MultiMasking

I've been putting off microneedling and my skin is starting to look meh, so I decided I needed a night of multi masking.

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1. Milk Makeup Urban Defense Mask to cleanse and take off the makeup I off the makeup I had been playing with.

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2. Mixed Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid treatment with Apivita Green Clay Mask for some deep cleaning and exfoliation.  

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3. Removed that with Tatcha's Rice Enzyme cleanser for even more exfoliation

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4. Ended my masking with the Skyn Iceland Firming Face Gel and Firming Eye Gels, obsessed with these, but forgot I ran out of the ones for forehead

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5. As the last in my nighttime treatment I used some of the last bit of my Cle de Peau La Crème, I'm gonna miss it... :(

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Sephora VIB Discount Time!

Chances are, If you're a Sephora shopper, this is your favorite time of year.  Sephora is offering 20% off for their VIB Rouge and VIBs this weekend and next.  This is the best time to stock up on all your favorites, try out new ones, and get those splurge items you've been holding off on.  Here are my must haves for this Bi Annual event!

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Colour
If you haven't tried Milk Makeup yet, I'm gonna need you to jump on the band wagon and try out this easy to use brand (that I just happen to work for).

Sunshine Skin Tint $42 > $33.60 - Click-Roll-Blend. This is the easiest foundation you will ever use. Enriched with nourishing Avocado and Grape Seed Oil, this preservative free foundation gives coverage that looks like skin and wears all day.  Great for Dry to Oily skins who want to look fresh and natural.  I wear it in Honey.

Matte Bronzer $24 > $19.20 - I hate being white and this natural looking bronzer lets me live the lie of being bronzed during these winter months of heavy retinol usage.  Milk Melt Technology melts at the temperature of your skin blending in seconds. 

Concealer $24 > $19.20 - Since I don't like looking like I'm wearing makeup, and rarely sleep more than 5 hours a night, this gem is a life saver, and by gem I mean it has diamond powder in it!  What better way to brighten your eyes??  Arnica helps treat the dark circles, and Milk Melt Technology gets that concealer to blend super easy without creasing

Skin Care
So many great products I've been using lately, sorry I haven't had the time to post about them, I've been hella busy, but these some some products you just need to try.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser $40 > $32 - I've been using this every night for about a month.  You massageinto dry skin then add water and massage some more.  It never lathers, but once rinsed, your skin is left exfoliated and smooth.  Great as a daily exfoliator.

Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift $95 > $76 - My skin has been so dehydrated from traveling, I'm obsessed with this hyaluronic acid rich spray.  Plumps fine lines and gives the skin so much moisture while still being weightless.  A must have during winter months.

Jurlique Nutri-Define Eye Contour Balm $90 > $72 - I just started using a deluxe sample size of this rich eye balm and I'm so in love.  The texture is so creamy, yet it absorbs into the skin leaving it feeling super plump and hydrated.  Might be my new favorite eye cream cause my tired eyes are looking real good y'all.

Caudalie Premier Cru The Cream $158 > $128.40 - Always a favorite of mine, this moisturizer does it all.  Hydrates, lifts, brightens, fills wrinkles, does taxes, cooks dinner.  I mean, if you haven't tried it, definitely give it a go!

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil $105 > $84 - Night time retinoid oil hydrates, brightens, smooths, calms, reduces pores, minimizes fine lines, everything you want from a retinal product without any irritation.  If you've been wanting to try a retinal but are scared of the side effects, Luna Oil is the for for you.

Hair Care
I hate washing my hair because day 1 always looks like a cheap cotton ball.  These are the products I've found to get my hair looking perfectly messy.

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo $34 > $27.20 - Rahua Voluminous Conditioner $34 > $27.20 - I had a sample packette of these that I fell in love with, then purchased the mini size to make sure, and yep, its my new favorite shampoo and conditioner.  My hair normally looks so frizzy after washing, this duo gives my hair volume, softness, and texture.  Plus the conditioner doubles as a styling creme!

Milk Sunshine Oil $38 > $30.40 - Since I like my hair to look lived in, I like a little oil in it to give that dirty look.  Sunshine Oil is also great on the face and body.  I mix it with the Reverie Rake $36 > $28.80 to give texture, hold, and an amazing earthy smell.

Milk Natural Dry Shampoo $14 > $11.20 - Since I try and only wash my hair every 4-5 days, this dry shampoo really helps me go the distance.  Cotton Fibers + Rice Starch absorb oil, leaving you feeling clean, no white residue, no texture, and a soft White Tea Scent.  I literally cannot live with out this.

Splurge
You're getting 20% off, so why not buy yourself something fancy!

Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Eye Mask $35 > $28 - I just got my 3rd one of these cause I keep leaving them in my hotel rooms!  This eye mask is infused with copper to help minimize fine lines.  Whether that works or not I don't know, but it does comfortably block out all light letting me get the best nights rest.

Clarisonic Smart Profile $299 > $239.20 - The ultimate cleansing system with attachments for face, body, and feet, you'll be cleansed and smoothed from head to toe.  If you've never used a Clarisonic, this is the only one you'll need to buy!

 

4th Day's a Charm

There are few things I hate more than washing my hair.  The actual act of washing my hair I love, it's the drying of the hair and style that I loath.  My hairs looks so good on day 3 and 4 I just want it to look like that all the time!  Enter Dry Shampoo.  Dry shampoos work by absorbing oils and odor leaving hair with a cleaner feeling (even though it's really not...).  Here are some of my favorites.

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Klorane Dry Shampoo w/ Nettle Oil Control $11.90 or $20.71 x2 (Cheapest price on Amazon!) - This is the Oil Control version of the cult classic French Dry Shampoo and it's totally my jam.  It really absorbs oil, even heavy yoga class sweat!  Adds amazing texture, volume, and really refreshes my hair style.  The only problem I have with it is that it leaves a lot of powder on my scalp, like sand after the beach, the grit of it starts to build up and feel pretty gross, so this guy usually only gets me to day 3 before I feel the need to wash.  Still one of my favorites!  4.5/5 Stars

Alterna Bamboo Style Cleanse Extend $22 - I'm a huge fan of Alterna (The Caviar line is magic) but this was a huge miss for me.  I've tried using this multiple times, but for me, it literally does nothing.  No oil absorbed, no texture added, nothing.  Just an aerosol spray of air.  I guess is smells kinda good? 0/5 Stars.

Verb Dry Shampoo $14 - I got this one at a conference a few months ago and found it in my bag while on another trip that I had forgotten to bring my regular dry shampoo on.  Now the squeeze bottle applicator is kind the worst.  If you try and put it directly on your hair you either get no product or WAY too much.  So I squeeze some into my palms, rub it together, flip my hair over and massage it into my roots and scalp.  It absorbs the oil, adds volume (I've even liked this one on clean hair for texture), and it also helps to protect the hair.  Great formula doesn't leave hair white, but the applicator isn't my favorite.  3.5/5 Stars.

Milk Makeup Dry Shampoo $14 - How I could talk about dry shampoo without a shout out to my company!  This guy uses cotton fibers and rice starch to absorb oil and add texture, it leaves a soft white tea scent that's not at all overpowering (I hate heavy feminine fragrance in dry shampoo, I have my own cologne thank you).  I put this one to the test while on a trip to Chicago and lasted 4 full days without washing, and my hair looked great!  Absolutely no powder build up on my scalp, which is much appreciated.  At $14 you really can't go wrong.  4.5/5 Stars.

Speaking of second day hair, I was in Texas a few weeks ago, I had just washed my hair and as always, it looked like frizzy ass.  While I was in Sephora I found this product from REVERIE that smelled like happiness and dreams, so I figured my hair couldn't look any worse and threw some in.  I quickly became very obsessed, the RAKE Styling Balm has a blend of oils and butters to hydrate, protect, soften, and provide lightweight hold.  The blend of essential oils smell earthy, like a cologne I would wear.  It gives me second day hair on day 1 making washing my hair not so awful.  Apply to damp hair or on dry hair to add texture.  5/5 Stars $36.

Sephora VIB Sale!

t's every cosmetics junkies favorite time of year, the bi-annual Sephora VIB Discount weekend! With 15% It's the best time to make your big purchases and stock up on your essentials. These are my recommendations for this season, so add them to your cart so you don't forget!

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Milk Makeup Sunshine Oil $38 > $32.3 - Gotta plug the new company.  This oil has a beautiful bright citrus scent with essential oils of grapefruit peel, lemon peel, mandarin orange peel, and hydrating oils like avocado and grape seed.  Great lightweight feel in a super portable-glass roller ball.

Clarisonic Smart Profile $265 > $199 > $169.15 - This set is already on sale, and I love me a sale on sale.  The Smart Profile can use any of the Clarisonic brushes, face, body, and feet.  At this price it's definitely a steal.

Foreo Luna2 $199 > $169.15 - For those who don't want to buy replacement heads, the Foreo is a great investment.  Holds a charge for an entire year and uses vibrations and super soft silicone tips to cleanse.  I always bring this one along when I travel.

SK-II Facial Essence $99-$290 > $84.15-$246.50 - One of my all time favorite skincare products, contains the miracle ingredient Pitera, it legit will change your skin.  Hydrates, brightens, and makes your skin GLOW.  Definitely in my Top 5 favorite products.

Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Oil $105 > $89.25 - In my current evening routine, this oil contains exfoliating and revitalizing oils as well as anti-inflammatory oils for a very well balanced treatment.  Totally my jam and a great retinol alternative for sensitive skin and normal skin alike.

Shiseido Facial Cotton $9.50 > $8.07 - I use these with all my toners, they make them stretch so much further, so when VIB times comes around I always stock up with 2 or 3.

Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask $140 > $119 - Definitely a skincare splurge, this mask smells and feels like happiness and dreams.  As I'm obsessed with anything containing honey, this is one of my all time favorite masks for hydration and soothing skin.  The Crème Ancienne Eye Cream is my current PM eye cream and is amazing for dry skin.

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel $60 > $51 - My go to exfoliant, uses natural enzymes to break away dead skin, leaving skin feeling super smooth and look bright and radiant.  If you haven't tried it, you are seriously missing out!

Iluminage Sleeping Beauty Deluxe Set $99 > $84.15 - Being one to try anything that claims to be anti-aging, I fell in love with the Iluminage Eye Mask.  I've yet to get the pillow care, but this set is a steal, and I really really think I need it...

Nude Skincare only has a few products online, but in store they have the entire brand and it's currently 30% off!  If you find some pieces you love (ProGenius oil is my jam!) take advantage of getting that additional 15% off!  

What's on your VIB list??

Down in the Grease Pits

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One of the biggest questions skin questions people ask me is how to help their oily/combination or acne prone skin.  There are so many different ways to answer this, so I’m going to address the most common concerns I’m asked.

1.    Are You Oily?

Most people have a little oil in their t-zone by the end of the day.  This is normal; it doesn’t mean you have oily skin.  Truly oily skin will be shiny on the t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and cheeks within a few hours of waking up.  Combination skin will be shiny in the t-zone by mid-day, but shouldn’t be too shiny on the cheeks, or may even be dry there.  Normal skin will have a slight shine to the nose maybe forehead by early evening.  Dry skin will look like the Sahara from the moment they wake up.  Your skin type probably changes based on where you live, visit, and time of the year.  I’m Oily on the East coast 8 months out of the year and on the West coast I’m Combination with a little dehydration all year.  Ugh the struggle.

2.    Cleansing

Oh you wash your face with your shampoo and wondering why you have clogged pores?  Well no shit brah, shampoo may get the beard nice and shiny but it isn’t going to help get your skin glowing.  Cleansing may be the most important part of an oily skins routine.  You need to find a perfect balance between detoxifying and exfoliating without stripping your skin completely. Your skin should feel smooth and slightly tight after it has dried off, not dry and patchy (sometimes you’ll see white flaking, no bueno).  If you strip your skin of all its natural oils, it may over compensate by creating even more oil.  I’ve used about 1,000 different cleansers, it definitely takes some experimenting to find which one works best for your skin, here are a few of my favorite oily/combination skin cleansers (some are good for all skin types as well)

Erno Laszlo Deep Sea Mud Soap $45 – Legit one of my all time favorite cleansers.  I started getting acne for the first time when I was 26, and my pores were massive.  A girlfriend told me to get this, and it changed my skin almost instantly.  Mr. Laszlo creating an special cleansing method: Fill your sink with warm water, dip soap in water, massage soap on face, rinse soap back in water and set aside, lather face, splash face 20 times with water in the sink, then 10 more times with clean running water.  I still do this cleansing method with most every cleanser I’ve used. Great for Normal-Oily Skin

Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip $45– I hated this the first time I tried it as I was so use to a lather.  After tossing it aside for a few months, I revisited and fell in love.  You have to get use to a very mild cleansing feeling, but trust that your skin is clean and balanced.  It tightens pores, boosts radiance, stimulates circulation, and helps with irritation.  Great for Normal-Combination Skin

Milk Makeup Charcoal Cleanser $28 – Yeah I work for them now, so I gotta do a plug, but I have been using this for 2 weeks now and I’m liking it more than I thought I would.  This sulfate free cleansing contains charcoal from the Japanese Ubame oak tree + vitamin E, cleanses the skin gently without over drying.  Great for All Skin Types.

3.    Toning

I’ve used toner since I was 12, so I’ve always felt it a very necessary step in my skincare routine.  Oh your cleanser has a built in toner?  How?  That’s never made sense to me.  I apply my toner to a cotton square (Shiseido makes the best, you use less and makes your bottle last forever) and sweep it all over my face, excess cleanser and any remaining debris is seen on the square.  So how exactly is your cleanser doing that?  Yeah…  I have a very hard time finding a toner I like, there haven’t been many, these are the exceptions. 

Erno Laszlo Light Controlling Lotion $55 – I grabbed this after I fell in love with the soap.  When my skin is on the oilier side I love a little alcohol in my toner.  This one tightens pores, exfoliates, controls shine, and also has added humectants to bring hydration to the skin.  Great for Combo-Oily skin.

Belif Eucalyptus Herbal Extract Toner $28 – More recently I discovered this guy on a hunt for a less expensive toner.  Fell in love, even purchased a second time (which never happens).  This toner contains a blend of herbal extracts to control sebum and shine without stripping.  Great for Combo-Oily skin.

4.    Targeted Concerns

Black Heads
These are those black dots you seen on your nose, forehead, and chin.  What causes them is excess sebum and bacteria; these can turn into blemishes, so its good to take care of them.  I usually steam my face and squeeze my skin (works great on the sides of the nose) to get the blackheads out.  If done wrong though, it can leave some redness and scarring, so best to get a professional to do this.  Pore Strips are a great quick fix (I love the ones from SkinFood), but it’s best to maintain by cleansing and masking regularly.

Pores
Pores are where these black heads are chilling out.  Oily skin will have larger more visible pores, this is how the oil gets to the surface of your skin.  You can’t make pores smaller, you just can’t, sorry.  You can keep them clean though, which makes them look smaller.  Keeping good about your skincare routine helps, so cleanse, exfoliate, and mask regularly.  Now I have heard there are certain lasers that can help make pores smaller, but I’ve yet to experiment with them, have you?

Blemishes/Zits/Whiteheads
These will be those pesky bumps on your skin that you want to pop, don’t, that’s how acne scars are formed.  For emergencies I like to use a Benzoyl Peroxide based spot treatment (Murad Acne Spot Fast Fix works great) but using them too frequently causes irritation, sun sensitivity, and your skin can build up a tolerance.  Stick to using it directly on blemishes and not on large areas.  Salicylic Acid is milder and great for more regular use to control blemishes and is usually in a gel texture that’s easy to smooth over acne prone areas and large pores (Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel).  If you have an event tomorrow and need that mammoth zit to shrink overnight, Sulfur (Mario Badescu Drying Lotion) is the way to go.  If you had chicken pox as a kid, this clearing method won’t look so strange to you.  Dip a cotton swab in the formula and apply the pink stuff directly to blemishes before bed.  This will shrink blemishes overnight allowing you to cover them more easily with makeup.

Cystic Acne
Cystic Acne is that crazy painful blemish you get that you can’t pop and hurts like hell when you touch.  I get these on my forehead and the tip of my nose a few times and year and I hate them so much.  I mean I’ve gone as far and sticking sterilized needles into them to pop them (I DO NOT recommend doing that, lesson learned).  Cystic acne comes from an internal bacteria (in most cases).  If you have severe Cystic Acne, topical products alone will not help, you need to see a dermatologist.  Anyone trying to sell you a topical saying it cures Cystic Acne is just throwing you a sales pitch and doesn’t know what they’re talking about.  In mild cases I’ve seen taking probiotics help (I take Natures Sunshine Bacillus Coagulans), but for severe cases a Dermatologist prescribed antibiotic is necessary.  They will usually prescribe a retinoid (Like my favorite A313) to apply at night to smooth at the skin and help with the scarring.

5.    Hydration

So many people with oily skin don’t moisturize because they think it will make them even oilier.  Note that I listed this topic as “Hydration”, Hydra=Water, oily skin can also be dehydrated, making it produce even more oil.  There are also tons of environmental aggressors and free radicals floating around you need to protect your skin from; this is where a moisturizer comes in.  I could list a million different moisturizers here, but unless oil control is your only concern, you should pick a moisturizer based on your skin concern, be it brightening, anti-aging, age prevention…  Just look for lighter weight formulas, usually water based formulas or products listed as lotion vs a cream.  Below are a few products I’ve used when looking to re-balance my skin and calm down the oil, these I’ve used as incremental treatments, then go back to my normal skin routine.

Clarins Lotus Treatment Oil $54 – I talked about this in a previous post.  It was the first all over oil I ever used and its still a favorite of mine.  Use every night directly after toning (while skin is still wet) for 3 months at a time to help rebalance.  Great to use as your night treatment in the hot summer and underneath clay masks as a booster.

Decleor Aromessence Ylang Ylang Purifying Night Balm $42 – Even when my skin is oily, I love a rich texture on my skin!  This night balm is an emollient oil/wax blend that smells like happiness and leaves the skin feeling fresh and brightened in the morning.  Cleanses and purifies, re-balances, and reduces imperfections and inflammation.  Great for that dry-acne prone skin as well.  Also available in a purifying Serum/Oil that can be used during the day.

6.    Masking

More than any other skin type, masking is most important for oily and congested skin.  Cleansing and toning can only go so far without being to aggressive on the daily, that’s when adding that masking boost comes to play.  I love clay based masks and have gone through 100s of them.  These are best when trying to combat blackheads, control oil, and maintain clear skin.  Sheet masks are great for adding treatment into the skin, but they don’t pull anything out, so when you’re looking for that quick detoxifying fix, reach for the clay masks.  Use as needed, but not more than 3 times a week.  To add an extra boost to your mask, mix a drop or 2 of Tea Tree Oil with your toner right before masking.

Apivita Face Mask with Green Clay $21.70 - I grabbed one of these at a pharmacy in Spain and instantly fell in love.  Its not at all drying, but leave the skin feeling fresh and the pores diminished.

Bliss Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask $55 - This is one I've used for years!  Dispense the dual pump product into your fingers, warm it up, massage it in, and in 15 minutes your skin will look poreless!  Definitely must have!

7.    Exfoliation

Granular exfoliation stimulated the skin, which can make oily skin produce even more oils.  It can also spread bacteria around creating more blemishes.  I'm a big fan of chemical and enzyme exfoliants.  These work by breaking down the proteins holding dead skin cells to your skin.

Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel $60 - I talk about this one all the time cause its so damn good.  The powder foams up and removes all dead skin, leaving your face fresh and glowing.  A definite must have, and it last forever.

First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Blemish Control Pads $30 - These are like your old school Stridex pads, only they won't rip your skin apart.  You can use them after each time you cleanse to gently exfoliate while helping control oil and tighten pores.

8.    Foundation

You have all your skincare on and want to cover up some of your blemishes and/or control oil, but are scared that foundation will clog your skin.  There are definitely some foundations that should be avoided for oily/acne prone skin (I won’t name names, but it won’t “Fix” anything), but there are plenty of foundations that are amazing for your skin type.  Look for something oil-free, mattifying, liquid or powder based on your preference.  Personally, I like the flexibility of a liquid, you can work it into hard to cover blemishes, and adjust the coverage as necessary.  My favorite for oily-acne prone skin is the Hourglass Immaculate Liquid to Powder Foundation, yes I use to work for them, and I’ve seen it completely transform people’s skin.  I even wore it myself on an occasion as a spot treatment to hide blemishes and pores and my skin looked better when I look it off than before I had applied.

 When you do get shiny through out the day, be sure to have some blotting papers handy.  Just press onto the areas of concern to absorb oil.  I'm loving the Milk Makeup Roll + Blot, they're made out of hemp and double as rolling papers, whats not to love!