Pretty in Pink: March Ipsy

It’s about that time of the month again… It’s time to reveal my Ipsy bag! This month’s bag had major French vibes. Everything’s pink and tres jolie! I’m definitely here for this theme – I took four years of French and I love all things dusty rose and baby pink – this bag was made for me.

The bag itself is a faux suede type of baby pink fabric with a mesh side to it, which seems to give it a little edge. The zipper is rose gold toned, which is super cute. I’m currently looking to use this bag in my every day purse. I’m so in love with it, but I don’t necessarily want to carry makeup in it because I don’t want it to get super dirty.

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I received a wide range of products this month, which was nice. In previous months I’ve received all makeup, which I haven’t tried, or all skin care, which is kind of boring. I was excited to have a chance to try a few different things.

For skin care, I received Milk to Foam Coconut Milk Cleanser and Cake Desserted Island Body Mousse. I haven’t yet tried the cleanser, but I’m sure it’s great and I can’t wait to try it. I have tried the body mousse because I actually almost bought a set of these on sale a few months back, but I was hesitant because I can be really sensitive to fragrances and lotions. I love this product by Cake. It’s really light and airy, but pretty moisturizing. It’s not very greasy and smells sweet, but isn’t overpowering or sickening. I’m throwing this little guy into my purse to use on my hands at work.

For makeup, I received a sample of the Tarteist Lip Paint and Eyeko Fat Brow Liquid Liner. I was excited to try the lip paint and I really love the formula, but the color just isn’t very wearable for me – at least not for this time of year. The color is deep burgundy red brown, which is honestly great for fall. The formula is outstanding. It’s super easy to apply and once it dries, you can’t even feel it on your lips. It’s like a second skin. It’s such a luxurious liquid lip stick. Honestly once you put it on, it does not budge. I’ll probably go out and buy a neutral color so I can get more wear out of it. The brow liner was not my jam at all. I have black hair and really dark brows and this liner was a light color, so I didn’t even really try it out before I gave it to someone else who would get more use out of it. I’m sure this product is great for some people, but it’s like a marker for your brows to shade them in, but it just wasn’t for me.

The last thing I got was a blending brush! I’m always excited to get new makeup brushes through Ipsy because honestly, they can be so expensive. This brush is super cute, super soft, and it’s the perfect size to travel with. I’ll definitely get a lot of use out of this.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with my Ipsy bag this month. Even though some of the products didn’t quite work for me, I’m happy I’m being exposed to new brands and new types of products that I can share with my friends and family.

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Beauty Favorites: New & Old

I clearly never got around to putting together a list of yearly favorites at the beginning of 2017, so I’ve decided to share with you some of my current favorites and daily go-to items. While I like to try new beauty products, my daily routine doesn’t stray too far away from my favorites. Like a great pair of jeans, these are just a few of the products that have won over my heart and make me feel confident and sexy on a daily basis.

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I love my travel sized Aveda Hand Relief creme. Winter in Chicago means dry, chapped skin which is obviously no fun, so I like to use this hand lotion. The size is perfect to tote around in my bag on a daily basis and the formula is super moisturizing without feeling greasy. While this little bottle runs about $10, a little bit goes a long way – I’ve been using this same bottle since the beginning of December. My nose is also extremely sensitive to scents – I can’t use or be near Jergens lotion at all – this one has a really natural, floral scent. I’ll definitely buy another one of these once this bottle is empty.

OPI is definitely one of my go-to nail polish brands when I have the money to spend on it, but there are certain colors I can’t live without, like Cajun Shrimp. I’ve tried to find dupes in Essie or random inexpensive brands, but no one does this spicy coral better than OPI. This color is my signature shade and something I always come back to.

YSL’s Black Opium is one of my all-time favorite fragrances. I would go as far to say it’s my new signature scent. This perfume is so intoxicating and sexy, I was hooked the first time I checked it out at my local Sephora. It’s a scent that’s exciting, soft, and sensual. I have the one ounce bottle that I keep at home and the travel spray that I carry with me. While it’s on the pricier side, it’s definitely worth it.

I was pretty late to jump on the Anastasia Beverly Hills band wagon, but my life has changed since purchasing the Brow Wiz. Honestly, I was super hesitant to spend around $20 on an eyebrow pencil since I’ve had trouble getting my desired brow look with pencils in the past. I kept visiting Sephora to try it out and look at the different shades, until I finally pulled the trigger. I honestly don’t know how I lived without this product. The pencil tip is so precise and gives such a natural look. This brow product has made its way into my daily makeup routine.

Lastly, the Urban Decay Naked 2 Basics palette has become my favorite eyeshadow palette. I find cool tones look best on me and the shades available in this palette are perfect for an everyday eye look. Like other Urban Decay products, the colors are very pigmented and easy to blend. This palette is the perfect size to tote around if I’m changing my look later in the day for a cool, smokier date night look.

Again, these are just a few of my favorite beauty items that I’m finding I can’t live without. Using these products makes confident, sexy, and put together. While most of these are on the pricier side, the quality makes them hard to pass up. What are some of your beauty staples?

Bedtime is When Beauty Happens

By now most of us have learned that going to sleep with a full face of makeup can wreak havoc on our skin and do more damage than good. Not only do you get your pillows and bedding filthy, but you can wake up with pimples, encourage wrinkles and so much more. The worst part of this bad habit is that you’re missing out on nourishing your skin while you’re fully at rest and out of the sun and pollution. When you instill a nighttime beauty routine you’re allowing targeted skin care products to penetrate and work their magic. Bedtime is when beauty happens. It is the best time for deep moisturizing, fighting wrinkles and treating other problem areas, such as your lips and heels.

My mother taught me at a young age to take care of my skin and this has become much more important to me now that I’m in my mid-twenties. It’s really never too early to begin an anti-aging regiment. My nighttime beauty routine has evolved over the years, but I’ve become quite comfortable with the products I’m currently using. Overall, it’s pretty simple, but I believe it’s the foundation for building good habits and keeping great skin. Here are some of the staples I use and they’ve helped.

Face Wash

Cleansing your face at night is one of the single most important and basic things you can do to help your skin. Whether you like it or not, your skin is an organ that is aging every day. It’s important to remove any pollutants and makeup from your face to allow the skin to literally breathe and get the oxygen it needs to repair itself.

My favorite cleanser is the Neutrogena Deep Clean Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this product for years and it’s never let me down. The cleanser is so soft and gentle, giving your skin a deep cleanse. It includes beta hydroxyl that penetrates the pores, dissolving dirt, oil, and makeup. It also removes dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, and reveals softer, fresher skin.

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Exfoliator

Exfoliation is super important to remove dry and dead skin cells from your skin in a gentle way. Some of the top benefits to exfoliating include improved skin texture, preventing breakouts, and, of course, anti-aging. Regular exfoliation also helps increase blood circulation which makes it possible achieve healthy, radiant skin. It’s generally recommended to exfoliate a couple times a week.

I like to use St. Ives Apricot Scrub once a week. This is another product I’ve been using for years because it works well for my skin type. This exfoliator is somewhat coarse, but if used gently and not in a harsh scrubbing manner, it can deliver excellent results.

Moisturizer

As we age, our skin becomes drier, so moisturizing is an essential part of both your daytime and nighttime beauty routine. When you leave moisturizer out of your routine, you run the risk of developing deep wrinkles – and lots of them. When your
skin is dry, there’s a low-grade chronic inflammation that occurs which can lead to a breakdown of collagen, ultimately accelerating aging.

Moisturizer also gives you a layer of protection against the elements and improves the look of your makeup application.

I learned my lesson about moisturizer a couple years ago when I was breaking out really badly. I stopped using moisturizer because I thought it was contributing to my acne, but come to find out my skin was irritated and acne was part of the result of extremely dehydrated skin which overproduced oil. It was a nightmare, but now I apply moisturizer in the morning and at night no matter what.

Acne Spot Treatment

While this may not be necessary for everyone, this is a no-brainer in my bedtime routine. I suffer from the occasional pimple or two and try to get rid of them immediately, for obvious reasons – no one likes acne. The spot treatment I like to use applies and dries white, so I use it at night and at home. If you do have to use spot treatments, I would recommend moisturizing that area the morning after using this type of product because I find most of them are drying. If you know of a spot treatment that’s not drying, please let me know in the comments below!

Eye Cream

I never believed in eye cream. I always thought it was a way for companies to sell you products you don’t actually need, but after trying the one I received in my February Ipsy bag, I’m hooked. While some eye creams may not work, there definitely are two main benefits to using this type of product, which are anti-aging and deep moisturizing.

Anti-aging eye creams often contain ingredients that promote increased skin cell turnover which decreases the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. The ingredients that help replace old skin cells with new ones can often lead to skin sensitivity, so that’s why these are generally used at night, out of sun exposure.

Deep moisturizing eye creams are deep nourishing and restorative. While your skin doesn’t necessarily absorb more moisture at night than during the day, if you find your skin to be drier at the end of the day, you might want to use a moisturizing eye cream.

The eye cream I received is supposed to be nourishing and brightening. I don’t generally notice bags under my eyes because my glasses usually cast a shadow to hide them if they were there – so I’m not sure I’m experiencing the benefits of brightening, but I do see a difference in that the skin seems more supple and my makeup applies more smoothly under my eyes.

Face Oil

A couple Ipsy bags ago, I received a sample of Tarte Cosmetics Maracuja Oil. It’s a facial oil. With all the problems I’ve had with my skin in the past this is something I was not interested in trying – until recently. With facial oils being all the rage lately, I finally looked up the benefits of this type of oil and took the plunge. I’ve seen outstanding benefits in my skin after using this oil daily for a few weeks. Due to the oil’s high dose of vitamin C, my dark spots from previous breakouts have lightened up and my overall complexion has improved.

After dabbling in the world of facial oils I now know they offer a wide variety of benefits. Ancient Egyptians maintained vibrant and flawless skin by using facial oils – and if the Egyptians did it, maybe we should, too! Do keep in mind that not all facial oils are the same and while some may benefit your skin immensely, others may cause irritation. Some of the many benefits to these oils include reducing wrinkles, protecting skin, and improving dry skin.

In conclusion, bedtime is prime time to care for your skin. We now know the importance of cleansing your face at night and using products that provide both nourishing and anti-aging benefits without being exposed to the damaging rays of the sun. By creating a routine that works for you, you can take five to ten minutes before bed to pamper yourself and take steps to improving your skin for the future.

What are some of your favorite bedtime and anti-aging products? What types of facial oils have you found effective?