first aid beauty age delay dual repair eye cream

first aid beauty dual repair eye cream

i like a no nonsense eye cream.

i’m lucky enough not to be suffering any major woes – just a minimal combination of dark circles, crow’s feet, and fine lines underneath. (par for the 32 year-old course, i suppose) to keep things from progressing, i apply an eye cream nightly and i look for something that’s nourishing and preventative. since anything that lengthens my evening routine is likely to get skipped, in order to keep me on track it’s also important that my eye cream blend in easily, completely and fast.

first aid beauty has created the perfect eye cream for me. it delivers all of the essential anti-aging benefits without any irritation and i’ve been most impressed with the way that it brightens, strengthens, and keeps puffiness at bay. this eye cream is all business, but it doesn’t stop there.

when it comes to application, the pump operates like a dream and you can get the exact right amount that you need so that no product is wasted. (those who have had frustrations with other pumps will totally know what i mean, here!) secondly, this product vanishes completely into skin, and without much effort. i don’t know why this is so satisfying (or important) to me, but i love how this blends easily into the under eye area and saturates the delicate skin without requiring much rubbage.

until situations call for something more serious, this eye cream will be taking up permanent residence on my sink side. three cheers for simple and effective beauty!

first aid beauty age delay dual repair eye cream, $40 >

pür minerals color correcting primer

pur minerals color correcting primer

confession: i’ve never fully appreciated primer, or felt the need for it in my makeup routine.

but alas, pür minerals color correcting primer has turned me into a believer. it’s super sheer and easy to apply. after i moisturize, but before i apply makeup, i spread it over my whole face and the effects are incredible. i’m so impressed with how it evens out the color and texture of my skin, and somehow manages to moisturize and mattify all at once. i’ve also noticed it really makes my makeup last throughout the day (like, from iced coffee through extracurricular cocktails).

pür minerals’ take on primer will easily balance out all skin tones and temperaments (including those who are most sensitive). it clears, and calms, even taking the edge off of blemish redness which means your foundation has less work to do. this oil-free formula has quickly become a part of my daily makeup routine, and i’m starting to wonder why i ever doubted primer in the first place.

pür minerals color correcting primer, $31 >

vaseline cocoa butter lip therapy

vaseline cocoa butter lip therapyover the years, i’ve learned that the best way to combat lip dryness is to get into a cycle of prevention as opposed to reactive treatment. it seems to be all about what i put on them overnight that determines how they behave throughout the next day – regardless of even adding drying stains and matte colors into the mix.

this darling tub of vaseline in-miniature houses a rich cocoa butter formula that not only smells delicious (de. lic-ious.), but it softens and soothes on contact, sealing in moisture and stopping dry lips dead in their tricks. my lips are protected all night long and treated to a bath of good-for-them moisture in a butter-like texture. in the morning, i awake to heavenly soft lips that are primed and ready for my signature shade.

using this particular flavor of vaseline religiously has officially broken the vicious cycle of dry  lips for me. better yet, it has not caused a single breakout along my lip line (which unfortunately, is a major issue for me with some products!). she costs less than $2 at the drugstore and leaves my lips much more kissable on a regular basis.

perfection.

vaseline cocoa butter lip therapy, $1.79 >

greening my routine with mario badescu

mario badescu green routine
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my skin care routine has quite literally gone green.

besides being perfectly fitting for saint patrick’s day, the truth is that this trio has saved my pregnancy hormone-ravaged skin. the team at mario badescu must be getting pretty used to my panicky emails at this point and seeing as though i am yet to present them with a pickle that they cannot get me out of, it’s really no surprise that they sent me the perfect solution to my latest problem.

they informed me that my sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin requires a combination of chemical exfoliation, gentle disinfection, and soothing nourishment to keep it from getting inflamed. here’s the very festive combination of products that is keeping everything in check:

mario badescu enzyme cleansing gel, $12
forget everything you know about washing your face. add a drop of water to this mint-colored gel, massage it over your skin and every trace of makeup is dissolved, without drying. it provides a deep clean without being harsh – just be sure to avoid your eye area.

mario badescu seaweed cleansing lotion, $15
a very green toner to remove any left-behind smudges of makeup while also giving something back. it cleans out all of my pores with witch hazel, soothes my sensitive areas with aloe, helps to prevent dryness and preps skin perfectly for my night cream.

mario badescu seaweed night cream, $20
this green cream restores hydration (essential for helping my skin to repair itself overnight) without adding oil. collagen and hyaluronic acid leave things feeling so smooth and plumped up in the mornings, while also reducing redness and shrinking pimples.

all three products have made a visible (and fast) improvement in my skin – completely turning things around from the broken out turmoil that i have been experiencing. lucky for me, and thanks to mario badescu, going green has saved the day!

pixi glow tonic

pixi glow tonic

do you use a toner as part of your skincare routine? for awhile now, i’ve been using witch hazel as the first part of my routine in the morning and after washing my face each evening to remove excess traces of makeup and prep my skin for my moisturizer/night cream. it works well – very simple, which my skin appreciates – but as i near the end of the bottle, i have been looking for an upgrade.

beauties in the uk have long known the benefits of pixi glow tonic and it’s just been one big tease for us american girls – until now. the magic potion that has captivated europe is now available in the us and i could not get my hands on it fast enough.

so, what’s the fuss all about?

for one, this toner is completely oil and alcohol free meaning that it will appeal to nearly all skin types (normal, dry, aging). along with that, ingredients include glycolic acid, witch hazel, and aloe vera – the perfect trifecta if you ask me. straight glycolic acid toners have proven a bit too harsh for my skin, but my face does truly love the exfoliating and skin-clearing benefits that come from this hardworking ingredient. (pixi’s 5% is the ideal dose.) witch hazel is a natural astringent that reduces inflammation and decreases oil, while aloe vera is ultra soothing. the ingredients work together to remove dead skin cells, reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, all while imparting a brighter appearance.

after a couple of overnight uses, i noticed that some pesky breakouts were smaller and less angry in the morning. this has greatly reduced the redness that my skin is constantly fighting and it leaves it much smoother, too. best of all, i love that it does all of these things without leaving my skin dry and tight. while i still use a night cream over top of this, my face isn’t screaming for moisture immediately after using it which is a big change from the witch hazel.

i am very happy that this pretty rose gold tonic has made its way into my life. (i will warn you about its powerful and powdery scent, which some people might not like – i’m looking past it since the skincare benefits are so fab.) while it’s currently only available online through pixi, i’m hoping that it makes its way to retailers soon!

pixi glow tonic, $29 >

clinique superdefense eye spf 20

clinique superdefense eye spf 20

i’ve always had the best intentions when it comes to eye cream, but i’m not the best when it comes to applying them religiously. i normally just concentrate a little extra night cream under my eyes and call it a night, but the times, they are a changing. much to my chagrin, i have recently developed a lovely little crop of dark circles, which i can only attribute to last month’s very exciting life-changing announcement. covering dark circles is very tricky and because i’ve been slacking in the eye cream department, my makeup tends to settle and crease.

something must be done about this.

thankfully, hot on the heels of this new release, clinique brings us superdefense eye. this is an eye cream that is meant to be worn in the daytime as it includes broad spectrum spf 20 for the ultimate in age defense. i’ve been smoothing it on immediately after i apply my moisturizer and letting it sink in while i go about my getting ready business. by the time i’m ready to apply my makeup, its brightening properties have taken a major edge off of my dark circles and the skin under my eyes is much more hydrated and happy.

it feels immediately moisturizing and i love knowing that my delicate under eyes are protected from the sun’s rays, preventing further damage. there is a subtle sheen to this creamy product which livens things up and works surprisingly well to counteract dark circles, making them much easier to cover with foundation or concealer. in short, this is comprehensive skincare for your eyes and i’m starting to wonder how i ever lived without it.

clinique superdefense eye cream spf 20, $39.50 >

clinique superdefense moisturizer

clinique superdefense

i hate to complain about the cold, because really – what can you do? but, jeez louise it is cold. after the seventeenth day in a row of freezing my buns off running between appointments, errands, etc. it became clear to me that my skin was suffering. this is the kind of cold that sucks the life out of everything, and while it may be making us skinnier, it’s not doing our epidermis any favors.

so, imagine my delight, when in the timeliest of deliveries, this gorgeously thick and delicious moisturizer arrived on my doorstep from the good people at clinique. (note: i am using the “very dry to dry combination” formula.) normally i would take one look at a moisturizer made for “very dry” skin and run for the hills, assuming that it would cause breakouts galore – but these are desperate times.

i started slathering (and i do mean slathering) this stuff from hairline to bustline daily about a week ago and i am floored by how much better my skin looks and feels already. the angry winter breakouts i’ve been fighting are fading fast and the worsening redness that i’ve been experiencing has all but vanished. i was worried that a moisturizer this heavy would sit on my skin, but it soaks in quickly, leaving me grease-free, and my makeup glides easily over top of it. i can tell that my skin is balanced and happily hydrated all day long because there are no flakes, no dry patches, and no clogged pores. best of all, this moisturizer comes complete with spf 20 for protection from all of the elements.

i’m telling you that this is a moisturizer to adore, especially if your skin is not happy in this abnormally cruel winter weather. i appreciate clinique’s approach to skincare and love knowing that i’m putting top technology on my face each morning – and trust me when i say that the results are the proof in the pudding.

if you need to up your skincare game (again) for the polar vortex, give this one a go.

clinique superdefense daily defense moisturizer spf 20, $47 >

la roche-posay giveaway!

la roche-posay anthelios 50 primer

my beauty resolution for 2014 is to take a more serious approach to skincare – especially when it comes to sun protection and anti-aging. the very first product sending me on my journey to healthier, protected skin is la roche-posay’s anthelios 50 daily anti-aging primer with sunscreen.

(yes, you read that correctly. it’s an anti-aging primer sunscreen.)

this product is a true workhorse. not only does it deliver spf 50 to majorly up whatever sun protection game you’ve already got going, it also blurs imperfections (on me, that means hiding the odd large pore and camouflaging the fine lines around my eyes). it’s completely different from other primers that i’ve tried and i think that’s because it comes from a brand whose focus is skincare. not only does it correct and smooth, but it protects skin from damaging uva/uvb rays which can often make uneven skin texture so much worse. there is no sticky or tacky feeling and best of all, no resulting breakouts. i’ve used this primer under my go-to cc cream and a new favorite foundation (which i will share with you soon!) and i can tell you that it’s extremely comfortable to wear, with a smooth matte finish that sets the perfect stage for my makeup. i’m pretty confident that this oil-free,, fragrance-free, and paraben-free wonder will suit skins of all types, even the most sensitive.

if you’re looking for a hard-working primer that delivers impressive improvements in skincare, then you are in luck: the team from la roche-posay is giving one away. you can enter through the link below  - your skin will thank you!

enter to win la roche-posay anthelios 50 daily anti-aging primer with sunscreen >

tatcha gold camellia nourishing lip balm

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i may have a myriad of lip balms littering up my life (a small army at the bottom of my purse, at least one in my car’s cup holder, and i’m constantly unearthing them in desk/dresser drawers), but i’m slightly more selective when it comes to choosing my “home base” balm. i tend to stick to one really good splurge-worthy lip balm that i use in the morning to set the tone for the day and then for a good healthy dose of hydration before bed.

tatcha’s camellia lip balm is the most recent recipient of this worthy title. the jelly-like texture has a nice slip, but goes on pretty matte, keeping things unfussy once you get past that gorgeous gold leaf. (the gold layer does make the first few applications extra fun with just a hint of a metallic finish.) it has the look and feel of a truly luxurious product (and it is!) but when it comes to formula, this stuff is all business. glycerin is combined with all natural oils to create a feeling that’s intensely hydrating once it hits your lips.

a twice-daily application has left mine feeling extra kissable (a serious feat when the words over your state on the weather map read FRIGID) and i absolutely delight in dipping my fingers into that gold and purple pot. at $36 i know that this is not an impulse buy, but i can tell you that a little goes a long way and that tatcha’s generous helping will last you a very long time. balm lovers won’t be able to resist adding this one to their collection.

tatcha gold camellia nourishing lip balm, $36 >

two brand new products from simple

while my official run as a brand ambassador for simple wrapped up at the end of last year, my skin is still completely smitten with their products. the thing i like best about the line is that the product range is limited (…although i would not be mad if they released a lip balm, hand cream or body lotion!) which takes a lot of the guesswork out of finding something that will work for your particular skin concern. not to say that i’m not one for exciting new launches, but i find comfort in knowing that the lineup stays consistent.

now, the way i see it, if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it, but simple surprised even me with the release of two fabulous new products for the new year. i tested them both with some hesitation, but was nonetheless surprised when the results were beyond wonderful.

simple ultra-light gel moisturizer

ultra-light gel moisturizer is extremely innovative. it’s a completely clear gel that gives skin a burst of hydration on contact. it smooths on without irritation and absorbs quickly, leaving my skin super soft. its very best quality is the way that my makeup glides over top of this stuff and hangs on all day. call me crazy, but i feel like my foundation wears better and my skin looks fresher, longer, without primer or powder.

simple 24 hr day/night moisturizer

nourishing 24 hr day/night cream is absolute unfussy, non-greasy perfection. at night, i don’t want to layer any unnecessary chemicals onto my skin but i do want something to help recharge and moisturize while i sleep. simple’s newest is all of the above and more. my skin drinks it up each night after washing and toning, and in the morning, i’m rewarded with calm skin that’s free and clear of clogged pores.

in even bigger news, both of these products are paraben-free (something that you’ll be seeing come to some existing simple products as well)! if you’ve been hoping for some freshness from the simple camp, i think you’ll be thrilled with these two newbies.