Friday, January 29, 2016

[Re] Fresh Skin Therapy Vitamin C Serum Review

[Re] Fresh Skin Therapy Vitamin C Serum - $32.85 Cdn

Its winter again! Ah yes, the cold air, the dry skin, the burnt face from the snow and cold!  Nothing says winter like dry, dull looking skin!  However, ever since I found out about topical Vitamin C three years ago, it had changed my life for the better!! So what is topical vitamin C and its usage you ask? Well allow me to inform you!!

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is used to protect and help the face from wrinkles, sun damage, signs of aging, dark spots and brighten your complexion amongst other great benefits. Vitamin C can also help to prevent or treat hyperigmentation, defend against free radicals and brighten your skin.
However with all the advantages of vitamin C, the only draw back is that because it is an antioxidant, it oxidizes itself very quickly and once this happens, it is no longer good. You will be able to tell by the color when this happens to your product. It normally starts off clear and then turns yellow.   Because vitamin C is so hard to PROPERLY make, stabilizing it and have a correct ph balance cause the product to air more on the pricey side of skincare.  So I was happy when the Company Refreshed asked me to review this product of theirs.  Not only was it well formulated, but it also didn't break the bank! 

As soon as I received this product I put it to test by first comparing it to my check list and then trying it out! When it comes to vitamin C, a few things you need to keep in mind. 

1. Make sure it has AT LEAST 10% to 25% vitamin C in order to make sure it is effective. Next, check to make sure the active ingredients ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid is found in the serum.   The product has 25% vitamin C in it.

2. Make sure it come in a dark opaque bottle and packaged as a serum with a droplet or in a pump style form. Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it will start to breakdown once exposed to light and air. If it comes in a cream jar form, throw it out. Its garbage and no longer effective. Also, make sure when you buy vitamin C that you store it in a cool, dry and dark space. The absents of light will allow it to oxidizes less quickly.  This product comes in a dark blue opaque bottle with a droplet. 

3. Wear sunscreen when using vitamin C on your face as it makes your skin especially vulnerable to the rays of the sun. I cannot stress that enough. Even though vitamin C does protect again UV damage, you still need sunscreen for protection. If you decide not to use sunscreen then don't use vitamin C either unless you want the potential of walking around looking like you got a bad sunburn (which is what you will end up with, fyi). It is recommended you shop around for a UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 and up. Don't go lower then 30 SPF and make sure it says UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum. This is highly important.

4. You can use vitamin C once or twice a day (morning and/or night) as part of your skincare routine and it should be the first thing you apply on after your wash your face and use your toner.

5. Try to get vitamin C that is infused with vitamin E. When conjoined together, it works as a powerful anti-aging system.  Having ferulic acid and vitamin B is a mega bonus as well!!   This product has vitamin C, B, E and ferulic acid!

6. Vitamin C can sometimes cause dryness. It is recommended that you use a good moisturizer to deal with this issue.

If you are use vitamin C on a regular bases, you should see results within 4-8 weeks. It will make your skin brighter (not whiter or lighter) and get rid of your dull complexion and greatly improve any dark spots you have on your face.

This product truly met my check list and then some.  The ph balance was between a 3.5 - 4% and it kept my skin looking glowing and fresh.  I normally use Paula's Choice Vitamin C, however switching over to this offered me the same results for a lot less!

I would highly recommend this product if you are in the market for a good well formulated vitamin C that won't break the bank and you can get it in the US and Canada!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: This product was sent to me free for review.  However I was not paid for my review and all opinions are my own! 

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What Being Preppy Actually Means!

So, you want to be preppy, eh?!  Generally when we imagine preppie people, for many the only thing that comes to mind is a bunch of "gossip girl" b*$%hes who spent their days terrorizing other young girls in high fashion haute couture.  However for the rest of us not born in the 2000 era, we all know that preppy got it's image from Ivy League students who were well educated and in many instances, well off.  However not every preppy dressing individual is rich and a graduate from Harvard.  Nonetheless, its not uncommon to find this fashion sense of style does go hand in hand with this type of population because its roots did start in this manner.  Yet with all that being said, being preppy is more of a lifestyle than a fashion statement!  Food for thought.....

When I was working in NYC on Wall Street, I dressed very preppy.  My closet was mostly Banana Republic (which oozes preppy like no other) and I only owned, maybe, one pair of jeans and one pair of sneakers.  However the rest of my days (when not wearing a suit) were spent in knee high skirts, relaxed dress pants, loafers, ballet flats, cardigans and the likes that made the average non-prepister want to beat the hell out of me.  However, I stopped at headbands.  As much as they seem lovely (seem) that's beyond my limit of comfort.  Nonetheless, the rest of me screamed a J. Crew catalog!

My husband and I decided early on that all four of our kids would be dressed in the preppy style.  None of my child own graphic style clothes at all.  They all wear either solid colors or prints (patterns) but nothing with images on them.  They do own sneakers, but as well, shoes that are comfortable to walk in that still scream PREPPY!  None of them own sweat pants or sweat shirts and would never be allowed to walk outside the house dressed like this, unless they were going to play sports!  We make sure their image is that of a young "professional" child who isn't caught up in trendy clothes but well dressed in 'fashionable' clothes.  It is very important to us that our kids dress in an image that represent both my husband and me background and education.  We both tend to air more on the preppy side and less on the fast fashion side.  We normally buy clothes that are not fads, high fashion, or that will go out of season next week.  We stick with what we know, classic pieces and what works so that we can wear it year around without feeling like we got pushed off the run away high fashion train.  To use, dressing preppy has to do with our way of life, way of thinking and how we were raised.  If you ever studied this type of "culture" you would learn that this is more of a lifestyle and less of a fashion statement.  However for the sake of this article, we will use both terms interchangeably depending on the content of the paragraph.  

So if you are interested in joining the "preppy" lifestyle, below are a few tips to help you achieve this! 

Play Attentions to Brands! Brands are important due to the type of clothing style (and not designers) they can offer!

While preppy people do care about brands, it isn't the high fashion brands they go after, but rather the ones that can offer them the classic look they are going for.  Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch, Gap and the likes all offer preppy clothing that one would be looking for.  They are known for offering the docker pants, cardigan sweaters, ballet shoe style flats and the colors and patterns ones need to pull this look off.  However with that being said, preppy people don't push brand names either.  You won't see them walking around with a Calvin Klein label hanging off the front of their shirt.  So be conscious that while brands matter in order to offer you the style of clothing you are looking for, making sure the public knows which designer you are wearing does not.  Nothing only is that not preppy, but its down right obnoxious.  Preppy people are suppose to be very polite, well mannered and conservative.  Remember that before you buy something that looks to hot, sexy, flashy or too fashionable for everyday wear.

When looking for preppy clothing, be alert of a few things.   Preppy clothing is less about fashion and more about a statement!

1. While preppy people love colors to accentuate their clothes, don't go too over the top with flashy colors that scream "what the hell".  They normally stick with pastels and earth tone colors.  Bright pink magenta might be off their plate.  

2. Moreover they mostly tend to wear plain t-shirts (colored or not), solids, strips or pattern shirts WITHOUT graphics.  button up blouses/shirts, kahakis, dockers, skinny jeans or relaxed dressed pants. Polo shirts and boat shoes are a staple in this category.  And no, Its not a stereotype, its just how it's done!  Cardigans, sweaters, fashionable blazers, and dresses are always in their closest.        

3.  Shoes tend to be oxfords, loafers, ballet flats, riding boots, or stylish heels that don't scream Louboutin.  Again, remember, preppy people are stylish not flashy.  Not saying they won't own Louboutin, just says it won't be one of his eccentric designs. 

4. Purses, while they are a big thing, generally tend to be totes (monogrammed) or arm bags that are classical but not a one season wear.  

5.  Jewelry and accessories are important but again, cant be over the top.  So pearls, studded earrings and tasteful gold or silver is allowed.  One ring on each hand is ok.  All 10 fingers coated in metal is not.  Solid leather belts, cuff links, ties and yes in some cases handkerchiefs are acceptable for men.

 Grooming is a very serious issue in the prepster lifestyle.  No serious preppy person would be caught dead with dirty hair, hands, body or clothes.  So grooming is a must.

1. Make sure your hair is always washed, clean, cut properly and not all over the place.

2. Long and shoulder length hair can normally be found amongst this crowd.  Make sure your hair color is either your own or one that looks like its naturally yours.  Blonde hair that looks fake or black hair that looks goth is not found in this arena.  

3. Makeup is normally worn in a very natural looking way.  Naturally looking skin is always key in this group. Stay away from crazy over the top eyeshadow, harsh contouring, disco ball highlighting or eyeliner that looks like it can grow wings and fly!  Eyebrows should always be groomed and filled in to look natural and not like they belong on Instagram!   Men tend to be well shaven, groomed hair and showered.  Clear skin for both sexes is normally looked after in order to ensure it looks healthy.  Now-a-days white teeth is common among people.  So keeping your smile white and bright wouldn't hurt either with a dentist or OTC treatment. 

4. Diet and exercise is key in this group because form fitting clothes is mostly worn versus baggy styles.  so eat right, exercise and stay healthy for your well being.  

5. Keep your nails manicured whether you are a guy OR girl.  Nothing says nasty like dirty finger nails and ragged cuticles.  Biting your nails is bad as well.  Make sure your hands make a statement about you and not a deterrent against you.  Moreover, preppy girls tend to wear either natural looking nail polish, clear polish or the french manicure.  Wild, bright or vivid colors are seldom found here. 

 Attitude is everything!  So get it together with this one!!  No amount of money or clothes can ever cover up an ugly heart!

Again, being preppy is a lifestyle and not just a fashion statement.  While fashion is a large part of it, but being educated and mannered is an even bigger deal.

1. Be polite, no one likes rude people.  As much as you might (like to think) identify with NYC attitude and culture, the large majority of us know when you crossed over to the "oh no know he/she didn't" side.  Confidence is not the same as rudeness.  Being assertive, a straight arrow and dominant can all be done without putting anyone down, pushing people to the side or stepping over people.

2. Manners always rule in this arena when it comes to eating.  So, if you don't have table manners, learn some.  You can watch a youtube video, read a book or ask someone who has etiquette in this area.  Lack of etiquette, especially at the table speaks volumes about you.  So be careful how you tread in this area.

3. Be classy when it comes to dressing, walking and talking, as this is very important.  Wear clothes that flatter you and not make you look trashy, sleazy or unkempt.  Learn to speak without using curse words in every other sentence or argue without cursing people out.  This only shows your limited vocabulary and lack of etiquette when dealing with others when confronted with unpleasant situations.  Keep your cool (and tongue) at all times.  Walk tall with proper posture.  Shoulders back, stomach in and no slouching!

4. Plays sports like golf, rugby, cricket, tennis, ballet, swimming, hockey, soccer, horse backing riding and so on that demonstrate your athletic skills and team player personality!  That is always a winning personality trait when you can get along with others even in a competitive situation.

5.  Read books and not just fiction.  Learn about world events, sports, economic issues, religion, science and all things that well educated people would talk about at a dinner party or in general.  Your latest reality show in this circle might not cut it.      

6.  Be nice, polite, helpful and well mannered.  The better well mannered and educated you are (in all areas) the more likely people are to get along with you, respect you and want to get to you know versus those who are seen as stuffy, uptight, disrespectful and completely unmannered.  Those people don't really go far and have few very intimate close friends no matter what they think or say. 

7. Above all have an award winning character and integrity.  Because, well, if you don't have that...then really don't have anything.

So there you have it!  My tips on how to be a prepster!! Do you know any others I might have missed?

Keep Smiling!


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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter Survival Makeup for Dry Skin!

Winter Survival Beauty Gear!

Affiliated links in post

Let's be real, winter is harsh.  Unless you live in Florida where winter is probably 60F during the cold months, you know what its like to suffer from dry, chapped, peeling, dehydrated skin.  During the winter, I don't like to fuse with a lot of makeup because when my skin is taking a hit due to the coldness (hello, can we say -40F?!) I hate having to scrub my face to remove makeup when my skin might not be up to it.  And while I use all gentle well formulated products (can we say Paula's Choice), nonetheless dry skin still hurts when it needs to be cleaned.  So for today I am going to be talking about a few of my favorite winter makeup staples that I use throughout the cold season to keep my makeup looking fresh and my skin well taken care of!

Make up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer - $42.00 CDN

MUFE has a made a bronzer that looks as natural as J-lo's tan.  It comes in six different shades with three being matte and three iridescent.  Its a gel to powder form that literally is powderless and looks totally natural on the skin when applied.  Not a single trace of powder can be found when swatched or applied to the skin.  It leaves the skin a very natural looking glowy bronzy finish and works wonders over dry skin.  Since it applies powderless, there are no dry patched that this bronzer will cling on to.  This is always a plus when you have dry skin because makeup always seems to gravitate towards that spot and just accentuate it more! I have truly enjoyed using this bronzer during this winter season for the great non powdery look it gives me.  I wear this in the shade 15i.

Ah yes nothing goes worse with dry skin than foundation.  I don't suffer from dry skin.  However during the weather I might hit a dry patch (no pun intended) here and there.  Nonetheless, half the times I don't even notice it till I apply foundation, and then I see the dead skin hanging on my face!  Sadly by the time this happens, I can't re-apply my moisturizer because my foundation is already on.  So best thing to do is find a foundation that either hides or moisturizers your skin during application.  

One of the best foundations I found that doesn't cling, accentuate, or make the skin worse is bareMinerals Complexion Rescue foundation.  This foundation is basically a tinted moisturizer (BB, CC cream) in a gel like form.  However, what's different from the rest that I have tried is that this gel cream literally helps to moisturize the skin and does wonders on dry patches.  During the winter months, this is my go-to product because of its amazing skin properties.  It really does hydrate the skin and gives you one of the most natural looks I have ever seen.  It just looks like you have nothing on but your natural skin.  It does wonders in evening out my complexion, hydrating it and providing flawless seamless coverage.  This won't hide any serious imperfections you have on your face as it provides sheer to very modest medium coverage, but it will give you the best looking skin I have seen so far! I wear this in the shade, Vanilla. 


It sounds so luxurious by simply saying the words Yves Saint Laurent or YSL.  They truly do make amazing makeup products.  And while not all their cosmetics are amazing, the large majority are really worth looking into.  One of their most amazing products I have ever tried is their Volupte Tint-In-Oil gloss.  Not only is this a gloss with amazing shine and colors to die to for, but it comes in the form of an oil that truly hydrates your lips for hours.  Its not messy, sticky nor does it smell or taste bad.  It has a lovely rosey peach mango scent ( know, totally all over the board) with an almost creamy like feel.  It last for hours and once gone it leaves behind a lovely tint on your lips without that ugly ring around the mouth effect.  While they are a bit on the pricey side, however they really are worth the buy especially in cold weather where anything with a bit of oil in it helps to hydrate the lips to keep them supple.  Your lips can get badly affected by the winter months, so with this baby I swear my lips can survive the winter weather till Spring!  I wear this in the shade Peach Me Love and Cherry My Cherie!
Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette - $73.00 CDN

In the winter people tend to wear dark lips with more neutral colors on their eyes and drink hot chocolate!  So why not do all three in one shot!!  One of the best eye shadow palettes that came out during the end of the year in 2014 was the Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette by Too Faced.  This palette ranges between warm and cool tones with a pop of blue right in the center.  While a large majority of these colors run in the brown family, they all have great different undertones to work with just about all skin types.  They also offer grey hues in their palette to work in with the browns.  This palette always reminds me of a great snowy winter wonderland because of its amazing chocolate smell and colors that just make you want to curl up by the fire! Well...maybe not all that dramatic but still the eyeshadows are worth taking a few looks at yourself in the mirror as you cozy by a fire!

Lavanila The Healthy Dedorant - $17.00 CDN

Lets be honest we tend to sweat a lot in the winter just like in the summer.  In the winter with all the layers we need to wear to keep warm, sweating just comes naturally.  One of the things I try to do in my life is eat right, sleep right, and use good healthy products on my body in order to keep with the whole healthy effect.  I hate using deodorant with aluminum in it, because I personally don't think its healthy.  So I was totally excited when Lavanila came out with a complete 100% all natural deodorant with no aluminum or anything that might be harsh to your skin.  They come in five scents with lavender being my favorite!  It applies on like a white balm without leaving a white stain on my clothes.  It last all day and  keeps me dry with no smell.  I was at first a little skeptical because it was all natural, and many times all natural products tend to fail in the smell department protection area.  But this truly was a winner for me in my books as one of the best products I have ever tried!

So their you have it, my staple items for the winter to survive the cold harsh weather in style!  What are you staple items? Let me know down below!

Keep Smiling!

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer

Make up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion Bronzer - $42.00 CDN

I have only ever tried two products from Make up For Ever (MUFE) in my life.  Their lip liner which I bought last year, and their HD foundation.  However, you can't really judge a company based on one lip liner as its practically non-existent once you apply your lipstick over it.  Nor can I judge them on a foundation that I tried that just didn't work for me.  Nonetheless, I heard that they make amazing quality professional makeup that both makeup artists and non-makeup artists can appreciate.  So hence why I never gave up on them.  

I have been recently on the hunt for a good grey tone bronzer, or bronzer in general that doesn't pull too red, brown or orange on the skin.  Since I am pretty fair skin, I need to be carefully that the sun kiss look I am going after doesn't end up being the sun burnt look I was trying to avoid.  I have heard about these  MUFE bronzers from the Youtubers that I watch, but I was just not ready to try another bronzer that wasn't my soleil tan de chanel bronzer.  What can I say, I'm a creature of habit and once I find something I like, I stick to it.  However I also noticed that I really did need something a bit more darker and greyer in tone for the winter months.  While I am not one to collect copious amounts of makeup, I do believe in allowing yourself 2-3 different varieties in each makeup category in order to work with your skin tone that can be affected with the sunny months of the year.  While I don't EVER tan, however I do know a darker bronzer was in order and looked better during the winter then a lighter one for the summer.

MUFE back in summer of 2015 came out with six different bronzing shades in two different formats for light, medium and darker skin tones.  The bronzers come in either a matte (M) or iridescent (I) form.  The bronzer itself, regardless of what shade you get it in is really something to talk about.  MUFE claims their bronzer is a gel to powder finish.  While I can't really say if it is really a gel (as I'm not going to study the bronzer in my chemistry class) however what I can say is that this is a formula that I have never seen before! The bronzer is pressed down and so finely milled that when you swipe it with either your finger or brush, absolutely NO fallout appears.  I mean none! No light dust of bronzer was on my finger, on the pan or in the air.  It was literally like a gel to powderless powder form.  Moreover, in order to even see the color you need to use a dense makeup brush or a good hard finger swipe for the color to appear.  

They state that the bronzer is waterproof.  I can totally attest to that.  I swiped the bronzer with my finger four times and drew four lines on the back of my right hand to check out the shade.  I let it set and then went about my normal day.  I must of washed and dried my hands a million times, yet the bronzer did not move. I had to finally grab a dish sponge and scrub that bronzer off, only to still be left behind with one finger swipe.  

In regard to the bronzers format, you can either get them in a matte or iridescent finish.  The matte colors all seem to offer a lighter shade (10m, 20m, 30m) in each skin tone category, while the iridescent finishes (15i, 25i, 35i) (darker shades from their matte counterpart) leave behind a very small amount of shimmer and dare I say (gasp) sparkle when applied to the skin.  However unless you (now here comes the bronx out of me) "are all up in my grill" (literally) you really won't see the shimmery effects.  However in the sunlight, you catch a small beautiful glimpse of what looks like shimmery natural sparkling skin.  

I wear 15i since I am pretty fair skin.  I applied this bronzer on my bare face at first without any foundation underneath and was surprised on how quick it just lite up my face.  With foundation, it did the same thing.  While I'm not a huge fan of the shimmery looks, however I do appreciate the fact that its very subtle.  If I could do it all over again (which I will once this bronzer runs out) I would buy it in the 10m format because you can't contour with shimmery iridescent bronzers.  They really just don't look natural,  but you can bronzer with them.  Mattes on the other hand, you can contour and bronzer (or do all in one) and be left with a natural looking finish.

This bronzer (15i) really does leave a very and I mean very natural looking finish on your skin that almost looks like you were born with it.  Since it is "powderless" it applies to the skin like a second skin and comes off as you were naturally kissed by the rays of the sun.  I was really amazed by the look of this bronzer on my skin. Even close up to a mirror, I could not detect at all any powder on my skin.  It looked like I was sporting a sort of J-lo's tan glow on my face as if I was born this way.  In reality I am pale white, but hell with this on, I even managed to fool myself (well, almost).

I highly recommend these bronzers for an all natural year around sun kiss look. Have you tried any of them? Let me know down below what you think of this product!!

Keep smiling!

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Restoration Hardware Slippers!

Restoration Hardware has got to be one of the most amazing stores I have ever seen/shopped at!  Truly it is!  I have heard about this store before, but thought they only restored furniture.  However, upon further inspection, I noticed they sell furniture, household items, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, bedroom and living room items, lighting and so much more!

They also sell clothing items which is what totally grabbed my attention! I for one love slippers, and finding a good pair is hard to find.  However once I do, I tend to buy them over and over again till it goes out of style or out of commission.  Whichever comes first.  One day while watching my friend Kimberly Mofitt's youtube channel, she mentioned the Ultimate Luxury Plush Foot Duvet slippers she bought from RH and described them as the most comfortable slippers ever!  So I totally of course had to try them!

Ultimate Luxury Plush Foot Duvet - $29.00 US (on sale $9.99 for a limited time)

These slippers literally feel like a duvet for your feet.  They are the most soft, comfortable and no weight slippers I have ever felt.  They come in about seven different colors in three different shoe sizes for men and women.  The booties are down-filled making them seem like you are walking on air.  They have a non-slip sole which is great for going down stairs or walking on wood or marble floors and a plushy surface in order to give you a nice comfortable support to your feet.  What I love most about these slippers is that your feet don't sweat.  Since they are down-filled and it has a wide mouth at top around your ankles, you get a great flow of air that doesn't keep moisture trapped in all day.

This booties were easy to wash, dried easily and kept their shape.  My kids have dropped food, water, juice on them by accident as they walk by me with cups/plates in hand into the family room (which is a big no) when watching netflix.  I was scared that they might stain, but after one wash they came back out, brand new and clean as a whistle.  I have to say these are the best booties I have ever owned and literally feels like I'm walking on air all day long!  I bought mine in the color fog because that color truly just called my name! 

Luxe Faux Fur Booties - $29.00 (on sale $11.99 for a limited time)

Since I moved into my new house two months ago, it has been in a state of renovation, decoration and so on.  I literally have been putting together one room at a time which is still a work in progress.  One room, my family room is for the family (meaning the kids as well) to hang out in and that leaves the formal living room alone to be used for parties, friends and other family members when they come over.  I recently bought three faux fur throws for the family room because of how much I love the look and feel of that material.  They are so luxurious, soft and fancy.  All my kids were originally fighting over one blanket so I have to get two more to even out the score.  Nonetheless, while searching RH for faux fur throws for my bedroom, I came across their Luxe Faux Fur Booties and totally had to buy them!  I bought a pair of these booties in the color fog as well because I just love the way dark gray looks on me.

These booties can also be ordered in three different sizes and six different colors.  They are lined with  faux fur from cuff to toe and have a non-skid sole and good strong platform to support your foot as you walk.  These booties are also machine washable, however must be air-dried.  So I would recommend you washing them at night, and letting them dry over night so you can potentially use them the next day.  

These booties literally feel like a minx cat is in your shoe.  They are totally soft, very warm and just feel like silk on your feet.  I have worked with them around the house all day, and they totally feel comfortable and support my foot.  However, they can get too warm at times unlike my duvet ones that I never felt overheated in.  Nonetheless in the mornings when the house floors are a bit cold, these booties warm me up in no time!  My five year old loves them so much, that he has asked for me to buy him a pair due to how fabulous they feel! 

When drying the luxe faux fur and the duvet booties, try drying them on broom sticks in order to allow air inside the booties to avoid a moist atmosphere.  I did this with my duvet booties and by the next day they were dry, clean and no moisture build-up inside.  

RH is currently having a massive blow out sale with some items up to 75% off!  Both these booties are currently on sale for more then half the price and they are running out.  So get them while you still can!! 

Have you ever tried anything for RH? Let me know in the comments below!

UPDATE: Since the writing and posting of this blog, the Luxe Faux Fur Booties have sold out!!

Keep Smiling!


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Friday, January 8, 2016

Morning Skincare Routine!

Affiliate Links in Post
First, Happy New Year!! This is my first post of the new year! I know, I know it January 8! What can I say, I've been partying hard (not at all!!) sleeping in (totally a lie as well! I have four kids!!) and taking it easy for the first week and half! But now back to business!

On the norm I get ask what is my daily skincare routine! Because everyone has different needs for their skin and its always important that you tailor one to your needs and not try copying what your friends do, due to the different issues, skin textures and need we each have. I have two skincare routines, morning and night. While they are similar in one way, they differ in another. So for my very first blog post of 2016, I'm going to discuss my morning skincare routine that I do every day without fail! Now keep in mind, every product that I use has a function for the skincare problem that I need help with.  No ONE product will ever hit everything across the board.  Just like no one piece of vegetable will give you everything you need in your diet; as we all know different vegetables offer different nutritional values, same can be said for skincare.   
I mostly use Paula's Choice Skincare Line because Paula uses REAL medical literature journal articles in order to back up her claims on the ingredients she uses in her skincare line. Due to this, I have stopped using anything with witch hazel, alcohol, fragrances, dyes, perfumes and so on that would be constituted as an irritating ingredient based on these articles.  Trust me when I tell you, I literally saw my skin change overnight!   
Finally, if you are interested in trying any of her products which I literally swear by, click HERE which will give you $10 dollars off your FIRST order with the company on any order over $15.00!  I would stalk the site, as many times they have amazing discount deals and free shipping throughout the months!  So literally that one bottle of BHA with taxes can come out to less then $10 with free shipping!  The $10 will be applied automatically at checkout when you click on the link above!

I literally swear by this cleanser.  I use this product every morning when washing my face.  I have the 8oz bottle in my shower and the 17oz bottle on my sink vanity.  I wash my face every morning in the shower and at night at my sink vanity.  A little really does go a long way.  I use about a pea size amount and use either my hands or my clarisonic to cleanse my face with.  I wash my face in circular motion for about 5-7 seconds and then rinse off with luke-warm water.  Not only does it help reducing oil when cleansing my skin, but there is NO tight feeling left when you rinse the product off.  It lather well, no scent, no dyes or irritating ingredients will you find in this bottle!  It just leave your face feel clean and smooth after every use.  I haven't used a different face cleanser in the last two years that hasn't been this one.  Like the old saying goes "if it ain't broke, then don't fix it".

I use a Clarisonic Aria just about everyday to cleanse my face along with my PC Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser.  What I love about this brush is that it has different settings you can use depending on your face tolerance.  However I would recommend to be gentle, as your face is not asphalt and scrubbing it like sandpaper will cause damage to the skin with small micro-tears and irritation.  This device is so smart, that if you keep it too long on a certain part of your face without moving it for 10 seconds, it will turn off on its own to protect your face.  I use this brush all over my face and neck for 5-10 seconds in small circular motions without applying much pressure.  Again, I want to clean my face, not rip it off right! So the key is to be gentle at all times!
 After washing my face, I follow up with a toner to restore the natural PH balance to my skin.  Toners can also be used to help remove any makeup, residue and dirty left behind that your cleanser might have not caught.  However if you have a good cleanser, then seldom will this be a problem for you.
A good formulated toner will do wonders for your skin!  A bad formulated toner will rob your skin of its natural oils and damage the skin barrier with harsh ingredients like alcohol and witch hazel which are commonly found in toners! Choose a toner that is free of harsh ingredients, restores the PH balance to your face after cleansing and helps to get rid of any residual dirty.  Also, the most important thing is to use a toner that is right for your skin type.  Don't use over emollient toners if you have oily skin as this might make your face feel more greasy and lead to breakouts.  Or acne toners if you have normal skin with no acne issues as this might dry your face out.  Always work with the skin you have and not with what you wish you had.  Working with the skin type and texture you have can potentially get you the skin you want to have when you use right products which are formulated with good ingredients!

After toning, comes my favorite part!! My BHA! I have always said, if I was stuck on a desert island I would bring three things with me.  Sunscreen, chapstick and BHA!  I literally apply this on hands about two drops and rub it on my face without a cotton round. Reason for this, is because BHA is not used to clean residual dirty of your face per se.  Its meant to stay on your face and exfoliate your skin chemically throughout the day.  So using a cotton round to apply this treatment, will make you waste this precious product for no reason.
BHA is literally a miracle cure over night for many skincare issues.  BHA is basically Beta Hydroxy Acid (or salicylic acid) that not only cleans the top layer of your skin, but also goes deep down into the pore to clear it out, causes cell turnover by actually exfoliating the under layer of the skin thus push through new skin and skin cells to the top layer of the face.  I swear by this product morning and night!  BHA is literally on my list of best of the best and I recommend it to everyone!! 

While I use daily (morning and night) my BHA, I also changing it up a few times a week with AHA (Alpha Hydorxy Acid) to chemically exfoliate the surface of my skin from any sun damage, dark spots and wrinkles that occur over time. This AHA comes in a light weight lotion form, and I apply it directly after applying my toner.  If I use AHA that morning I wouldn't use my BHA till night time.  Using both at the same time, can cause a serious irritation. Trust me, I should know, I did it once by accident for a month not realizing that AHA and BHA shouldn't be mixed that way! Talk about a burn if I ever did see one!! 
The reason why I using AHA and BHA (on separate days) is because; while I am diligent to wear SPF 60 if I go out during the day ALWAYS, however sun damage occurs from the moment a ray from the sun hits your face. Even with SPF 30 and up on your face, a small portion of the rays still do penetrate the skin.  So I make sure to keep my skin looking fresh, young and exfoliated with my AHA throughout the week.  While SPF will block the UVA/UVB rays from the sun (as long as its a board spectrum) AHA will help get rid of the damage left behind from the sun, aging and pollution we all deal with on a daily basis.

After toning my skin and applying either my AHA or BHA for the day, I follow up with my Vitamin C serum.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant that works beautifully when applied to the skin.  It clears up uneven skin tone, helps with hyperpigmentation, brightens skin (not whitens) and gives your complexion a health radiant glow all around.  Next to my BHA, vitamin c is my next best skincare product that I swear by.  I have been using this product for over two years now at the 25% mark and have truly seen a difference in my skin.  

Since vitamin c is an antioxidant, it is very sensitive to light and air.  So make sure to ALWAYS get vitamin c in a liquid serum form that dispenses from either a pump or a droplet bottle.  Make sure the bottle is dark or not see-through and that the vitamin c formula is at least 10% in order to see a difference in your face.  Stay away from any vitamin c that say it contains witch hazel or alcohol.  This will not only dry out your skin and damage the protective barrier, but will basically negate the usefulness of vitamin c.  A well formulated vitamin c will greatly improve your complexion.  For more information on vitamin c, click HERE on my blog post about vitamin c.

Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster - $45 USD

After I apply my vitamin c, I follow up with my Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster. This has got to be literally magic in a bottle with the amazing affects you are left with after a couple of uses. 
Now what is Hyaluronic Acid you ask? Good question! Let me tell you!! Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is found naturally in the human body and seen in high dosages in babies. Have you ever wondered why babies and small children always look like they have beautiful supple plumpy skin? Well its because of the hyaluronic acid in their system. Its a major component of skin tissue that give babies this beautiful plushy effect. Skin in general holds about fifty percent of your body’s hyaluronic acid in it. However as we get older we lose a lot of it and thus aging takes it toll. Hyaluronic Acid plumps and moisturizes skin and helps to heal and comfort it when its suffered damage. Hyaluronic Acid also prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming and helps by retaining moisture in the skin and creating a cushion like effect to help plump out the lines as we age. Needless to say, this is some good stuff! However with all being said, HA only works when it formulated properly and is not diluted or adulterated with alcohol, dyes or fragrances.   

This product is truly worth investing in if you have fine lines and wrinkles and need a serum to serious help plump up your skin!

Paula's Choice Resist Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Serum - $36 USD   

After I apply my hyaluronic acid, I always follow up with an antioxidant serum that is super charged and packed with ingredients to help flourish my skin to its best state possible.  Serum are amazing, because a well formulate serum will (just like vegetables) bring to the table a great array of other ingredients and antioxidants that help and protect skin in many different ways.  A good serum will promote good cell turnover, leave your face feeling well attended to and will not dry, damage or destroy your skin in any manner.   

The resist ultra light super antioxidant serum contains vitamin C, vitamin E, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sea whip extract to name a few.  These ingredients are great to help skin look and feels its best while promoting anti-aging in order to help fight signs of fine lines and wrinkle that form on our face due to aging or sun damage.

Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator - $32 USD

After I am done applying my resist ultra light antioxidant serum, I follow up with my light weight moisturizer. This moisturizer is so light weight, that it literally feels like you have nothing on, but leaves your skin feeling moisturized, non-greasy and well hydrated.  This lotion is a gel like texture with a silky feeling that leaves your face feeling smooth, bright and health.    

Resist Anti-Aging Clear Skin Hydrator has a proven anti-wrinkle and skin-clearing ingredients that shows results when used daily.  I apply this lotion morning and night after my skincare routine.  This lotion helps with collagen production, sun damage, uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation.  Lactoperoxidase is an ingredient found in this lotion that helps to eliminate breakouts while helping the skin to naturally repair itself from damage.   I love this lotion due to all its healthy properties and affects!

EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47

Finally and mostly the MOST important part of my skincare routine is SUNSCREEN!  And here's why.  If you don't wear sunscreen after using AHA, BHA and vitamin c, not only are damaging your skin further (from the sun rays) and un-doing all the hard work these products are made to do, but you are also exposing yourself to harmful rays throughout the day.  My sunscreen is my friend and I wear sunscreen EVERYDAY if I go out throughout the day regardless of the weather condition. Unless its night time, sunscreen is always applied to my face.  In order to be protected from both the UVA/UVB rays, you need to use a broad-spectrum SPF that is at least 30 and up.  Anything less then SPF 30 and not board-spectrum will do little to nothing in order to protect your skin.  Click HERE to read my blog post on why sunscreen is so important to your daily skincare routine. 

Lastly, never dilute your sunscreen with makeup or your face cream as it will lower the effectiveness of the SPF.  Moreover, never rely solely on your makeup that claims to have SPF in order to protect your skin. Research has shown that unless you apply your makeup six times over and extremely heavily, then the SPF is rendered useless.  Click HERE for that blog post on those facts.  

So there you have it! My morning skincare routine!  Tell me what's yours!!

Keep Smiling!


FTC: All opinions are my own.  No one paid me to write this and yeah I bought EVERYTHING with my own money!! :)

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