UPDATE SKINCARE ROUTINE: Hits and Misses

I know its been a while since I have given a skincare update.  Unfortunately this process takes a while for me because I don’t want to do too much too fast and I want to see if the product actually works with real results! You can read the start of my skincare journey here.

So lets just jump right in.

Since my last post I have added a few items and removed some. Lets start with one I removed. The Olay Regenerist Serum and let me tell you this was hard to swallow. I have been using this for 10 years and I am loyal to Olay. However I took it out for a few weeks and when I put it back in my skin became red again and gave me bumps on my forehead. I have no clue what is causing it but one thing I have discovered is products with parabens do NOT like my skin right now. Does this mean I would not recommend this anti aging superhero? NO WAY! This serum is affordable and works to give your skin a smoother younger appearance. I truly do hope to use it again some day.

Olay Regenerist Serum Skincare
Olay Regenerist Serum

The next two products I put into my regimen and I am LOVING THEM.  Lets start with the LaRoche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel Cleanser for Oily Sensitive Skin. A coworker gave me a sample she had from visiting Paris. I am beyond thrilled its sold at Target because I purchased the full size as soon as I finished it! My skin does not feel dry after cleansing and gives a very clean feeling as well.

I was in desperate need of a day cream as the Ponds Crema S cream was making me too oily and now I know also caused redness. Again has parabens in it. I use to use Origins a few years back but as you all know I am always on the hunt for afforadable options.  However I felt it was time to give them a go again. My skin is loving the Plantscription Power Anti Again Cream. No redness and my skin looks smoother and more vibrant since using this cream. I am hoping to try more from this line that is how impressed I am.

 

LaRoche Posay Foaming Gel Cleanser and Origins Plantscription Power Anti-Aging Cream Skincare
LaRoche Posay Foaming Gel Cleanser and Origins Plantscription Power Anti-Aging Cream

Last and certainly not least.  The game changer in my opinion. The Thayers Witch Hazel Rose Petal Alcohol Free Toner. This toner has helped clear my skin, reduce my redness, pores and gave my skin a brighter appearance.  Best part?? Its less than $10 on Amazon.

Thayers Witch Hazel Skincare
Thayers Witch Hazel

 

Are any of these products in your skincare routine? Have you been thinking about adding any of these? I would love to know in the comments.

NEW L’OREAL CLAY MASK: Exfoliate & Refine

As most of you know I am on a skin care journey and for those that may be new to my blog you can read the start of my journey here.  When I saw L’Oreal came out with new clay masks I just knew I had to try! Best part was finding them at Target for $9.99 as you know I live for fabulous finds $10 or Less.  There are three clay masks in the line: Exfoliate & Refine, Detox & Brighten and Purify & Mattify.

I decided to go with the Exfoliate & Refine as I can feel the build up in my T-Zone (I have combination skin) and I am always looking to refine my pores. So what does this mask do? In as short as 10 minutes the mask exfoliates and refines your skin due to the Red Algae Extract the mask is enhanced with.

Clay Mask
New L’Oreal Clay Mask: Exfoliate & Refine

 

You may be thinking what is Red Algae Extract. I know I was so I did a little digging and per the Loreal Website

“Red algae extract, commonly referred to in skin care as rhodophyta seaweed, contains high quantities of sulfated polysaccharides (carrageenan), peptides, carotenoids, and fatty acids. Together these components may contribute towards red algae’s antioxidant property. Red algae extract can be capable of neutralizing free-radicals that are present in the environment. If left unregulated, these radicals can cause damage to the skin’s structural integrity, which may lead to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines. Lastly, algae extract is known to serve as a thickening agent in skincare products, which can provide a more desirable and spreadable texture for lotions and creams”

 

 

Clay Mask
New L’Oreal Clay Mask: Exfoliate & Refine

 

Now that we know a bit more about Red Algae Extract, here is what this mask claims to do. Per the L’Oreal Website: “Exfoliate & Refines Pores Pure-Clay Mask addresses rough skin and deep clogged pores on face to reveal a polished, pore-minimized and smooth complexion. Immediately skin texture appears refined and smooth. Pore are visibly minimized. Facial pore cleansing removes dead cells, dirt and oil from skin. Imperfections are less visible. Not only will skin feel as though it can breathe, it will be healthy looking with a beautiful glow”

To apply the mask I use a foundation brush for easier application. I use the Elf Foundation Brush which you can shop for here. The mask is fragrant but its not overpowering and is not difficult to remove. Best part is you only need to leave it on for 10 minutes. To remove the mask I take a wet cloth and in circular motion remove the mask to really aid in the exfoliation process. I saw and felt immediate results!

New L'Oreal Clay Mask

My skin had a beautiful glow after just one use and over time I have noticed my pores have minimized, my skin feels smoother and the overall appearance has improved. Have you tried any of the clay masks? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Shop all three masks here

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights

The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights are a wand shape with a built in sharpener for even more precise application. It comes in three different colors: Topaz, Pearl and Champagne Pop. If you are into highlighting or enjoy shimmer you will want to add these to your collection.

So what does it do? What is it for?

The Sephora website explains: BECCA’s Shimmering Skin Perfector® Slimlight is perfect for precise highlighting. Each shade catches the light and highlights the features you love. Try applying the luxurious cream in the inner corners of the eyes to awaken the eye, down the bridge of the nose to straighten and define, the hollow of the chin, and on the Cupid’s bow to create the illusion of a plumper lip. Then wear it on top of each eyebrow to instantly lift the entire eye area and anywhere you want a swipe of light. It creates a touch of radiance and definition with a subtle and mattified, radiant finish. Formulated for all skintones and types, this easy-to-use, targeted highlighter comes in a twist up crayon applicator that is perfect for tiny areas you can’t easily reach with a big brush”

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights
Lid: Topaz – Brow Bone: Champagne Pop

The first thing I did was took the colors Topaz and Champagne Pop and used them as eye shadow. Let me just say…I loved the way they applied. The look I created was with Topaz on the lid and Champagne Pop on my brow bone. To make sure they had staying power I used an eyeshadow primer. They did not crease and the color lasted all night. Each Shimmering Skin Perfector offers high pigment that is creamy and blendable. Just like all Becca products the Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlight is versatile. So even though these are targeted highlight wands you can use as an eyeshadow or even put a dab on your lips to add a pop of shimmer.

 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights
Pearl
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights
Champagne Pop
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights
Topaz

 

 

 

 

 

With the wand shape it does make targeted highlighting extremely easy whether its the brow bone, down the bridge of your nose or the inner corner of the eye. With each slimlight having a built in sharpener a Pro Tip Becca mentioned on their Instagram was to use the color Pearl on your waterline for a widen and brighter eye! Another perk of this product is the size. It makes them travel friendly since they are compact. They retail for $28.00 USD and can be purchased on Sephora.com or in-store.

Below are swatches of each color on my arm and you can also see swatches on different skin tones here. If you are interested in seeing live swatches you can find me on Snapchat: BEAUTYPAMC

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Slimlights
Colors Top to Bottom: Topaz, Pearl, Champagne Pop

Have you tried these? How do you use them? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

*Please note these products were generously gifted to me by Becca Cosmetics. My opinions are my own and honest. 

Urban Decay or Wet n Wild: Eye Shadow Primer

Let me start this post with a disclaimer. I have been using the Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion for 10 years and consider it a Holy Grail / Ride Or Die beauty product. However I decided I had to try the Wet n Wild Eye Shadow primer when a fellow Beauty Blogger @helloclementine suggested it as it was the first time I had heard of it.

Well lets me just say its a winner! For $4.69 it works just as well if not exactly the same as the Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer. Not only does your eye shadow last all day it does not crease or transfer. The only difference is the texture and color of the two. Both are thick and tacky though so you do not need a lot of product or it will ball up on your eye lid.

Eye Shadow Primer Eye Shadow Primer

Its hard to say its an exact dupe because of the color differences but when discussing Splurge vs Steal, the Wet N Wild is the winner. You will get the same results for a fraction of the cost. The Wet n Wild Eye Shadow Primer can be found at Target for $4.69. The Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion can be found at Ulta Beauty for $20.00

Have you tried both? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Worth It? Allure Beauty Box

When I received my August  Allure Beauty Box  it got me thinking. Is it worth the $15 monthly price tag? I am here to give you the pros and cons and will also go into detail of what came inside the August Box.  This way you get a closer look into this monthly subscription.

The Pros:

  • The only Editor curated subscription box: I am a very loyal Allure Magazine reader so to have their editors pick out products makes me feel like I am apart of Allure.
  • 5-6 products each month. Usually are true deluxe size samples and they have included full size as well
  • The Mini Magazine that is included goes into great detail about each product in the box (What the product is, What is does, Ingredients, How it feels/looks, Why the editors like it, the price and where to buy it!)
  • Able to try out different products for a fraction of the cost
  • The packaging: It comes in a glossy red box that gives this subscription a luxurious feeling
  • New Beauty Blogger? This is a great way to start a blog on a budget while testing and reviewing some of the hottest products on the market!

The Cons:

  • $15 monthly price tag where other boxes that are a bit similar are $10
  • End up with a stash of sample size products that never get used: This is my biggest issue right now. Allure offers a good amount of skincare samples. As most of you know I am going through a revamp of my skin care routine so I can not just try something out in the middle of trying to figure out current triggers ect.
  • Sensitive Skin? Probably not the best option since there are so many skincare options each month.
  • Expensive Full Price Products: Although I love beauty products when I see a sample of La Mer Soft cream that retails on the low end for $85.00 for .5 oz I know I will not try this because if I fall in love I can not justify this price point. I am all for beauty investments when the quality and performance is there but I am a very practical person as well. Case in point: $10 OR LESS TUESDAY on my Instagram.
Product details for the August Allure Beauty Box:  All information provided below is from the Mini Mag that comes with the box for product reference.

Allure Beauty Box

Supergoop Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50: Mattifying makeup-setting spray that will keep makeup in place, minimize shine and SPF. $28 Supergoop.com
Freeze 24-7 Anti Aging Eye Serum: Line Smoothing eye cream that makes skin look smoother and tighter for a few hours. $115  Freeze247.com
Pur – Lisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer: Lightweight hydrating lotion for normal, dry and sensitive skin. $55  Purlisse.com

Allure Beauty Box

 

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base in Nude Radiance: Lightweight luminizing lotion that is champagne colored with a slight cooling effect on the skin. $48 Sephora.com

Allure Beauty Box

Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach: A black brown color that glides over lids that is waterproof $18 Cargocosmetics.com

Allure Beauty Box

Wet Brush Midi Brush: Cushion Brush with long, flexible plastic brisles $8.99 Thewetbrush.com
Garnier New Whole Blends Honey Treasures Shampoo and Conditioner: $4.99 Garnier.com

Allure Beauty Box

I hope this helps you decide if you want to join in on this Subscription box. I will continue with this subscription for now as I look forward to it every month.  My biggest con is the skincare concerns so some products are being pushed aside for the moment. What subscription boxes do you have? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

Jaclyn Hill Ride or Die Makeup Tag

I was tagged for this challenge by Beauty Blogger Kate from Kate Loves Makeup and I fully accept. I of course watched Jaclyn Hills video because she is my ride or die you-tuber and I absolutely loved her picks! See her video here.

This was a lot harder than one would think. Pick one product from each makeup catagory (foundation, lips, mascara ect) and choose that product to bring with you on a dessert island. Although I am a beauty obsessed individual I still have yet to try multiple products for these categories. To be honest its because when something works for me I typically stop there. Typically being the key word here … hehe.  So lets get into the challenge

RIDE OR DIE MAKEUP PRODUCTS:

Primer: Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer I have been using this for 10 years. It just works. Period.

Foundation: MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation This was easy and hard. Easy because this was my first high end foundation I ever bought and have never looked back. It is so easy to apply because its a powder but settles into the face like a liquid foundation with a matte finish. Hard because I am just recently trying to find the perfect liquid foundation and if I am on a desert island will I want more of a hydrated feeling???

Concealer:  NYX Gotcha Covered Creamy, dewy, perfect coverage and does not crease on me. Oh and its only $5.99

Corrector: BECCA Cosmetics Under Eye Brightening Corrector I am adding this category because this product is amazing and if you have darkness under your eyes you will fall in love!

Face Powder: MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural  I just bought this 3 months ago. Where has this been my whole life????

Under Eye Setting Powder: E.L.F High Definition Under Eye Setting Powder I will admit I am very new to this category and just purchased this a few days ago but I am loving it over the others I have been using.

Bronzer: IT Cosmetics CC+ Radiance Ombre Bronzer This bronzer is huge and provides you with the option for shimmer, matte or mixed if you want.

Highlight: BECCA Cosmetics Champagne Pop Bottom line no one does highlighters like BECCA and this color gives the perfect glow every single time.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara:  Length and Volume all in one with no clumps

Lipstick: MAC Cosmetics Blankey and Mac Cosmetics Lady Danger I have two sorry, not sorry. I have two moods.

Lip Gloss: NARS Turkish Delight The perfect pink gloss

Lashes: Ardell Natural Lash to give that extra pop for a night out, event, ect They never fail!

Eye Shadow Palette: MAC Cosmetics Custom Palette I have been collecting MAC eye shadows for years. I love warm brown colors. Its what I gravitate towards. Some of my favorites are: Espresso – Bronze – Handwritten – Wedge

Setting Spray: MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix + The Travel size is $10 if you are ever interested in trying this. Its a great place to start!

Perfume: Calvin Klein Euphoria: I bought this perfume when my husband and I started dating 12 years ago and wore it on our wedding day. It has so much meaning for me but I truly love the smell and I reach for it over and over again.

Blush: The HARDEST ONE HANDS DOWN. That is why I saved it for last. If you have been following me for a while you know I am a blush /cheek product obsessed person. I seriously can not decide. I have blushes I have hit pan on but would they go with everything? Do I want one with a slight shimmer? Should it be matte? Pink toned? More nude tone? I am going to break the rules and bring three. Again I am sorry, not sorry!

Benefit Cosmetics Box O’ Powder Blush in Rockateur 

Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush in Apri-Cot in the Middle 

Japonesque Color Velvet Touch Blush in Shade 2 

TAG YOU ARE IT!!! Hope to see you all do this challenge please tag me on Instagram, Facebook or Your Blog so I can see!

Palladio Beauty Velvet Matte Cream Lip Color

I am still pretty new to Liquid lipstick as I have a love affair with lip gloss but as of late I am understanding why these are so popular and loved by so many! The Palladio Beauty Velvet Matte Cream Lip Color is no exception. They wear comfortably, are highly pigmented, available in 12 shades, have a doe foot applicator and the best part cost $6.99 at Ulta Beauty.

Per the Ulta Website: “Palladio’s Velvet Matte Cream Lip Color is a lush creamy lip color with a soft, rich matte finish. This velvety, full-coverage lip color is lightweight and sure to last. Enriched with vitamin E and aloe, it soothes and softens the lips, making them beautiful for hours. Botanical and vitamin infused. Paraben-free”

Velvet Matte Cream Lip Color
Swatches Top – Bottom: Tapestry – Panne -Damask

The swatch picture above is just one swipe for all colors. I found them to go on smooth and non patchy. They went on the lips just as pigmented and felt so smooth and comfortable. The Vitamin E and Aloe enriched formula allows for immediate hydration. They are non drying, have major staying power and pack a ton of pigment.

I would most certainly recommend these due to the quality and affordable price tag! A perfect product that is $10 or less!  Which colors will you be picking up?

Velvet Matte Cream Lip Color
Colors: Tapestry – Panne -Damask

*These Lip Creams were generously sent to me for reviewing purposes from Palladio Beauty. My opinions are honest and my own. 

Anti Wrinke + Engergizing Eye Masks

I was very excited when I received these Anti Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks by Grace & Stella. My undereye area has been struggling with dark circles and puffiness since being up many nights with my son. I was not sure what to expect but I was ready to put these to the test!

Product Details: (per the Grace & Stella Website) “Our special Anti-Aging Collagen Eye Masks eliminate dark circles and fine lines, and heal the effects of long-term use of eye makeup or improper use of cosmetics. 100% Collagen and other minerals present within the eye mask speed-up cell & collagen rejuvenation.This increases the elasticity in the eye contour while reducing eye bags and problems such as dark rings & fine lines”

✮ ANTI-AGING: Over time, you will notice a reduction in lines/wrinkles/dark circles

✮ SOOTHING & RELAXING: If you’ve been wearing makeup for a long time, your skin might need the rejuvenation and heeling our Eye Masks provide

Anti - Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks
Grace & Stella Anti – Wrinkle + Energizing Eye Masks

Packaging: They come individually wrapped for 12 uses so they are perfect for travel which comes in very handy. The packaging is gold so they give off a luxurious feeling and get you in a spa state of mind.

Directions: Start by peeling off the wrapper and you will instantly feel the liquid. This can get a bit messy so just make sure you are somewhere you don’t mind if it leaks a bit. Place the eye mask under your eyes for 20 minutes. They can slip off while trying to do other activities so take advantage and relax. Remember spa state of mind!!

Results: When the time is up hydration is felt and seen in the entire undereye area immediately. So have I seen improvement? Yes! When they say “Its like an energy drink for your eyes” They mean it! Over time my dark circles and fine lines have diminished. I am still working on the puffiness which may be a constant battle for a bit these days. I  am hopeful though that continuing these eye masks in my skincare regimen will help.

Price: The eye masks can be purchased on the Grace & Stella website for $32.95 for 12 packs. Here is something fabulous though! They are currently running a sale for $20.00 for 12 packs. They have graciously given my followers a code for 20% off their entire order that can be used multiple times and it never expires!!

*Coupon Code (non affiliate) BPAMC20

What are your favorite eye masks? I would love to hear what other products have been working for you!

 

Battle of the Foundation Brush: Morphe vs Real Techniques

When Morphe had a sale on their Elite I collection a while back I felt it was time to join in on the Morphe bandwagon and make my first purchase. I have seen so many fellow bloggers rave about the quality and of course many well known Youtubers have always suggested Morphe brushes. I was still not sure what to expect but knew I wanted to find out for myself! After shopping the Elite I Collection Sale I knew I wanted to venture out.  I added the M439 Duluxe Buffer Foundation Brush to my cart even though I have been using the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush without complaints. I thought how different can a foundation brush be but just had to try it for myself.

Picture of Foundation Brush - Morphe Brushes  So do I have a preference now that I have used both? Yes!

The hype is 100% real surrounding the M439 Duluxe Buffer. This brush retails $13.99. This foundation brush allows for maximum coverage without using a ton of product. It gives you a flawless finish as it blends the product beautifully. The wider handle makes it easy to hold which is also a bonus.

As you can see the the Real Techniques brush is much smaller in size and retails for $8.99. For me it holds onto my foundation which makes me have to use 3-4 pumps as opposed to 2 pumps with the M439 Duluxe Buffer.  The Real Techniques brush does give a nice finish  however I now prefer the Morphe Brush for 2 reasons and believe its a great investment!

1. To preserve the amount of foundation I use

2. Overall I like the way my foundation looks with the Morphe Foundation Brush.

Does this mean I will never use this brush again? Not at all. I have found the Real Techniques brush due to its size is perfect for contouring, liquid bronzer and blushes. So I will be using this for steps in my makeup routine for smaller areas of my face.

Do you have a favorite foundation brush? Or do you have a preference? I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

***Some links associated with Beauty Products Are My Cardio are affiliate links. Thank You so much for supporting BPAMC. 

 

My Current Skin Care Routine – Is it time for a change?

If you follow me on Instagram you know I have been very vocal about my skin care struggles. In the last three years I have had two children and well have gotten older so things are bound to change. Before kids my skin was a true combination (oily and dry spots) but during my pregnancies my skin was very dry, even in the summer.  Living in Chicago I normally am only dry in the winter but now things seem to be all over the place. I have redness, a lot of texture, white bumps, I feel more oily than “normal” and it appears I may be experiencing some hormonal acne. Not to mention a ton of build up in my T-Zone and clogged pores. So I have officially started my skin care journey and I will be documenting it all here on my blog.

First up my face washes and exfoliating scrub. The Olay foaming face wash is a keeper. It is gentle on my skin and does not dry my skin out. The Origins checks and balances I will not be repurchasing for now as it now leaves my skin feeling very dry after where a few months ago it did not. The St. Ives apricot scrub is a staple for me. It has never caused me any issues but I have stopped using it for a few weeks to see but I truly do not think it is causing my skin any trouble.

SkinCare1

Next up my day time moisturizer and eye cream. Ponds Crema S is beyond the most hydrating face cream I have ever used. It leaves your skin so soft and dewy. I will not be eliminating this however its too thick for the summer months as it leaves me greasy. I have placed in an order for a new moisturizer so stay tuned. Origins Gin Zing Eye Cream is on my Holy Grail beauty products list. I have never experienced so much darkness under my eyes before having my son and this stuff is like magic! Its $30.00 but you only need a little bit. I have been using the same jar for 4 months now and not even close to being done. It instantly yes I said instantly brightens your under eye area.

SkinCare2

 

Possible Culprits: I am not sure if these products are true triggers or maybe mixed with other products but I have eliminated both and my skin in the last week has shown improvement. Olay regenerist serum has been my serum of choice for day and night for 10 years. What I think is happening is mixed with the Ponds its clogging my pores and causing texture. So once I discover a new day cream I will be putting this serum back in my routine. It truly lifts, firms and gives a youthful look so I am hoping for the best.  The Botanics Micellar Water is on hold right now as a repurchase and here is why. After posting Micellar Water on my Instagram page I received a lot of feedback about how my followers use it. Let me tell you one size does not fit all and I LOVED reading all the feedback.  What may be best is for me is to remove my makeup with Micellar Water, Wash, tone, treat and then apply moisturizer. I  have been washing my face and then using the Micellar water to remove traces of dirt. This may have been the problem because even though it’s so gentle it may be causing build up.  Since eliminating both and replacing them with Thayers Rose Water Toner  my skin has improved. Stay tuned for my full review on this product.

Skincare4

Last up. My nighttime products. I adore facial oil for the winter and for my under eyes all year-long. Oil in general is just amazing for your cuticles and dry skin so I always have oil on hand. Botanics Facial Oil has been working perfect for under my eyes at night to lock in the moisture but that does not mean I am not open to new nighttime eye creams. Which ones do you use? I would love to know! The Botancis Triple Age Renewal Night Cream has been working and I do plan to repurchase because it’s very affordable but the smell is a bit strong. Here is how it is described on Ultas site: “Hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid intensely hydrates, while a blend of Vitamins A, C and E with soya protein help improve elasticity, firm and reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles for younger looking skin. Active plant extract Purple Orchid contains anti-oxidents and polysaccharides to help protect and smooth the skin” In the morning my skin feels soft and smooth.

Skincare3

I really hope to hear your feedback, suggestions and what products you found that work for you! Let the skincare journey begin!!! #bpamcskincarejourney