2017 Favorites

Can you believe a whole year has come to an end? I feel like it was yesterday 2017 just started and I just started my blog talking about my favorite things. Now as 2017 comes to a close I wanted to end the same way I began but instead of only talking about five things, I wanted to compile a list of my favorite things that I bought, tried and loved in 2017 for the five categories Hair, Skincare, Makeup, Fashion, and Fragrance.

HAIR

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Kirsten Ess The One Signature Shampoo & Conditioner – I have to admit when it comes to shampoo and conditioner I am not really picky and choosey, I wasn’t until I purchased Kirsten Ess’s hair products at Target that is. If you are like me and have really no fuss hair this is the perfect formula! Also, the scent is very unique, unlike any shampoo or conditioner I have had before and I love it. I believe at this point I am on my third bottle.

IGK Down & Dirty Dirty Spray – this I have to say was a complete impulse buy that I wasn’t even looking to purchase, but after talking to a girl at Sephora I thought this was something I have to have. If you are like me and have silkier, thinner, or hair that doesn’t hold a curl unless if a little dirty this stuff is amazing! It literally makes your hair dirty without being dirty itself!

IGK Beach Club Texture Spray I was looking for a new texturizing spray as I can’t say I have found an amazing drugstore one that outshines the Bumble and Bumble Dry Spun, but again those Sephora girls love them some IGK products and I got talked into trying the Beach Club Texture Spray – and I mean with the return policy why not try it? I have to say this stuff stands up if not better to my precious Dry Spun.

Bastiste Dry Shampoo – one product I found myself buying over and over and stocking up on when there was a sale this year was this dry shampoo. My friend Gina introduced me to this drugstore dry shampoo this year and nothing really compare in my opinion.

Ouai Wave Spray – Whenever I airdry my hair I love spraying this stuff all over. Not that I have a lot of natural wave to my hair but this will pick up even the tiniest wave or help hold a wave I create with damp hair.

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Bb. Don’t Blow It Fine (H)air Styler – Now granted I did use this more when my hair was longer this summer but this stuff literally made my hair air dry perfectly! Instead of having my hair flip out all ways this stuff worked magic and made my hair dry normally.

SKINCARE

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Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate – I talked about this stuff way back in the beginning of the year and I am still obsessed with it. I use it every night and whenever I go away and don’t bring it I instantly see a difference and then I kick myself for leaving it behind. But to my defense, it does not travel well.

Glossier Super Bounce Serum – this is a recent purchase that I contemplated for awhile as I used the Glossier Super Glow Serum and was really unimpressed. But, I kept hearing a lot of buzz about this product and I have to say it live up to the hype! I honestly really love this hyaluronic acid serum – one of the best I’ve tried. The only downside is that it is only  0.5 oz for $28. If you want to try it out here is my rep link to get 20% off your first order – http://www.glossier.com/reps/alisonkozik

Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Face Mask – Some of my favorite skincare products this year have the ingredient honey in them and the brand Farmacy completely change my skin game this year. This mask is by far my favorite mask I have ever used. The texture is like putting actual honey on your face with a relaxing warming sensation. It’s so moisturizing that I feel like my skin is glowing afterward, one of my favorite masks for travel!

Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer – This lightweight moisturizer is my favorite for spring and summer. Again it has honey in it which my skin seems to react very well too. I notice more balanced skin when I would use this as my night moisturizer.

Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm – cleansing balms really became my favorite way to remove makeup and cleanse my face this year and it helps that they are travel-friendly. This Green Clean one removes all makeup (including waterproof mascara) and leaves my skin feeling clean and not over dried or over moisturized.

Pacifica Under Arm Wipes – a big change I made was switching to natural deodorant this year and although I didn’t put a brand that has completely blown me away this year these wipes have been repurchased so much to give my armpits a nice little refresh.

Glossier Balm Dot Com – This should not come to much surprise as I always and I mean always mention how much I love this stuff! I use this every night on my lips and throughout the day. Its the perfect lip prep before applying lipstick and heals lips when they are dry and cracked. I have the original, coconut, and cherry (for a hint of color); my favorite though it probably the coconut. If you want to try them out here is my rep link to get 20% off your first order – http://www.glossier.com/reps/alisonkozik

MAKEUP

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Becca Backlight Priming Filter Face Primer – I absolutely love this stuff. I wear it every single day. It adds the most natural looking glow to your skin and makes you look so healthy! I usually just wear this stuff and a bit of concealer as my everyday “foundation” because it doesn’t feel like your traditional primer on the skin, it almost absorbs in like a cream.

Glossier Cloud Paint – one of the things I never leave the house without is blush, I can thank my mother for that. No look is complete without some color on your cheeks. What I love about the Glossier Cloud Paints is they give the most natural flush and melt into your skin in a way that doesn’t even look like you have makeup on. I have three of the four colors and I use them every single day and mix them together to create different colors. If you want to try them out here is my rep link to get 20% off your first order – http://www.glossier.com/reps/alisonkozik

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Bond Girl – This lipstick is my go-to everyday color. It is very close to my natural lip color but adds a slightly deeper hue. This was bought on a complete whim but I am so happy I bought it. Although it is matte it is not drying what so ever! This formula is so velvety smooth I honestly surprised I don’t have more of a collection of it.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara in Blackest Black Waterproof This is by far my favorite drugstore mascara and the only mascara that I have repurchased in a long time. A big thing for me is that I have watery eyes so finding a good true waterproof mascara is a big deal and sometimes harder then it seems. But this formula provides the fuller look that I am looking for and doesn’t give me raccoon eye in an hour.

FASHION

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Kona Backless Mule Loafers – I got these beauties back in the late summer and didn’t stop wearing them until there was snow on the ground. What I love about these loafers is that they add a more put together touch to any outfit and they are just so easy to slide on and go.

Fount Petite Bellfield Tote – This should not come as a surprise to anyone as I haven’t stopped talking about or featuring this purse since I got it back in October. It was quite the investment but I know it will last forever and get better with age, plus I love a chance to support a local Cleveland business.

Levi’s Wedgie Skinny Jeans – I feel like the Levi Wedgie has been the jean of 2017 and once I finally got my hands on a pair I could see why! The jean has a snug fit and slimming high rise, which is perfect if you have some curves.

Lucy Williams x Missoma Square Malachite Necklace – a true Black Friday find! I have been eyeing this necklace for quite some time and with a 25% off Black Friday code I snatched it up and haven’t taken it off since. I love the vermeil gold and how it stands out with my skin tone and not to mention the  malachite stone, a stone sacred to the Goddess Juno, patron goddess of Rome

Rings and Earrings – I wanted to loop these together because I usually wear them both together almost on a daily basis. I really got into the delicate ring look in the past year and 3 out of the 4 rings I wear on a daily basis are from Pandora (1, 2, 3)and the other one is locally made from Cleveland and unfortunately, I can’t remember what person I got it from. Earrings was another big part of 2017 as I strictly only wore diamond studs since college and then took a year off from wearing earring entirely. There have been three pairs of earrings that have been on rotation lately, these Madewell Tiger Eye pair, Oceanne Malachite pair, and these gold hoops from Target.

FRAGRANCE

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Replica Jazz Club – Be transported to Brooklyn 2013 where “the cozy atmosphere of a private club. Chic and heady cocktails. Honey and woody notes of cigar boxes. The tradition has been immortalized through the generations, handing down the address of this Brooklyn jazz club. An anthology of classic notes and coppery tones, between deep armchairs and a handful of bar stools, with subdued lighting, reflected on the piano where some cocktails linger, wafting their liquory notes.”

 

 

Cleveland Made Holiday Gift Guide 2017

With the long holiday weekend over, maybe you opted out of shopping and spent time at home with family and friends or maybe you only made a dent in your shopping list. Either way, forget the mall this holiday season and shop with Cleveland instead. Even though small business Saturday has passed there is no reason to stop shopping locally. I pulled together a few of my favorite Cleveland businesses below to show you some great options for really unique gifts for the holidays.

Let me know down below in the comments what your favorite local business whether it is in Cleveland or somewhere else. 

Fount // The Coventry Bucket Bag in Cocoa & The Finley Wallet in Peppercorn Black

Emily Roggenburk // Cleveland AF Crewneck Sweatshirt – Heather Gray & Perfectly Cleveland Photo

Shore Society // Lake Erie Pennant & Cooler by the Lake Mug, White

Oceanne Jewelry // Money Clip, Petite Hemisphere Studs, & Happy In Cle Bar Necklace

Sweet Dish & Darling // Camping Candle in Espresso Stout, Mexican Hot Chocolate, & Brown Sugar & Fig

REVIVAL Body Care // Immerse-Soaking Salts & Goddess Facial Serums

 

Black Friday Sales I’m Shopping

Let me start off by saying that I am not a Black Friday shopper – I hate going out super early on Friday morning or even worse on Thanksgiving to get “the best deal of the year”. BUT I am a sleep-in Friday morning, make some coffee, and browse my favorite store/brand’s website Black Friday shopper. So if you are like me and like to shop from the comfort of your own home in your comfy clothes with coffee in hand here are some of the sales that I will be shopping this week.

Madewell.com

If I could just wear Madewell the rest of my life I would be completely fine with that. I very rarely find a brand that everything literally just speaks to me, but when it does it is Madewell and it comes with a sometimes not so wallet-friendly price tag. That is why you want to shop their Black Friday sale which is actually going on now, yes NOW! 25% off their entire site if you use the promo code DONTSTRESS. Here are my picks from their site:

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whisper cotton turtleneck in wellton stripe
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athens cat-eye sunglasses
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10″ high-rise skinny jean in lucille wash
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the small transport crossbody
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northfield mockneck sweater

 Abercrombie.com

I used to manage an Abercrombie back in the day and dreaded working Black Friday, but flash forward to today and I love shopping their Black Friday sale! Now although Abercrombie has not released their Black Friday sale they usually stay quite consistent which is usually 50% off the entire store like last year and Abercrombie will most likely start this sale on Thursday. Here are some of my picks:

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 NUBBY WOOL-BLEND PEACOAT
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PLEATED MIDI SKIRT
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FAIR ISLE CREW SWEATER
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VELVET WRAP-FRONT DRESS
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LONG-SLEEVE WAFFLE TEE

Sephora.com

Sephora Black Friday deals were release at the end of last week I believe and let me tell you they are something to get excited for and the perfect opportunity to either stock up on favorites or try something new. Here are all of the deals that we know about as of now:

Alterna Haircare: The Caviar Moisture kit ($30 value) will be available for only $10.

Atelier Cologne: Get the special Perfume Ornament ($36 value) for only $12.

Benefit: The Best-seller Blowout set is valued at $43 but will be on sale for $15. In this set, you will get a full-size They’re Real Mascara, mini Hoola bronzer, and a mini High Beam highlighter.

Bite Beauty: The Mini Multistick Duo ($20 value) will be available for $15.

Buxom: The Pout on the Prowl lip kit includes one mini Full-On Lip Polish in Dominique and a Big and Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Toxic Cherry. The kit is valued at $32 but will be on sale for $12.

First Aid Beauty: The Ultra Repair Cream will be available in a 12 oz. tub. This super hydrating moisturizer is valued at $42 but will be on sale for $15.

It Cosmetics: It’s Your Secret to Beautiful Skin set ($35 value) will be on sale for $15.

Lancome: Get the Dramatic Eye Duo ($32.50 value) for $15.

Make Up For Ever: Sephora will be exclusively selling the limited edition holiday duo The Artist Neutrals, which includes the Artist Liquid Matte lip color and Artist Rouge Lipstick, for $15.

Ole Henriksen: Get your own Dashing Through the Glow: Refresh Anywhere Set ($22 value) for only $12.

Philosophy: The Always on the Glow set ($32 value) will be on sale for only $15.

Sephora Collection: The Winter Queen Palette ($20 value) and the Colorful Cleanse and Treat set ($18.50 value) will both be available for $10.

Tocca: Tocca Favorites set ($26 value) will be on sale for $10.

*(Sephora deal information provided by Allure.com)

Zara.com

I love Zara, its great for basics, is decent quality, and it doesn’t bust the bank. One thing I hate about Zara is their website, it is not the most user-friendly (at least to me), I get frustrated and overwhelmed easily by it. This would be actually one retailer I would rather shop the store to find what I need, but since I won’t be heading out to my local Zara online it is! I recommend browsing the website before they launch the Black Friday sale so you can weed through all their clothing and accessories and not risk anything running out of stock while searching. Now Zara has also not released their sale but if it is anything like last year it should be 20 to 30% off select apparel. Here are a few of my picks:

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CAT’S EYE SUNGLASSES

Glossier.com

Last but not least is Glossier, now again this brand has yet to release their Black Friday sale, but I do know that there is a great sale in store you just need to be patient a little bit longer. Again like Sephora, Glossier’s Black Friday sale is a great time to stock up or finally try out the brand. Here is my rep link to get 20% off your first purchase along with free shipping on $30 or more. I know I will be using this sale to stock up on some of my absolute favorites such as these:

What Black Friday sales are you shopping?

Glossier Review #2

Happy Monday all, it has been awhile since I did my first Glossier review and since then I have acquired many more products I wanted to share my opinions on. I know these posts are very appreciated because Glossier is more or less a web-based company unless you are able to get to their NYC showroom it is sometimes hard to pick out items when you can’t test them in person first. So let’s just dive right in shall we?

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A product that has truly become one of my favorites is the Milky Jelly Cleanser. When I first got this product I really didn’t find it anything special about but threw it in my shower anyways. I started noticing myself use it more and more and bringing it out of the shower and even began traveling with it. Honestly, I think the scent and how gentle it is on my skin is what I like the most about it. Another great thing about this cleanser is its versatility, it can remove non-waterproof makeup when applied to dry skin. It has the same cleaning agents as contact solution so you can open up your eyes and not have to worry about any stinging. Overall I think this is a great cleanser to have in your cabinet and a great product to travel with.

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I love blush. It is definitely one of the products I don’t leave the house without so when Glossier came out with 4 shades of Cloud Paint blushes I had to get my hands on them. They offer 4 beautiful colors in Puff, Beam, Haze, and Dusk that were inspired by the NYC sunset. I got 3 of the 4 shades in Beam a coral, Haze a berry, and Dusk a nude-ish shade. The bendability of this product really amazes me, it creates such a natural flush to your cheeks. I mix the shades sometimes which makes them feel a bit more customizable. You don’t need a lot of product so these last a good amount of time or if you apply too much I just use a foundation brush to blend it out and it does a good job of collecting the extra product.

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I really love face masks, I love pampering myself with them when I need a little extra TLC. Glossier has 2 masks, the Moisturizing Moon Mask and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack Mask, which is the one that I purchased. Now although I do really enjoy this mask I think that it does what other drugstore masks that I’ve enjoyed do. After purchasing this detoxifying mask I found more people saying that they liked the moisturizing mask better or liked using both together. I don’t think I will be repurchasing this product, and don’t find myself gravitating towards it when I am looking to pamper myself with a mask.

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I was really excited to get my hands on the Body Hero Duo because Glossier said since they gave you dewy glowy skin for your face they wanted to do it for your body. My first impression when I used this was being obsessed with the luxurious feel of this product on my skin to the scent of orange blossom neroli which makes you smell like a French baby. The body oil is not slippery and yet provide an oily texture, a mix of a shower gel and oil, that still foams up. The body cream was thicker then I thought it would be which was nice and it absorbed fairly quickly for how thick it is. There is also these light-reflecting particles in the cream that give your skin this glowy sheen which is perfect when you want to show off some skin. I love using this in the shower and after when I want to feel fancy and pampered.

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The Haloscope in Quartz which I know in itself has a pretty huge cult following and although I do really love this product and the way it looks on my skin I think I almost prefer the Becca highlighter a bit more. I think this is a great highlighter to travel with and keep in your purse for some midday touch-ups. Although I don’t think I would repurchase this product in quartz I am a bit curious about trying this product in topaz – I have seen people use it as a eyeshadow and it really looks lovely.

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Glossier is all about the dewy glowy skin so when they came out with a powder I was shocked. They call it Wowder, not a powder and I think that is a perfect description of this product. I am a person that needs their concealer to be set or it will just crease halfway through the day, but when I use it I end up mattifying the dewy look I just created. I really wanted to try this product out and I couldn’t resist getting the brush that came with it – maybe because I wanted a mini pink pouch? Now although it doesn’t keep that dewy look completely intact it doesn’t completely mattify either, I don’t think you are going to find a powder that will do that so, I think this is pretty damn close. I think that diamond powder in this product may be the secret to this product and it applies nicely as it is a very very fine product.

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Glossier You is your perfect everyday scent that is truly perfect for everyone. This scent is very well balanced, creamy, clean, and warm. The only downside I can see with this product is that it is $60 for 1.7 oz., I wish I got a little bit more for my money but this scent is truly lovely so I can overlook that. I like that this perfume wears nicely throughout the day as well, I can still get hints of it after hours. I usually gravitate to a more masculine scent but the warm notes in this make it very nice to wear during the day hours on a everyday basis.

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If you are interested in trying any of these products that I talked about in this post of my past Glossier post and click here and go through my Rep link to receive 20% off your first order and free shipping when you purchase over $30 worth of products.

Leave a comment below and let me know if you have tried anything from Glossier and what products you liked or didn’t.

What’s in My Makeup Bag: Fall Edition

The seasons they are a changing and so is my makeup bag. With the cooler weather I start to reintroduce more makeup back into my routine, and like fashion, makeup to has a transitional period. I thought I would share some new products that I have really been loving lately and that are all new to me.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II – this terracotta nude is the perfect color for the fall and if you are not familiar with Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick then you have to go out and pick it up. The formula is very creamy and easy to apply but yet leaves a matte finish that lasts a decent amount of time. Along with the original Lolita shade, this is one of the brands best sellers and maybe even one of Sephora’s top sellers and I can see why. The shade is just very complimentary and not a nude shade you see often.

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Wowder by Glossier – promoted as not a powder for the days you don’t want to look dewy and want to control shine. In the summer I am all about that dewy glow and I still like a little bit in the fall but there are more spots I want matte or at least to be able to control the dew. This is probably one of the best powders I have used on my skin, it is up there with Laura Mercier’s Translucent Setting Powder. The kaolin clay in this formula absorbs oil but vanishes into the skin (instead of sitting and caking on top like most powders). There is also vitamin E which gives Wowder its silky, non-drying texture which gives the finish I am raving about.

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Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam – This is my third shade of this product because I LOVE this blush! It is so blendable, buildable, and you can mix it with other shades in the collection and create a new one so the possibilities are endless. It comes in three shades all which represent the NYC sunset and the shades are made to work across a wide range of skin tones for a “healthy, flushed-from-within glow.”

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**If you want to try out these Glossier products use my rep link HERE to receive 20% off your first purchase. Also, save $7 when you buy the brush and Wowder together and $6 when you buy a Cloud Paint Duo (which in reality is more than 2 shades when you mix them) along with free shipping!**

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Eye Shadow Palette – Now this is a very recent purchase and I am still playing around with all these rich pigmented colors. I have been seeing beauty YouTubers using this palette and creating these obviously dramatic looks, but also these amazing day looks that convinced me to go to Sephora and play with it. This palette is very intimidating in person so I had a girl from Sephora show me some great ways to mix and play with these colors. Once my eye look was done I was just like take my money.

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MAC ‘Pro Longwear’ Paint Pot*CURRENTLY 15% OFF AT NORDSTROM* Another product that I kept seeing YouTubers refer to this as a cult product. This is a great base to any eyeshadow look and looks beautiful on its own, gives a very 90s eye by itself. There is magic in this formula let me tell you – its very buildable and creamy but yet has a vibrant finish which does not cake or crease.

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5 Pool Day Essentials

We are half way through summer and pool days are becoming a regular staple in everyone’s weekly plans. I wanted to share with you guys today what my 5 essentials are for a pool day in Cleveland.

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First off if you don’t own one of these are already, go to Amazon right now, go on, I’ll wait… A Bubba 52oz Mug for ultimate drink storage! My friend Breanne turned me on to these because she swears that they make or break a pool day. You can put so much in these bad boys that if you are like me and live in an apartment helps cut down on the times you have to run back upstairs to refill drinks. Another great thing about these is that they are not even that expensive, under $20! So go check them out, they are great to have handy.

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Nothing says summer than a good summer beer am I right? If you are like me and like to enjoy an adult beverage while relaxing poolside my new summer favorite is Ohio’s own Platform Brewery’s Hyper Retro. This lemon ginger saison ale is described as citrusy, spicy, and bright; a must try for the summer!

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What is a pool day without a good pair of sunglasses to block the haters? I recently got a pair of Ray Ban’s Round Metal sunglasses and although everyone has them, I feel like then have become a classic staple in our summer wardrobe over the past few years. I also feel incredibly stylish wearing these everywhere.

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I don’t about you guys but I refuse to wear makeup to the pool, I mean what is the point? My friend Eileen gave me a sample of the COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tint SPF 30 and this has really become my go to face SPF for pool days. It adds the slightest bit of color while protecting your face from the sun. What I love about this product is the consistency, it almost turns to a powder when massaging it into the skin, it’s really quite nice!

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So we can’t forget something for once the pool day has ended and on a semi recent Target trip, my friend Courtney and I discovered the best after-sun product EVER, Bare Republic® Daily Recovery After Sun Serum. This stuff is so soothing, light, non-sticky, and smells nice too for being an after-sun product. It is a serum consistency and absorbs nicely into the skin, I have even been using it on my face after a long day in the sun.

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Nighttime Skincare Routine

 

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I start out by removing all my makeup and depending on what I have on my face that day I may use my Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm for a more fuller face along with micellar water or just the Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier to remove and cleanse. I have a couple other cleansers I use and alternate during the week depending on what I feel my face needs. Twice a week I like to exfoliate my face with either Mario Badescu Glyolic Foaming Cleanser or just plain old baking soda which was recommended to my friend and me from a woman in Ulta with heart shaped glasses. ♥

I then spritz my face with Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater which I have been using religiously for the past year. Rosewater seems to work really with my skin and I feel like I’m pampering myself when I spray this all over my face and chest. Side-note, I also keep a tiny travel size one at my desk at work for a little midday refresh.

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Currently, for nighttime, I am using this thicker eye cream that I received in an Amazon beauty box by SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Eye Concentrate,. I really like this for nighttime and even though it’s thicker it absorbs nicely. Any excess I like to run around my lips since the skin is very similar and I heard this helps minimize smile lines.

I like to treat my skin with 2 products, first I use The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% and let that absorb into my skin for a few minutes. Then I use my Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate, which my skin just loves and eats up. When I am really in the pampering mood I use my jade roller which I got off Amazon.com to work in the Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

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Once that is all said and done I like to moisturize with coconut oil, my skin is glowing when I wake up in the morning. In fact, I use coconut oil all over my body, kinda putting myself into a coconut oil cocoon.

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Guest Post // Sare’s 5 Fave Beauty Products

Happy Monday to all my beautiful readers out there! I hope everyone had an amazing weekend and got to enjoy this beautiful weather. I have a special treat for you today folks, one of my good/oldest friends messaged me one day and said why don’t you do a post on products for acne prone skin and I told her that bottom line I didn’t feel comfortable talking about something that isn’t my skin type, but that if she was up for it I would love her to do a guest post on this topic. Sare loves vegan/cruelty-free products just as much as me so I knew what products she was going to talk about were going to be good (she let me try most of these and I only have good things to say). So without further ado here are Sare’s 5 Beauty Picks!


Before I start diving into some of my most favorite beauty products I want to give a brief history about myself and why these things have made my list of favorites. I think I have the world’s most angry skin, so angry that the second I think I’m looking decent I pop a pimple just from my skin’s sheer contempt for it’s host. It’s really angry skin. Enjoying a bit of ice-cream means punishment for the next ten days by angry skin. I’m not even joking here, I have a super restricted diet to avoid breakouts not to mention the hefty list of products I can’t use on my skin. The only reason I know I can’t use them is because I’ve tried them. I’ve tried probably every “acne cure” you can think of besides the extreme (not so safe and also discontinued) Accutane.

Around September of last year a close friend of mine hosted an Arbonne party and thinking to myself, “I’ve tried everything else so why the hell not?” I dived right in and bought the Calm line. I loved it, honest to goodness, I loved it and my skin was clearing up and no new breakouts. The only thing I didn’t like about this line was the moisturizer didn’t seem to be quite enough for me and since I’m postpartum and have crazy hormones at 24 I was already getting deep wrinkles and over dryness around my eyes.

So naturally, when I ran out of my Arbonne products I switched to an acne brand called Nerd, which advertises that they use probiotics to treat your skin. Do not buy that product. It was a HUGE waste of my money that I will never get back. Not only did it not help my acne, it dried out my skin, made the wrinkles and dryness around my eyes significantly worse and SO MANY CYSTIC PIMPLES. You know, the really really deep ones that take FOREVER to heal? They were all over my face, just like in high school. So, after using this awful product for about 3 weeks I called up my Arbonne friend and asked her opinion about which products I should use and she suggested the RE9 line to me. Within a week of using these products my skin was clearing up, the discoloration was starting to go away, and no new breakouts!! Was is love? Yes. Yes it was. Now, I can’t wait to tell anyone and everyone about them and my story. I have my confidence back along with my pregnancy glow (sans pregnancy). Bye-bye acne, hello dewy, baby-like skin!

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These are in no particular order and I feel like I love them all equally so listing them numerically seems unfair, but I’m going to do it anyway because people like lists for some reason.

  1. Arbonne RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser

This stuff is incredible- not only is it a super gentle cleanser/make-up remover it also doesn’t dry out my super sensitive skin! It also smells amazing and it gets super sudsy in the shower which I absolutely adore (c’mon, you know there is nothing less satisfying than a cleanser that doesn’t get all sudsy in the shower). This stuff also lasts way longer than you would expect it to – seriously, I’ve been using the same 3oz bottle (morning and night) since February.

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  1. Arbonne RE9 Advanced Night Repair Cream

This stuff is amazingly hydrating and honestly, is probably what has saved my poor angry skin the most. I wake up in the morning after using this and my skin looks hella fresh. This product is very thick and creamy – everything you could want from a night cream, plus it’s vegan!

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  1. Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation with Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen in Honey Beige

BOOM. It’s no wonder they use this stuff on the Grey’s Anatomy cast, it’s hands-down the best foundation I have ever used! Now, for years I was a die-hard Bare Minerals girl because I thought it would be better for my skin, but it never actually covered up my flaws and I continued buying it justifying it to myself that it was “healthier” for my skin than other beauty products (maybe it is, but not healthier or better coverage than Arbonne’s that’s for sure). My first use of this stuff and I was in awe – where was this stuff when I was in high school miserable about my acne-ridden skin?? It blends on so smoothly and covers everything WITH JUST ONE PUMP. One pump! I don’t even use a brush or a sponge to blend this stuff- I’m lazy and also I have an 18mo so I don’t have time for a long make-up routine. Healthy, vegan, no animal by-products, this stuff is a winner and if you want to try the best foundation ever, it’s right here.

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  1. Arbonne Rescue and Renew Detox Gelée.

I’m starting to have a hard time picking just my top 5 favorite things, but this one is a no-brainer. I’m an avid HIIT fanatic (OrangeTheory Fitness WOOO!) and I go most days of the week which leaves me fairly sore the majority of the time. The Gelée. works absolute wonders for sore muscles – it has this amazing cooling/warming effect (I can’t decide which one it is but it feels fantastic) and my muscles aren’t nearly as sore when I use it. Also, it’s GREAT for sunburn – I’m pasty and very susceptible to sunburn and my first 15min in the CLE sun the other week got me my very first sunburn of the summer – one use of this on sunburn is all you need to make that awful burning stop. Oh, and before I forget, the Gelée. is an absolute necessity for that special time of the month with Aunt Flow. Just a bit of this on your belly and see-ya cramps!

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  1. Arbonne Intelligence Genius Nightly Resurfacing Pads and Solution

Acne scars? Sun spots? Skin not smooth? Not anymore! Did I say yet how amazing my skin looks now? It looks pretty amazing and partially because of this product right here. Even if I don’t do my entire night-time skincare routine I still make sure to use this because it’s working! I had horrible discoloration all along my cheekbones including acne scars and even more acne scars on my poor little chin. Since I’ve been using this product (two months about) I’ve seen a major reduction in redness in my cheekbones and I can barely see any of my acne scars. My skin is starting to look like my daughter’s adorable little porcelain butt cheeks. I’m not even a little mad about that.

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I had to trim my list from over 12 products I use every day to just 5 which was very tough but I figured I would list the things that have changed my life the most and that’s what we’ve ended up with here. I’m basically obsessed with everything Arbonne- thanks to this company I have my confidence back and there’s nothing quite like that feeling. For more information and more amazing Arbonne products check it out here.

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Thanks for reading,

Love,

Sare

My 5 Makeup Essentials for Summer

As the weather continues to get warmer I notice I make tweaks to my makeup routine, switching out some certain products for creamier ones. I wanted to share those items with you this week, so here are my 5 makeup picks to keep in your makeup bag this summer!

Creamy Eyeshadow Palette

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Skip the eyeliner and utilize an eyeshadow that can do both and the best way to do it is with cream shadow. Get a palette like Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in the shade Not Just Nudes. The colors blends so nicely together and have a shimmer that is perfect for summer.

Cream Blush

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I love cream blush for the summer months because it lays on the skin so naturally, it just looks like your sunkissed from a day in the sun. My go to blush lately has been Glossier Cloud Paint, in shades Haze and Dusk. Use code 2BLUSH to get two for $30 and use link code http://bff.glossier.com/fCxL8 for 20% off your first order!

Skin Tints or Tinted Moisturizers

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I try to go foundation free in the summer months and just use concealer on my under eyes and blemishes, but there are days when I feel that I need a little something extra and I have been loving the Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint. It doesn’t add much coverage but it enhances the natural look of your skin and still allows any freckles to show through.

Cream Highlighter

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Switch your powder highlighter for a cream version to give you cheekbones a natural glow. Also use it down your nose, on your cupid bow, and even under your brows. Haloscope from Glossier in Quartz is what I have been reaching for lately, Glossier also has 2 more colors to check out depending on your skin tone.

A Bright Lip Color

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Glossier Generation G gives the effect of just blotted lipstick and lays on the lips nicely without being overdrying. For a little extra moisture though I love to apply some coconut Balm Dot Com first then apply Generation G in the shade Zip, a poppy red color.

What is in your summer makeup bag?

Alison’s Articles // Switching to Natural Deodorant

So who wants to talk about natural deodorant? Sounds like a great topic to start your week out right? RIGHT! I’m going to be completely honest I did not think switching to natural deodorant was going to be such a process. I mean did you know there was a detox period??? I didn’t, but I didn’t really do a lot of research before switching.

I have been thinking about switching to natural deodorant for about a year before I actually made the commitment to switch, trying once but giving up quickly. The first time I tried to make the switch I just picked up Tom’s from Target and was like this will be easy. I will just switch to this and be done… wrong! The first day or 2 I noticed I was sweating more and just not overall liking the deodorant I chose, so I just switched back to my normal chemical packed one from Secret. I got the notion in my head that I sweated too much to switch to natural.

Back in the end of March, I believe while I was in Sephora with Eileen I saw in their travel section the Lavanila natural deodorant and just thought man I really want to try again to make the switch maybe it was just because I tried a drugstore brand, so I bought the travel size to try. The first week was a little rough… there was an increase of wetness and smelliness and I noticed I started to get a bit of red irritation, which worried me a little bit. Since the redness didn’t go away I started to research a bit and found out that this redness is most likely caused because my armpits were detoxing. Basically detoxing is the aluminum that is present in typical drugstore deodorant clogs your underarm sweat glands which interrupt your body’s natural ability to remove materials that would normally be removed through your body’s natural process of sweating. So now that I have stopped putting pore clogging aluminum under my arms my body was overproducing sweat until it can start to regulate.

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By the second week, although my sweating and smelliness started to normalize, the red irritation was not and now I was having my lymph nodes so swollen I could see them. My under arms at this point felt as if I was on crutches for the past 2 weeks with no padding. After doing some more research which included swollen lymph nodes I read something that was interesting to me that since natural deodorant uses a lot of baking soda in it that it sometimes tends to cause irritation and to look for a baking soda free option. I instantly remembered that one of my favorite YouTubers, Ingrid Nilsen (which you should totally check out her videos), mention that she was sensitive to baking soda and uses a baking soda free option. I went back through some of her videos and found the brand Meow Meow Tweet.

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At the time when I purchased this on Amazon they only had the jar option (they came out 2 weeks ago with a paper push up option, here). I was little nervous trying a jar, would it messy? would it be hard to apply? No and no! I can’t even explain the consistency this product turns into once you begin applying to your underarms but it almost becomes a powder and leaves your finger clean and dry. After the first day, I noticed my irritation starting to go down along with my lymph nodes. This option was a little bit more expensive ($18) but a lot of natural deodorants are so I am not going to complain about the price point and I have had it since March and barely used half of it. Now, I don’t know if I will always be sensitive to baking soda based deodorants or it was just a shock to my system with switching to a natural option, but I really like this brand and deodorant. Can it last from the time I wake up at 5:30 all the way to 10 at night? no, but it gets me through the work day or longer depending on what my day consists of. I also use Pacifica under arm wipes as a refresh when needing to reapply, it neutralizes any existing odor and cleanses my skin of older product. Those wipes are a must in my opinion when going natural.

I am going to leave you with a little advice if you are thinking about making the switch:

  1. You don’t smell as bad as you think and you are probably the only one that notices
  2. You probably don’t sweat naturally as much as you think either – give your body some time to regulate again
  3. Underarm wipes are you best friend
  4. Maybe start out the switch with a baking soda free option

Alright folks, this is my opinion and personal experience with switching to natural deodorant. I also wanted to end by saying that I am in no way a health professional, these are just things that I have noticed and did during my own personal experience with making the switch.