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?

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Favorite Nail Colors to End Winter

I’ve been obsessed with pretty, cool toned neutrals for a while now. I find them very flattering and they complement almost any outfit. While I do have my go-to colors, like power reds and classic black, I’ve recently found myself gravitating toward grays, taupes and pretty pinks. Below are some of my new favorite nail polish colors that I think transition well from winter to spring months and are perfect for the spring holidays.

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  • Trust Fund Beauty – $12 Latte: I received this polish in my February Ipsy. While I was a little unsure about it at first, it honestly reminds me of one of my other favorite polishes for fall – You Don’t Know Jacques by OPI. It’s a muted, toned down brown or dark taupe. I think it pairs well with a comfy sweater on a rainy spring day, of course with your favorite caffeinated beverage.
  • Sinful Colors Professional Polish – Taupe is Dope: This one definitely looks grayer than what I think taupe generally looks like. Regardless, it’s a great cool toned neutral that looks good with just about any outfit, transitioning well from office wear to a night out with the girls.

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  • OPI – Dulce de Leche: This is by far the best pinky nude I’ve ever come across. I find a lot of pinks are too bright or too white, but this one is absolutely perfect! Out of these three colors, this is definitely my favorite. Of course it’s made with the easy to apply brush that OPI is known for and the fabulous OPI formula. I’ll definitely be wearing this color next and throughout spring. It’s the perfect nude for Easter and Passover.

What are some of your favorite colors going from winter to spring? What color are you currently wearing?

I’m back! Plus February Ipsy

The end of 2016 was a whirlwind. There was a lot going on in my life, both personally and professionally. I became an aunt to a beautiful baby girl in September, I was promoted in October, and of course my birthday and the holidays came around in November and December. So while I had enough material to get me to October, my blog was put on the back burner going into the holidays and into the New Year.

Since I just got my February Ipsy bag this past week, I thought it’d be perfect to share what I received and give my first impressions and reviews on the products.

If you haven’t yet signed up for Ipsy, it’s a wonderful, inexpensive beauty and makeup subscription. You simply fill out your profile with your skin type, hair color, makeup experience, and favorite brands and Ipsy will send you a personalized bag with different beauty and makeup to try – for just $10 a month! Sign up here!

Without further ado, here’s my February Ipsy bag!

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  1. The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream: It’s never too early to begin the anti-aging process. I’m always pretty hesitant about using new skin products because my skin is so sensitive, but since this contains all organic ingredients, it’s gentle and perfect for all skin types. I’ve been using this every night since I’ve gotten it. It’s moisturizing and brightening – I already see the improvements!
  2. SOO AE Sheet Mask Duo – Purifying Black Charcoal Mask & Nature Green Tea Collagen Mask: I haven’t used these yet, but I am very happy that I got them in my bag this month. Who doesn’t love masks and a weekend of self-care? I’ll definitely be using these soon.
  3. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish $12 Latte: I’ve been very much into neutral nail polishes lately, pinks, grays, and taupes. This will fit right in with my current color scheme. It actually kind of reminds me of the color You Don’t Know Jacques by OPI.
  4. NYX Butter Lipstick in Lifeguard: I love NYX! I was really excited to receive this lipstick. I have other Butter Lipsticks and the formula is amazing. It does actually feel like butter on your lips – it’s moisturizing, not drying, and so rich.
  5. BellaPierre Volumelash Waterproof Mascara: Mascara is mascara. I’m always happy to get more and try different brushes. The only thing I don’t particularly like about this is that it’s waterproof.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with my Ipsy bag this month. I’ll likely use, or at least try, all of the products. I think it’s a great value because you get a lot of full sized products, like the nail polish and mascara, which usually cost at least $5-$8 each, so the bag ultimately pays for itself. If you’d like more information about these products or would like an in-depth review, leave a comment below!

Top 4 Nail Colors For Fall

While I love summer, there comes a point when I’m just tired of being hot and sweaty. I’m definitely an advocate for fall – a time when the sun sets earlier, the air is crisper and everything is pumpkin.

Fall is really exciting to me because we get to bundle up in different scarves, jackets and we get to accessorize with darker colors! I’ve been all about dark colors and nude hues all year, but now I can really embrace it in everything I wear, including my nail polish. Here’s a quick round up of my favorite nail colors going into the fall season.

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  • Circuits by L.A. Colors: Black is as dark and spooky as they get for this time of year. I’ve been obsessed with black nails all year because they look so sleek and edgy. This nail polish takes about two coats and dries quickly. This lasts at least a week – I change my nail color weekly – and it’s so inexpensive. I found this brand at my local dollar store for, you guessed it, a dollar!
  • Wicked Attraction by Sonia Kashuk: This color is more of a dark plum, but when it dries it looks almost black. I really like it because in certain lighting you can see the color, but like I said, it’s pretty dark and looks festive for fall. I don’t particularly like the brush for this polish because it’s very thin and doesn’t cover much of the nail in one swipe so it’s difficult to get an even coat. I generally apply two to three coats and I feel like the application for this polish takes forever. It’s a great color nonetheless.
  • Vacation Time by Sinful Colors Professional: You’ve seen this before on the blog – this color is my favorite go to. It’s the perfect pink/mauve nude. It’s great for any occasion. It’s such a timeless color. Love it!
  • Incognito y L.A. Colors: This color has the same formula as the black polish. It dries quickly and only takes a couple coats. It’s a really great cool gray color. Perfect going into fall and winter weather.

I’d really like to find a deep non-shimmery red, like a blood red for fall and winter. I’ll keep you all updated if I do find one that I love.

What are some of your favorite fall nail colors?

DIY Pumpkin Face Mask

Fall is officially underway and it’s finally pumpkin season! Of course, you’ve already had a dozen pumpkin spice lattes and you’re already planning the design of your spooky, or cute, jack o’lantern, but did you know pumpkin is not only good for the soul, but great for the skin?

Pumpkins are filled with zinc, antioxidants and a variety of vitamins which help fight aging and reveal a radiant complexion.

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Grab the perfect little pumpkin at your local patch or grab a can of puree at your local grocery store to make this super easy pumpkin face mask!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of pumpkin
  • 1 egg

First whisk together the pumpkin and whole egg in a bowl.

Next, apply the pumpkin all over your face and find a quiet place to relax for 15 to 20 minutes.

After the 15 to 20 minutes are up, rinse the mask off to reveal a brighter, firmer and smoother complexion!

Here are some other ingredients you can add if you have a specific skin concern:

  • Honey: Add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture if you have dry skin concerns. Honey helps seal in moisture and prevents breakouts due to its antibacterial properties.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Add a splash of apple cider vinegar for an astringent effect if you have oily skin.

Have you added pumpkin to your beauty routine this fall? What are some of your favorite ingredients for different skin concerns?