2014 Skincare/Misc. Favorites!

Second part to my 2014 Favorites round up (click here for part 1 Beauty favs) is all about skin, and random crap. I transitioned a ton of my facial skincare over to cruelty free and more natural this past year and my face has been thanking me for it. On to the list!

Face Mask-Queen Heleen Mint Julep Mask (CF): Repurchased many times, got my mom hooked too. Great for drawing out crud and the minty tingle is relaxing. Plus it is super cheap!

Moisturizer-CereVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM (CF): I use this morning and night. I have oily skin and it works wonders. A weird in between gel and lotion texture that sinks in quickly and doesn’t smell.

Serum- The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum in Oil (CF): Again, I have oily skin, but this works great for me. I only use about 3 drops at night after cleansing.

Eye Cream-Elizabeth Dhen for One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm (CF): Love love love. Thick balm melts into skin and doesn’t feel greasy.

Spot Treatment-Acne Free Terminator 10 10% Benzoyl Peroxide: Fun name right? Don’t know if it does anything amazing, but I feel better after I put it on zits.

Facial Exfoliator- Garnier Pore Unclogging Scrub: Works great, but would love to try out a Michael Todd one or the One Love Organics one next.

Wipes- Say Yes to Grapefruit Exfoliating Wipes (CF): Smell great and really cleanse the skin without stinging my eyes. Will continue to repurchase.

Clenser-CereVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin (CF): Foams up nice and leave my skin feeling clean without making it feel tight. Staple in my routine.

Body Wash- The Body Shop Almond Shower Gel (CF): Smells great, gets me clean and doesn’t leave residue.

Lotion- Vaseline Intensive Care Coco Radiant: Very rich but still rubs in semi-quickly, sent is nice and lingers, not oily.

Self Tanner- Eco Tan Winter Skin Gradual Tanner (CF): I won this in a giveaway by the amazing WifeLife earlier in the year and man, I am so thankful. This stuff is great. Light, natural, gradual tan that fades evenly and doesn’t transfer to sheets. Please and thank you. Will be checking out more from this line soon!

Body Exfoliator- Caress Evenly Gorgeous: Have used this for years, smells like sugar and works great.

Shampoo- Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Anti-Dandruff : I really enjoyed this stuff. The smell is awful, no getting around that, but it left my scalp clean and itch free. I don’t have dandruff, but struggle with bouts of psoriasis on my scalp so I like to use an anti-dandruff shampoo to help keep it at bay. I want to try the Organix (or OGX as they now want to be called) Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, but would love other more natural, cruelty free suggestions as well!

Conditioner- OGX (formerly Organix, can you tell this change bugs me?) Kukui Oil (CF) : This snuck in there right at the end. I only purchased this about a week ago, but I am already in love. I have naturally curly/spiral hair and this gives my ends the moisture they need without weighing my hair down, or sacrificing shine and frizz control. Best I’ve used in a long time.

Oil- Organic Hydrating Macadamia Dry Styling Oil (CF): I only use this on my ends to avoid an oil slick on day two hair, but man, it smell ahhhhmazing and works like a dream. Unfortunately they don’t make this particular hair oil any more, so again on the hunt for a new one ūüė¶

Leave-In Spray- It’s a 10 (original formula) (CF): I have loved this for many years and it continues to be my favorite leave-in, however I have found now that I leave my hair curly more often it tends to weigh it down. Considering trying their “light” formulation when I repurchase to see if that helps.

Heat Protectant- TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave- In Spray: Did the job, smells great. Yep.

Hair Brush- The Wet Brush: Fucking Life changing. I have the most tangle-y, shedding, corse, wild hair ever. Brushing my hair out before a shower use to give me anxiety, and pain, don’t forget the pain. This thing glides like butta though everything. GO BUY ONE NOW. (this is not a sponsored post)

Nail Polish-Revlon Parfumerie in China Flower: Love this color and this formula. Dries quickly, doesn’t chip…at all, and looks great on my skin tone. Tell me if you know of another nail polish in this color that is cruelty free!!!!

Top Coat-Sally Hansen Insta Dri: Love this top coat. Shiny and dries super fast. I’m pretty much out of it and need a new cruelty free option!!!

Whew, that was a lot. But what can I say, I like a lot of things.

Again, leave me your 2014 favorites below, and any suggestions for what I should try next!

2014 Beauty Favorites!

Insert standard “Where did the year go?” ramble here.

But , really… that was fast. But luckily I had ample time to fall in love with some stuff, and form unhealthy obsessions with others. So many things in fact that I am splitting them up into beauty and skincare/miscellaneous (Click here for part 2 Skincare Favs!)

I have discovered a ton of amazing cruelty free products this year, but I am still in the process of using up/cleaning out my stash of all non-cruelty free stuff, so some of my favorites aren’t cruelty free, but I will note which ones are with CF for clarification. Also, for all of the categories that I don’t have a cruelty free favorite for, I would LOVE suggestions of a cruelty free option to try next!

Foundation (kind of)- Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream SPF 20 for Combo/Oily Skin in Light/Medium: Didn’t change color after application, didn’t make me any oiler. I liked it.

Concealer-Physician’s Formula Conceal RX Physician’s Strength Concealer (CF): I have had this for over 2 years… I know, I need to throw it out. It works well but can highlight dry patches on breakouts. Not good for undereye in my opinion since the formula is dryer.

Undereye- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Brightener Shade: Helps to neutralize my INTENSE under eye darkness, but doesn’t completely cover it. Again, not completely wowed by it but it’s the best one I have tried thus far.

Eye Primer- Elf Eyelid Primer in Sheer (CF): This keeps my shadow from creasing for wayyyy longer than I thought it would. Do like.

Mascara- Covergirl Clump Crusher: Natural non clumpy dark lashes.

Liquid Liner- Jordana Fabuliner in 01 Black: I quite like the dryish application and the felt tip on this. Easy to get precision out of, but you must work fast. Going over dry lined portions will remove product causing patches.

Pencil Liner- Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl in 001 Black: Nice to use in upper and lower water line. Does transfer and slip with wear though.

Brow Pencil- Maybelline Define-a-Brow in Light Brown: Works very well. Very small nib and matches my brows fantastically.

Brow Gel- Maybelline Clear Mascara: Another “I’ve used this for years” product. Works well, but can have too much on the wand when you pull it out of the tube. Looking forward to trying out some tinted ones next.

Lip Color- Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (CF): I’m not a lipstick, or lip gloss kind of girl, so tinted balms are my thing. Great color, slightly moisturizing and decent wear time. Only draw back is it smells like the wax in Twizzlers…

Lip Balm-Burt’s Bees Nourishing Balm w/ Mango Butter (CF): This has saved my lips. Nice smell and lingers long enough to do some work.

Bronzer- Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Light: I have repurchased at least twice. Great non muddy or orange color and blends well.

Powder-Rommel Stay Matte in Silky Beige: Another great product. Doesn’t cake and blends well. Need CF alternative ASAP!

Blush-Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo: (CF) I believe the blush is supposed to be a dupe for Nars Orgasm. Beautiful, glittery in the pan but not on the face. I’m not really a blush person, but this works for me.

Eye Brush-Aveda Flax Sticks Eye Contour #6 Brush (CF): I got this in my student kit when I went to Aveda forever ago and it has help up fantastically through washing and abuse. Great for blending. I looked online and it seems it can only be bought in a set (called special effects) with two others (which I also have and use). Good brushes!

Face Brush-Real Techniques Powder Brush (CF): Giant fluffy self standing brush. Has held up well with no shedding and is super soft. I want to get more from this brand!

Let me know what your favorites where this year in the comments, and Happy New Year!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Body Shop Haul/Review

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I recently stumbled upon a Groupon for The Body Shop, showing that once again if you check Groupon once a month you may randomly find something amazing.

The deal was $25 for $50 worth of products (you choose the products obviously), which I think is an absolute steal because most of their products (other than travel sizes) are over $20. Now this Groupon is only good in store, so no online purchases, and can’t be used in combination with any other offers.

I have been wanting to get a body butter and shower gel from them for forever so I knew that was happening. And I had heard great reviews for their Vitamin E Serum in Oil (even from people with oily skin) and wanted to check that out as well.

I originally went in with the intention of buying the body butter and shower gel in the Argan oil “scent” but after lengthy sniffs of almost everything they had, I fell for the Almond instead.

It is a light sent with an underlying sweet note. Not too nutty, and simple enough to go with whatever perfume I want to layer on top without fighting or changing the scent of it.

The body butter is thick and luxurious but sinks in without too much effort, especially if you use it right when you get out of the shower. The scent sticks around but isn’t over powering.

The shower gel lathers well with only a small amount of product. I feel like the best results are achieved with the use of a poof. The scent is light just like the body butter, but I don’t think it sticks around on the skin, which is fine with me. Felt clean afterward, so it gets the job done.

The serum ¬†is unscented (at least to my nose). It sinks in quickly and lays nicely underneath my moisturizer. Added benefit, it adds more slip to my undereye area and makes putting on my Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin Eye Balm SUPER easy! Now I’ve only used it for two nights, but I swear my skins looks brighter and less dull when I wake up. I have oily skin and this hasn’t made me break out or become an oil slick. When I wake up my skin is dewey but not “oily”. I wouldn’t use this during the day, just because I’m sure I would eventually get oily with this over my 12 hour shifts.

The body butter was $22 the shower gel was $8 and the serum was $22 so with tax and minus the $50 groupon I spent $5 and some change for everything that day, and only $25 on the groupon ($30 total) Overall win in my book! Love the products and look forward to trying more from the company!

Now The Body Shop itself is cruelty free, but its parent company is not. I’m not one to punish the child for the sins of the father, so I will buy from and support them as long as they remain true to their roots and cruelty free. They are also very active in supporting fair trade ingredients, promoting sustainability, and defending human rights, along with other charitable endeavors, which is even more of a reason to buy from them in my mind.

Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite products from The Body Shop that you think I should check out.

What may be the biggest accomplishment of my life so far…

This is a post about my first time.

Never before in my life had I been able to accomplish such a feat. I had gotten close, but something always prevented this grand moment from actually happening.

I finished an ENTIRE lip balm! Yes, you read that correctly! The whole damn thing, down to the packaging.

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Now I have/have had a lot of lip balms. (See photo of current collection below as proof)

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I have used the Nivea “Kiss of…” range for years and until recently the “Kiss of Honey” was my favorite. I was not prepared for the adoration I would feel when Nivea rolled out the “Kiss of Olive Oil and Lemon”.

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I had an extremely hard time finding it when it first launched, but when I did finally find it, my life changed forever. It has the same feel as the others balms in this range, although slightly less heavy without sacrificing hydration. The scent, to me, smells very far from olive oil and lemon. I can slightly smell the olive oil, and the texture on the lips feels similar to olive oil, but the scent has amazing light floral notes that aren’t over powering. The scent does linger on the lips, so if you aren’t a fan of similar scents I would stay away. But this sent is so uplifting and subtle that it immediately put me in a better mood (and made my always chapped lips smooth and plump. Now this balm is green…like all the way green. And in the photo above, I scrapped the packaging out to show this. But it transfers none of this color to the lips. No matter how many layers I put on it was always clear, which is just fine with me. I used this balm as much as I could without de-poting the remaining product into a smaller tub, which I didn’t have on hand. There was a good amount still left that twisting up could not produce, but not enough in my mind to be wasteful, or cheat you out of a bunch of product that you paid for. I didn’t record a start date, but I believe it took me right at a year to use it all up.

I don’t know if my love or this product or the fact that I didn’t lose it contributed more to it being the first lip balm I’ve finished, but I am happy that this was the one either way.

Now I won’t be repurchasing this lip balm for the simple fact that Nivea (who is owned Bybeiersdorf) say they do not test their products on animals, but some of the ingredients in their products may be tested on animals. For me, this isn’t something I’m okay with so I will be looking into other products that are entirely cruelty free.

So far I’ve been eyeing up the Burt’s Bees range of lip balms and I am hoping to get a tinted one next. I don’t wear a lot of make up at work and I feel like a little color on the lips might save me from looking so haggard. And as far as a lip treatment goes, the Yes to Coconut Cooling Lip Oil has¬†had positive reviews on Nouveau Cheap (great blog! check out if you haven’t already!) and on the Yes to… website.

Let me know in the comments if you have found a cruelty free lip balm you can’t live without, or if you have ever finished a lip balm before and which one it was!

One Love Organics Eye Balm First Impression

I have heard about the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Active Moisture Vitamin E Eye Balm on Rhian Hy’s blog and youtube channel for what seems like forever now. It has always been on my wish list of skincare items to try out, but I have always seemed to have something else I needed to restock or get instead.

I finally set aside the cash for it and sent out an order.

Firstly, their site is so cute and easy to navigate. The company is located on St. Simons Island in Georgia. All their products are handmade in small batches and are 100% natural, organic, cruelty free, and chemical free. No silicones, parabens, preservatives, sulfates, or synthetic anything. Have to love that, am I right? I am completely behind the philosophy and philanthropy of this company.

Secondly, their shipping was extremely fast. I ordered the eye balm on Thursday and received it on Saturday. Talk about quick.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the product itself. The packaging it was shipped in was adorable. I am a sucker for packing worms. IMG_3109

It came with my invoice, the product (in more cute packaging), and a handy wooden spoon/scoop thing which I know will come in handy when I get towards the bottom and want to scrape the remaining product out. IMG_3118

Like I said above, the product comes in a cute little box with striping on the side. The actually eye balm comes in an apothecary type brown glass jar with a white lid and label. I love how simple the packaging is. The glass feels thick and the lid seals onto it tightly.

The balm is just that, a balm.

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It is super thick and is solid to the touch until you warm it with a light¬†touch of your ring finger. The sent is lightly herbal and soothing. It doesn’t linger on the skin after application. Speaking of application, although the product is thick, after dabbing a small amount of it around the under eye area is sinks in quickly with no pulling of the delicate skin in that area. I believe the smooth consistency has a lot to do with this.

It doesn’t make the eye area feel oily or sticky and lays perfectly under foundation and concealer.

Obviously I haven’t been using it long enough to speak to its effectiveness combatting my dark circles or fine lines, but it does greatly increase the moisture under my eyes and is a pleasant addition to my morning and evening routine.

I will post a full review in about a month and let you know how my results are!