’m going to share a few items off my wishlist that I think you might enjoy, that might help you relax as well.

1. Meaningful Artwork

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My sister made this cute little pot for me and it’s just the best thing! Sorry, there’s no link for this one! But I truly believe that art (and in this case pottery) can bring people so much joy. I love looking at and it’s lovely aesthetics. Blues are my favorite, and this one means even more because my sister made it.

2. Ban.do Work It Out Water Bottle

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I know I struggle to stay hydrated once I start working if I don’t actively carry a water bottle around with me. Real story: I had a few students last year who used to scold me for not drinking enough fluids. So I’m working on it, and the inspirational words will help me move forward in my goals (both about hydration and otherwise).

3. Cravings: Hungry For More, By Chrissy Tiegen

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So Chrissy’s latest cookbook isn’t out yet, and it won’t be until September, but I have this on my preorder list because I know it’s going to be great. I already love cooking all of the recipes from her first book, and I’m not the only one who loves them! All my friends and family, who I cook for, love them too. Chrissy is the person who taught me to enjoy cooking, to not let it stress me out, and instead take my time and find pleasure in the process. That reason alone has made me a lifetime supporter of her cookbooks.

4. Farmacy Natural Facemasks

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If you don’t know my love of skincare, then obviously you don’t know me and haven’t read much of my writing. Seriously, I’ve already blogged about how  important skincare is to me multiple times. But, I’m really eager to try this collection Farmacy facemasks. I love Farmacy as a brand. They use natural, clean ingredients, which is important to me. I also love that this selection includes soothing, brightening, and deep moisture (all things my skin will definitely need during the school year).

5. Be You Boxed Calendar

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I’ve always loved quotes, and I have always felt inspired by other people’s words. A calendar like this would is a great addition to a work desk, something to find words of wisdom in every day.

6. IGK Rich Kid Coconut Oil Gel

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I’m really bad about regularly styling my hair on a regular basis once I start my regular 7:30 to 3:30 hours. I got this hair product as a sample, and I instantly loved it. I have naturally wavy to curly hair patterns, and a great product like this can make the biggest difference when it comes to getting the most out of every minute in my morning.

 

So that’s it! If you want to check out my list, you can see the rest of it here. I hope that as your summer comes to an end, you find ways to milk every ounce of adventure and relaxation out of it, and even more, I hope that you can find a way to extend the spirit of summer throughout the rest of 2018!

 

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My Favorite Face Mask (From Hawaii)

Beauty

Wow, can time fly! It feels like just a little bit ago I was returning from my honeymoon, and then I looked up and a month of the school year flew by.

Thinking about my honeymoon made me remember this great face mask that I picked up in Hawaii. I waited to try it until I was back home and my sister was visiting. It made for great sister bonding.

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When Eric and I were in Hawaii we did so many cool things that absolutely reminded us of how great God’s creation is, and it was so worth it; however, I also made Eric take me to a local makeup boutique which was also totally worth it.

The boutique introduced me to some Hawaiian brands. This is when I discovered Leahlani Skincare. At the boutique I picked up Leahlani’s Meli Glow Illuminating Mask.

I absolutely loved it. My sister liked the smell and color, but didn’t love that it was sticky (it has honey in it). Ultimately, we both loved how it made our skin feel and look  afterwards.

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I wish I had a picture with her too, but she was very excited and impatient about the whole face mask process!

Leahlani claims that the mask “works at the molecular level to increase blood circulation and oxygenation.” I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you that my skin looked and felt heavenly. The site also says that this mask is good for all skin types but especially for dry or combination skin (that’s me!). I also love that it’s full of vitamins, enzymes, oils, and clays.

My only complaint: it drips off your face while you wait. Maybe I put it on too think, but I do think it is probably due to the mask’s consistency. Was this a deal breaker for me? No, not at all. I’d just be careful with what clothes I was wearing, furniture I was sitting on, etc. Next time I’m going to try applying a thinner layer.

Overall, at $48 I think the product is well worth the cost. Plus, I can’t lie: this product will always remind me of my honeymoon; therefore, it’ll always have sentimental value.

3 Skincare Products To Help You Relax At The Start Of The School Year

Beauty, Lifestyle

I have written previously about how skincare has become a form of self care for me. Well today’s post is dedicated to even more self care items.

This week marked my first regular work week of the school year. My students come next week. I’m so excited for the start of the school year and also for the start of my second full year of teaching. I love the new school I’m at. The entire school is full of absolute gems of staff members, but I especially love my English department. I’m pretty sure it is full of angels.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the school year also marks a time of exhaustion and stress for teachers and students alike. A lot is starting up again, but it’s important for us all to take time for ourselves. These are things that will help me relax, and they might help you too, but if they don’t reflect on what helps you relax!

1. Stress Relief Lotion $13

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I love this lotion. I’ve been using it for years, and I’ll be keeping it by my desk at work. I love skin care so putting on lotion is already fun for me, but this is also eucalyptus and spearmint scented. Wow, what a nice, relaxing scent. It’s a great, tiny break from your otherwise busy day.

2. Pumpkin Sleeping Pack $20

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You know how you feel on December 31st? That weird mix of anticipation and melancholy? That’s how I feel at the start of a school year. But not this year. This year I decided I’m leaning into fall hard. I’m so excited for falling leaves, pumpkins, hay rack rides, and everything else. I also know that my skin is already showing the wear of early mornings, long days, and late nights so it’s going to need some TLC. I love that this mask will perk up my skin while I sleep and help me embrace the upcoming change in seasons.

3. Foot Cream (and Exfoliation) $27

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Massages of any kind help me relax, and I bet they help you too. Massages are even better if you have someone else who can help you with them, but even if you don’t, you can massage your own feet! It’ll release so much tension! Plus, with this set you can exfoliate your feet after you’re done loosening up those ankles.

 

Ok, so those are my relaxation skincare products! How do you relax? Do you have any go-to relaxation products? Let me know!

 

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My Favorite Matte Lipstick

Beauty

In the past, I told you how my sweet husband gave me his Sephora Birthday Gift. Well, today I’m going to tell you about my Sephora Birthday Gift.

This year, I chose the Tarte Birthday Gift, complete with blush and matte lip paint. Truth be told, I haven’t tried the blush yet. I lay off a lot of my makeup layers in the summer, and when I do dip into my blush, I tend to stick with my go-to. So I guess here’s to fall and getting to try new blush.

The blush comes in the shade Paaarty and the lip paint comes in the shade of Birthday Suit (very purpose appropriate names, am I right?!). Unfortunately, Birthday Suit is currently out of stock at Sephora, but you can still find it at Ulta. If you’re truly loyal to Sephora you can sign up to receive an email when it’s back in-stock.

The blush feels a little expensive to me at $29 for a full size. However, I’m sure it lasts awhile, and honestly, since I rarely wear blush, I also rarely buy it which means I don’t have the best understanding of the blush market. I do think that if I’m going to buy this blush ever, I’m going to have to really like the sample (I’ll update you all in the fall).

The matte lip paint comes in at $20 full size. This is a pretty average price for a lip product of this quality, but it’s still quite a bit more than an average, drugstore lipstick. So is it worth it?

For me, it’s one hundred percent worth it! Unlike most of my other matte lipsticks, this one isn’t super drying and actually feels like it stays creamy (the product description describes the feeling as velvety and I agree with this and can totally get behind it). It also stays put extremely well, and let me tell you, I couldn’t have received a better color shade! I absolutely love the way this shade looks on me. It’s pretty neutral, and only a step darker than my nude lips, but the full-coverage formula keeps my lips standing out and looking great. I also love it’s incredibly light, but pleasant scent.

Overall thoughts? I was pleasantly surprised with the lip paint, like to the point where I thought that this might be the lipstick that converts me to a daily lipstick wearer. It seems so perfect for so many different occasions, and I truly love its versatility. It also has me super excited to try the blush. I’m hoping it’s as good as the lip paint!

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Bronzing Sunscreen (And A Story)

Beauty

So this weekend, Eric and I took my youngest sister to a water park. Lot’s of fun ensued. We had a blast. And like all good people, who are deeply concerned with skincare, we reapplied sunscreen regularly. Like a lot. Especially to my little sister. There was no way that I was taking her back to my parents with a sunburn.

Luckily, this was no big deal because we had a bunch of sunscreen leftover from our honeymoon in Hawaii (I’m very pale so I stocked up). But all good things come to end. And so mid-way through one of our sunscreen applications, I finished off one of our spray sunscreens on my sister.

As I opened a new bottle and started spraying Eric, I noticed how the finish of the sunscreen looked so different than that of the other stuff. My sister and Eric are both much tanner than I am. I said something along the lines of, “Ooh, Eric, look how smoothly this goes on you. It sprays so evenly!”

Eric looked down in shock and shouted, “What’s in this stuff?”

That’s when I finally looked closer. The smooth finish was because the spray looked tinted, not it’s normal glossy finish. I told Eric to rub the sunscreen in, and after he did, he looked at his hand.

“Eew it’s sparkly,” he said, “and tinted, like makeup.”

I looked down at the bottle of sunscreen in my hand. And at that moment I came face-to-face with a truth that recently kept coming more apparent: I need to read product’s labels more thoroughly. That, or I guess you could argue, that product’s needed to keep their labels more simplistic. Either or really.

What I bought was Pacifica Coconut Probiotic SPF 30 Water Resistant 80 Minute Sunscreen. What I didn’t realize I bought was Sunscreen BRONZER.

I had accidentally covered Eric in bronzer, sunscreen bronzer, but bronzer nonetheless. And for a few seconds he was convinced I did it on purpose.

“Is this makeup?” he asked in disbelief.

“No,” I said, “it’s sunscreen.”

“But it’s bronzer,” he said. “Isn’t there makeup bronzer?”

“Yes, but it’s different,” I said.

I finally convinced him that I didn’t purposely cover him in bronze toned sparkles by reminding him how pale I was and badly bronzer sunscreen would look on my skin.

In the end, the show had to go on, and we had a bunch more rides to go on so I finished applying the bronze sunscreen to Eric and then applied it to myself.

Eric walked around the park sparkling and I walked around with orange legs.

But the most important thing is this: We all had fun, and the sunscreen worked and no one got burned!

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A Moisturizer And Serum Combo That’s Good, But Not For Me

Beauty

So, as I told you all in my last post, I’ve been putting my skin through boot camp, and let me tell you, it’s been working. While it’s great that my skin is seeing results, it’s also great that I’m getting to see what products work best with my skin.

For the longest time, I didn’t pay attention to what kind of skin I had. I would consider it normal because I didn’t know what else it could be. Now that I’ve gotten older, it’s become clearer what kind of skin I have. It’s definitely dry to normal (and I definitely get an oily t-zone from time to time). And, of course, I have sensitive skin.

Recently, I’ve been testing out the Caudalie birthday sample from Sephora. The birthday sample comes with Caudalie’s Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I love testing out new skincare products so I was excited to get this sample. And what makes this birthday set extra sweet? The fact that Eric got it for his birthday since he has a Sephora account for when he gets me gifts.

Let’s break down the products: The full size Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet costs $39. The product claims that it is good for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It claims to be a solution for drying, dullness and uneven texture, and fine lines and wrinkles. The texture is that of a cream, but as you apply it to your face, it quickly turns to a gel. Sephora’s site also notes, “Caudalie’s organic grape water and patented grape-seed polyphenols, this cream not only provides hydration, but it also protects the skin from free-radicals, which causes wrinkles. This formula is rich in Vinolevure® to strengthen skin to become less sensitive and more resilient over time.”

Unsurprisingly, the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum costs quite a bit more than the Sorbet, coming in at $79 (those darn serums!). This product, of course, also says that it’s for all skin types. It’s an oil-free serum that helps to even out skin tone and encourage radiance. This product comes out of the package with a droplet cap. The actual product is a milky color and consistency (but thinner, more watered down). Want to know more? Well, Sephora’s site says, “This cult product is highly concentrated with naturally powerful viniferine, an ingredient from the grape vine sap that is clinically proven to be 62 times more effective than vitamin C. The lightweight formula allows for immediate penetration and works well under makeup for flawless-looking skin.” And that last part really does seem to be the emphasis of this product. It can be used any time, in the morning or at night, and under any product like foundation or sunscreen.

My Experience: Well first, I loved the feeling of the products on my skin. They went on so smoothly. I’ll be honest, as far as serums go, this one is not my favorite. I definitely like it; I just have other serums that I like more, and I won’t be purchasing something for $79 if I don’t love it. I think my skin craves the feel of more oily serums. But, guys, oh my goodness the Sorbet was soothing. I loved it. Except, I didn’t love the results.

When I stopped using my regular moisturizer and switched to this serum and sorbet instead, in a couple days my skin was visibly dry. It really wouldn’t bother me that much except for the fact that I’m getting married in a week and my skin needs to be flawless. So last week sometime, I put this product on hold. I’ll finish it off sometime after my honeymoon.

So what’s my overall take on this product? I think it’s great, and it’s not a surprise to me that so many people love it. However, it really didn’t work with my skin. It says it is for all skin types, but it’s not for mine. I would recommend this product to someone with combination or oily skin because it doesn’t seem moisturizing enough for dry to normal skin.

One last thing: I took the Sorbet to be a moisturizer, but once I looked up the products, the serum is actually supposed to go with a different moisturizer. So perhaps, if I had used the recommended moisturizer with the serum, the effects would have ended more in my favor. However, I simply used the products provided in the birthday gift sample.

 

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A Face Cream That Actually Does What It Says

Beauty

OK, ya’ll, my wedding is quickly approaching and I’m so excited. I’m also a complete basket of nerves about getting everything done on time (Oh my gosh, why haven’t I finished the petal cones yet?!). And my skin, unsurprisingly has been acting up a little.

I’m lucky that my skin is typically pretty easy to take care of. I rarely get acne, but my skin does react when I skip washing my face. My skin and I have a delicate routine. We don’t mess with it and it behaves. However, between stress, hormones, and everything else, my skin is having a bad go of it, and I just want it all sorted before the big day. That means I’ve been putting my face through skin boot camp.

I’ve been using my best products. That moisturizer that’s OK, but leaves me a little dry? Not finishing it off until after the wedding! I’ve been digging through moving boxes to find my best masks. I’m not wearing makeup to give my pores a break. I’m using serums every morning and night! I’m here to tell you that my skin will be clear and glowing if I have any say in the matter (but unfortunately I probably don’t have much of a say).

During searches through my boxes, I’ve also been digging for all my best samples. When I pulled out this one, I became fervently happy. I love Dior’s makeup and skincare products. I was going to wear Dior foundation for my wedding, but discovered it has SPF, which doesn’t mix with wedding photography. So I found some other foundation.

But, guyyysss, I found this sample of face cream, and I’m in love. I finally broke it open this morning and it’s truly wonderful.

Let’s go through the basics:

What is it? Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Creme

What does it do? Well, it’s age-defying (and it’s never too early to start fighting those wrinkles, right?). It firms your skin by adding density. It also plumps, smooths, and illuminates.

How do you use it? The package said you could use it by itself or after your daily skincare routine.

My experience? I wasn’t going to abandon the rest of my skincare routine just for this product, and figured it would work better if I also went through the rest of my process. So I started by washing my face. Then I applied my serum, and then I applied my moisturizer. Finally, I got to the Dior face cream.

I tore open the package and squeezed. I think I was expecting the product to be white, like a moisturizer, but it’s actually a nude color, like a primer. It also has the consistency of a primer. It went on super easily and I didn’t notice a strong smell. The smell was light and lovely.

As the day has continued. I keep wanting to touch my face because my skin is soft and smooth. It’s been one day and I can already see and feel the effects.

I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with Dior, and after sampling this product I feel like I’ve got to get my hands on more. The only downside? The price. It retails at $165.

Other reviewers (via Sephora) seem to agree with me. The product is great. The price is scary. And some say the full-size packaging doesn’t match the quality of the product.

Will I buy it? Yes, probably in the future. But first, I’m interested in this eye cream from the same line of Dior. I’d definitely want a sample first as it still retails at $105, but I’ve been looking for a good eye cream because this girl has wrinkles, dark circles, and puffy big eyes.

If you’ve got any skincare suggestions, especially eye creams please let me know!

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How To Choose Skin Care and Makeup Products That Are Good For You

Beauty

Hi guys! I’m really happy to say that recently, Hello Giggles published an essay I wrote called “How Skin Care Unexpectedly Led Me To Self-Care.” This essay is so important to me because not only is it a part of an important larger conversation, but also because it also allowed me to reflect more deeply on my own habits.

Here’s the thing, in the essay, I talk about an allergic reaction I had to makeup (I’ve mentioned it previously on my blog too). Because of the allergic reaction, I realized I needed to be a lot more careful about what I put on my sensitive skin. Pairing my need for caution with my love for beauty, I quickly spiraled into a world of skin care and beauty research, and before long, I realized how gross the ingredients are in some of our skin care and beauty products. Honestly, it was shocking.

Soon after realizing how gross some ingredients were, I started searching for brands who sought to make safe and healthy products (If I don’t want an allergic reaction from my makeup, I can guarantee you that I also don’t want cancer from my makeup). Before long, I started falling in love with new brands. What I wasn’t falling in love with was their price tags.

At this point, I felt caught in the middle. Do I do something that is safe for me and will make me feel good, though it will cost a lot? Or do I do something that will make my wallet feel good, even though it might not make me feel good? If I’m being honest (and I am), usually my choice is to do both and try to find a healthy balance.

My first step in trying to find balance, came in the form of a Beauty Counter consultant. Beauty Counter is a brand that strives to create clean, healthy, good makeup. I’ve tried their stuff, and I like it, but even more helpful is their “The Never List.” This list contains a bunch of ingredients that are commonly included in beauty, skincare, and household products.

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The consultant also introduced me to a great app. EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database is a lifesaver (possibly literally). You can download it to your phone, scan cosmetic products at the store, and it will give you their health rating, along with a list of the dangerous ingredients included in the product. This app has changed the way I shop for cosmetic products.

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Now here comes the next truth, before I started splurging on makeup, I started splurging on skin care. Why? Because if you ask any makeup artist ever, they’ll tell you that the best thing you can do for your face is start with good skin.

Before I invested in one of my all-time favorite moisturizers, I tried a drugstore brand. I even did my research first. It was my first time using a moisturizer, but I didn’t feel like it was doing much for me so after a while I decided to step up my game. And oh boy, when I did, it made all the difference. My moisturizer convinced me that sometimes you do get what you pay for and so I started trying different cleansers and serums, usually testing samples before buying the full size.

So where am I at now? I have a mix of brands. Some higher end, with higher price tags, and some are easy to find and easy on the wallet drugstore brands. BUT, regardless of their price or brand, they’re all good for me.

What’s my advice for finding skincare and makeup products that are truly good for you?

  1. Find products with healthy, safe ingredients. If you’re putting something unsafe ingredients on your skin, then it’s not good for, simple as that.
  2. Shop around and test out products before you commit to them. You don’t need to ever invest in an expensive product without testing it first. Many stores, like Sephora, offer samples. Make sure you love the product before you buy it full sized.
  3. Make sure the product works well with your skin. It doesn’t matter who recommends you a product, or what ingredients are in it, if the product doesn’t sit well with your skin, then it’s not for you. We all have such different, beautiful faces and skin, and we are all looking for something specific in our makeup and skin care. Just because someone else loves something, it doesn’t mean you have to.

 

So there you have it! Now you know how I came to find makeup and skin care products that worked for me, along with the tips that I have to offer you!

 

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