New Beauty Fave: Facial Oils

Depending on what skin type you have, the words “facial oil” can have a huge impact on you.

If your skin is drier than the Sahara desert in July, your thoughts are probably along the lines of “can I bathe in it?”

If your skin’s oil content more closely resembles that of authentic southern fried chicken, those words might seriously threaten your mental health (dramatic but play along, k?)

As someone with oily skin, I definitely related to the latter.

I am someone who has to repeatedly blot their skin lest you should want to check your lipstick in your reflection on my forehead. My very last thought was that I needed to put more oil on my face.

Well, I’m happy to announce that I have learned from my mistakes and can admit that I was wrong. Facial oils and I are in a deeply committed relationship.

I know that I am way late to the game on this one but like I said, it was scary to take that leap!

I started using a facial oil on my skin a couple months ago, and I wanted to really give it time to see if I really liked it or not before blogging about it.

After months of daily use, I can honestly say that I love it!

Not only does my skin feel super soft, but I honestly feel like the texture of my skin has improved! I also haven’t broken out once from it, so gold star from me right there.

The oil that I’m currently loving is called Face Hero by Go-To, and it’s a blend of all natural botanical oils like jojoba (ho-ho-buh) and macadamia oils.

Jojoba oil is a favorite of mine in particular because it’s basically a super food for your skin. Its chemical composition is very similar to sebum, which is the waxy substance produced by your skin to keep it moisturized and protected. Thus, it’s very easy on your skin.

Along with containing high concentrations of Vitamin E, jojoba oil protects against damaging free radicals and is antibacterial and non-comedogenic, which means that no, adding this oil to your routine won’t break you out.

As far as how I use facial oil goes, I mix 2-3 drops in with my moisturizer at night and let it work its magic.

I only apply it at night because that’s when I don’t mind looking like a oil slick (sorry, hubby!) and believe it or not, your skin is more able to absorb and utilize products at night than during the day.

I think when this oil runs out I’ll probably expand my horizons and explore the wonderful world of face oils, now that the concept no longer strikes fear into my soul.

Go-To Face Hero, five stars from me!!

REVIEW: March Ipsy Glambag

Note: This post is not a paid promotion by Ipsy but may contain affiliate links.

If you haven’t already climbed aboard the Ipsy Glambag train… what. are. you. doing.? When I tell you getting my Ipsy bag is my favorite part of the month, I promise I’m not being dramatic.

Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but still.

Basically, you pay $10 a month and get five hand-picked samples of beauty products sent to you in an adorable travel bag.

Only now, they made it even better. You can pay $25 per month and get five full-size products. That’s right, full size. It’s the Glam Bag Plus, and it is everything.

So here’s my review of the products I received this month in my Glam Bag Plus. Spolier: they’re all amazing.

Benefit Sun Beam Bronze Highlighter (Value $26)

Advertised as liquid sunshine in a bottle, it’s hard to argue.

This liquid highlighter is the perfect shade of bronze for that sun-kissed glow. What I love about it is that it’s not glittery or overly shimmery like some highlighters can be. Its just the perfect amount of glow that looks very natural when applied correctly.

The bottle says that you can apply it to cheek and brow bones alone or over makeup. While it looks beautiful on the face, my personal favorite way to wear this is on my shoulders and collarbones to give me that tanned and radiant look in the sunshine.

Huda Beauty Obsessions Palette in Smokey (Value $27)

Let’s start with the packaging. The palette has some weight to it which makes it feel super sturdy. It also contains a quality mirror, not some cheapo mirror that they just threw in there. It closes with a magnet which feels super satisfying to open and close the palette. Overall, great packaging.

The shadows themselves are very smooth, almost buttery. Even the silver glitter shadow doesn’t feel rough, though it does look chunky in the pan. The shadows also blend very easily, which is great for creating a smoked-out eye look. I do wish the shadows were more pigmented though, as you really have to layer it on to see a true color.

RealHer I Am Adaptable Liquid Lipstick (Value $14)

What I hate about matte liquid lipsticks how drying they tend to be. I feel like I need to layer lip balm on prior to application just to be able to move my lips later on.

This liquid lipstick is amazing simply for the reason that it’s matte but manages to not steal all the moisture off your lips.

Did I mention that is SUPER pigmented? Seriously, one swipe of this stuff and your lips are bright red. No need for multiple coats, just be sure to apply some lip liner first and you’re good to go.

Purlisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer (Value $45)

My skin tends to be on the oilier side of things, so finding a moisturizer that isn’t too thick or comedogenic (pore-clogging) is tough for me.

What I love about this moisturizer is that it goes on like a gel, so it glides on super easily but doesn’t feel sticky like a lot of gels can. Instead, it quickly sinks into your skin, making it feel moisturized from the inside out.

This moisturizer is advertised as being for normal/dry/sensitive skin. As mentioned above, I do have oily skin so I like to use this at night for a little extra hydration, as it is a little to heavy for my skin for daytime use. However, if you have dry or sensitive skin, this would be perfect for you.

F.A.R.A.H Brushes 5-Piece Eye Perfection Set (Value $50)

There’s not much that can be bad about a metallic brush set, am I right? This is a beautiful set of brushes that’s definitely meant to be on display, but performs just as beautifully.

This set contains a large and small blending brush, a large and small shading brush, and a flat brush meant for packing on shadow.

The super soft bristles are amazing at applying shadow perfectly. Love this set so much!

(I couldn’t find a link to this set on the F.A.R.A.H website, so my guess is that this set is exclusively designed for Ipsy. Correct me if I’m wrong!)

To Sum it Up

Overall, Ipsy slayed this Glambag. I loved everything they sent me, and for those keeping track, I received $126 worth of goodies for just $25. I’d call that a steal.

What’s the Point of Double Cleansing?

I think at this point, everyone knows they should take their makeup off at the end of the day. And for the most part, everyone does. (If you don’t, I’ll come after you. Kidding. But really.)

However, some people probably think swiping a makeup wipe over their face does the trick. Others might wash their face with an actual cleanser, but call it a day after that thinking that their face is now squeaky clean.

Little did they know, it’s actually not clean. At all. This is where double cleansing comes in.

Double cleansing is actually a glorious and game-changing step that probably 85% of people aren’t doing. So what is double cleansing? Let’s dive in.

Double cleansing is – you guessed it – cleansing your face twice. But why do you need to?

If you could look at your skin close up, like really close up, after you wash your makeup off, you would still see dirty skin. You would see stubborn makeup still hiding in your pores, dirt that’s gotten trapped under said makeup, and if you’re like me, enough oil to bake a cake with. Gross.

How are you supposed to put amazing products over top of still-dirty skin? They won’t be able to sink into your skin and do their job if they can’t get past today’s layer of leftover makeup.

This is exactly why you need to be double cleansing.

See, the first cleanse removes the makeup, dirt and oil from the surface of your skin. It gets everything out of the way. The second cleanse is what actually cleans your skin. Let me break it down for you.

The Pre-Cleanse

Basic chemistry tells us that oil and water repel each other, while oils mix well with other oils. Basic biology tells us that our skin has a layer of oil on it to keep it moist. So keeping those two facts in mind, your pre-cleanse must be a dry cleanse with an oil-based product.

You see, using an oil-based product on dry skin will help pull the makeup and oil off of your skin. Wetting your skin with water will actually prevent this transfer because as stated above, oil and water repel each other. Cleansing oils are by far my favorite pre-cleanser, while a makeup wipe or micellar water are also good options.

The Second Cleanse

After removing your makeup, you can then go in with a water-based cleanser of choice, or according to your skin type. Gel cleansers are best for oily, acne-prone skin, while cleansing milks or lotions are great for normal/dry skin (more on this in a coming blog post).

The second cleanse goes in and removes leftover makeup (and trust me, no matter how good your cleanser claims to be, there is always makeup left). This cleanser can get down deep into your pores and sweep away the dirt and oil trapped under everything. This crucial step ensures your skin is completely clean and ready to absorb all the incredible ingredients of the subsequent products.

Double cleansing helps prevent breakouts, premature aging, and lets your skincare products do their job.

If you’re interested in exact products to use, my personal favorite cleansers are both by Juice Beauty, an amazing organic-based skincare brand. Their stem cellular cleansing oil is phenomenal at removing makeup, followed by their green apple brightening gel cleanser to help brighten and even out your skin tone.

Starting a Skincare Routine

I think everyone loves the idea of starting a skincare routine. The idea of spending a few minutes every day basking in the glow of a freshly cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized face is enough to send any woman running to the local Target or Ulta for the latest face mask. The trouble comes with the word routine. Routine sounds so mundane. So tedious. So not glowy. A few minutes sounds like such a short amount of time until you’re so tired that just the thought of running a makeup wipe over your face after brushing your teeth at night is daunting. It’s no wonder that a vast majority of us have so much trouble sticking to a proper skincare routine. We get so inspired to take care of our skin, use our brand new 15-step routine once, then settle for cleansing and maybe moisturizing once a day until the next time self-care inspiration hits. Rinse. Repeat. It’s no wonder why our skin hasn’t improved.

See, we live in a world of instant gratification. When we want something we expect to get it almost immediately and lose interest or become frustrated when that doesn’t happen. Your skin’s issues didn’t appear overnight, and they won’t disappear overnight either, despite what many sleep masks and night creams say (thank you false advertising for making my job 100x harder). Great skin takes diligence, patience, and time. It is a skincare routine, after all. So here are my tips and to starting a skincare routine and sticking to it. I promise you’ll see results.

1. Start Small

The number one thing I hear from clients on why starting a routine is so hard is how intimidating it can be. Exfoliants, serums, sheet masks, clay masks, day creams, night creams – and what the heck is an “essence”?? There are so many products on the market that it can be extremely intimidating to decipher which ones to use and in what order. For someone just starting to commit to skincare, my advice is to start small and build your way up. If you start with a complicated 15-step skincare routine, you’ll likely become frustrated with how long it takes and remembering which products to use when. However, if you start small, you’ll get used to having a routine, you’ll better be able to stick to it, and you can slowly incorporate more products with more success. Start by cleansing and moisturizing morning and night. once you feel comfortable and are consistent with that for two weeks in a row, you can begin to add to your routine.

2. Go Slow

Add in products slowly. Incorporate products one by one into your routine. Get used to using one more product before adding another one. I would start by adding a toner after cleansing or a serum before you moisturize, then building up to using an exfoliator, an eye cream, a mask, etc.

3. Moderate Your Use

Keep in mind that you don’t need to use all of your products every time. Some products are only meant to be used a few times a week, and using them more often than this can actually damage your skin. For example, an exfoliator is only meant to be used 2-3x a week. Same goes for a mask. Also keep in mind that your morning and nighttime routines can differ. In the morning, all you really need to do is cleanse, tone, and moisturize. After all, you don’t want to put all your expensive products on your face just to cover them with makeup. Just make sure to apply spf and you’re good to go!
Save the more elaborate steps for nighttime, when your skin is more receptive and better able to absorb all the great ingredients. As far as what a good nighttime routine looks like, you’ll want to remove any makeup, cleanse, tone, exfoliate + mask as needed, use a serum specific to your needs, then finish with a moisturizer and an eye cream.

4. Be Consistent

This is by far the most important part of a skincare routine. Well, any routine, really. You’re never going to reach your fitness goals if you don’t consistently eat right and exercise. In the same way, your skin will never be what you want it to be if you don’t consistently take care of it. Great skin takes patience.

Starting a skincare routine is actually pretty easy once you get going with it. The key is to stick to it and allow at least 3 months of continuous use, and I promise you’ll see real results. And the first time someone says “you have such great skin!” you will feel like a million bucks.

Why You Need Hyaluronic Acid in Your Life

I love playing with my two-month old daughter and kissing those soft, chubby cheeks until just shy of them falling off. Seriously, how are her cheeks so darn kissable?? And why is her skin so soft all over? Besides her just being a perfect human specimen, she has hyaluronic acid to thank.

Babies are born with the highest amount of hyaluronic acid they will ever have. The amount of HA present in the body will make a slow and steady decline from there, with the most dramatic drop happening around age 40. Perfect skin is wasted on babies, am I right??

Don’t shy away from the word ‘acid’: hyaluronic acid is a super-moisturizer, making it anything but harsh or stripping. It is a naturally-occurring glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which is a fancy name for a sugar that is able to hold crazy amounts of water. HA is able to hold up to 1000x its weight in water, and is responsible for keeping your skin plump, your eyes moist, and your joints flexible. It is also a humectant, which means that it is able to draw moisture out of the air and hold onto it, making it a tall drink of water for your skin.

HA is not new to the beauty industry. Its benefits are well known and well-researched. Today it is used in countless hydrating serums and moisturizers, as well as in some injectable fillers as a means of plumping up skin from the inside.

The great part about this skin-super-food is that it’s universal – anyone can reap its benefits. As someone with oily, acne-prone skin, I know how scary the word “hydrating” can be. However, hyaluronic acid holds moisture to your skin, and when your skin senses that there’s enough moisture on the surface, it slows oil production. Thus, more HA = less oil = happier skin. Moisturize, ladies!!

It’s also great for dry, aging skin as well. HA gets into your skin and helps to plump up fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage and certain genetic factors. It may also fight free radical damage, potentially resulting in less UV damage (not an excuse to skip spf!). And as mentioned above, if you really want to kick wrinkles to the curb, visiting a dermatologist for hyaluronic acid fillers will almost instantly take years off.

If you’re looking for hyaluronic acid in a product, turn to the ingredients list. Some products may list it as plain hyaluronic acid. However, you may also find it listed as sodium hyaluronate or hyaluronan. It is present in many hydrating serums and in a wide variety of moisturizers. Some of my favorites are Nip + Fab Dragons’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum and Eminence Firm Skin Acai Moisturizer. Both are amazing hydrators and the Eminence moisturizer seriously smells SO GOOD.

Long story short, if you’re not using this ingredient on your skin daily, you should start. Your skin will thank you!