NEW Origins Face Wash: Active Charcoal To Clear Pores

Origins has been a favorite skincare brand of mine for about 10 years now. Most products I have tried and used do what they say and do not irritate my skin in any way, which is always my biggest struggle with finding skincare. I have used the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and love it! Its a best seller for a reason (hint if you have not tried it you should) When I received the Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder I was so intrigued for multiple reasons! One since I love the Mask I thought okay this has got to be good. Two its a powder and that is very new to me and three my pores have been looking quite gross as of late.

Per the Origins website: “See pore-fectly pure skin in just 7 days! This concentrated powder water-activates into a creamy, effervescent cleanser. Ultra-absorbent Bamboo Charcoal clears pores of deep-dwelling dirt, debris and toxins. While the exfoliating formula buffs away dull, dead cells. Skin feels soft, smooth and completely refreshed”

So does this active charcoal cleansing powder do what it promises to do?

Active Charcoal, Origins Charcoal Mask

Active Charcoal, Origins, Origins Charcoal mask

YES! My pores in just a little over a week are visibly smaller and look less gross LOL! On top of that my skin feels smoother and looks less dull! The only trouble I had at first was determining how much product to use but you only need a small amount to get the job done. The above picture is the right amount for me. I add water and start rubbing my hands together to create the creamy cleanser. One thing to remember: less water = more exfoliation. So on some days I do this when I can tell my skin needs a bit more scrubbing! My skin type is combo with dry skin on my cheeks and side of forehead with an oily T Zone.  Therefore my T Zone typically suffers the most with unwanted clogged pores due to the oiliness.

I have been using this cleanser in conjunction with my La Roche – Posay cleanser which I absolutely LOVE by the way.  I switch off between morning and night with both and its just working. When you see results on your skin its such a good feeling. Since my skin is loving it I am going to add in the Origins Charcoal Mask in my rotation to combat my pores to the max hehe! I have tried many face washes before and this is by far the best for pores in my opinion.

What face washes are you loving? What are your must have products to combat pores? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

*BPAMC was sent this cleansing powder as a PR Sample. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own and honest. Some links associated with BPAMC are affiliate links. Thank You for your constant love and support

Active Charcoal

Olay Eyes Collection

“Introducing The Olay Eyes, a collection designed to treat the 5 eye aging patterns that affect 95% of woman. Whether your concern is dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, sagging or all of it, Olay now has a solution to making your eyes look ageless” If you have been following my skincare journey you know that my eyes have been such a problem area. Dark Circles, Puffiness and dryness all came with a vengeance after my son was born! Trying out eye products has been something I have fallen in love with because typically no matter the ingredient I typically have no reactions so its fun to see what works and what does not! To read other skincare blog posts see them here, here and here.

When I received this package from Olay three products instantly stood out to me. I will include a mini review with them along withe the product breakdown of this fabulous collection!  Lets get started!!!

The Ultimate: Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream

  • Dark Circles
  • Wrinkles
  • Puffiness
  • Supercharged with peptides & vitamins
  • Color Correcting technology

This is super creamy and moisturizing and does indeed give you some color under your eyes to hide dark circles. I really didn’t notice a difference in puffiness but over time the look of my eyes looked more awake!

Shop Here

Olay Eyes

The Brightener: Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream

  • Dark Circles
  • dual swirl formula
  • light reflecting pigments
  • gel to moisturize

This has a subtle illuminating affect and does make your under eyes appear brightened. I would mix this one with the Ultimate eye cream for maximum affect. However I do prefer my Origins Gin Zing Eye Cream  over these as it just worked better for me.

Shop Here 

Olay Eyes

 

The Depuffer: Olay Eyes De-Puffing Eye Roller

  • Eye bags
  • Instantly Reduces puffiness
  • precision micro rollers that cool & massage skin

Out of all the 3 I tried this was my favorite. You instantly feel the magic of the rollers and massaging them on your skin feels amazing. My eyes do tend to be puffy in the morning in general but after rough nights of sleep (mom life!) they have become worse! You can see the results and feel the results. I will be repurchasing this product!

Shop Here

Olay Eyes

The next two I did not try. I felt the problem areas these two eye creams tackle were for more mature skin so I gave them to my mother in law and just like me she is an avid Olay user and fan!

The Smoother: Olay Eyes Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment

  • Deep Wrinkles
  • Patent Formula
  • Pro – Retinol
  • Diminishes crows feet in just 4 weeks  – Shop Here

The Lifter: Olay Eyes Lifting Serum

  • Sagging Skin
  • Advanced Amino-Peptide complex
  • Hydrates to plump
  • Firmer skin in 2 week –  Shop Here

Have you tried any of these Olay Eyes products? I would love to know what has worked for you or what eye creams you just can not live without!!! Let me know in the comments below.

 

*This collection was generously sent to my by Olay, as always opinions and thoughts are my own. Some links associated with BPAMC are affiliate links

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seoul Mamas: Sheet Masks Review

Seoul Mamas mission is to ” hydrate and soften your skin; to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; and provide intense hydration to improve overall skin tone” This is what we all want right?  If you are looking for sheet masks that do just that for your skin, look no further.

In case you are new to this Korean beauty product, a sheet mask is a simple and easy way to treat your skins needs. You place the mask on your face and leave it on for 10-20 min while you sit back and relax. When you are done you take it off and throw it away. That’s it!! No mess of the mask getting all over your skin, on your hands or on your face towels. This is the exact reason why I love sheet masks so much. No mess and no fuss!

Sheet Masks

Sheet Masks

The Seoul Mamas Sheet Masks are made from 100% bamboo material and the ingredients for the serum are:

  • Caviar extract (filled with vitamins and minerals)
  • Hyaluronic acid (one of the biggest trends in skincare right now because it works!)
  • Apple and wild cherry fruit extract (filled with vitamin C and antioxidants)
  • Chamomile flower (helps with dark spots from sun damage)

A couple things they are NOT made with are Parabens and Sulfates which is a huge plus in my book. I am not 100% paraben free as I have discussed in previous skin care posts however I do believe parabens are a trigger for my redness & breakouts in my skin.

Sheet Masks

You can find the sheet masks on Seoul’s website here. They are sold for $8.00 per sheet mask (you all know I love a beauty product that is $10 or less)  or a box of 5 for $35, which is a great deal. The packaging is beautiful and sturdy and the sheet masks works. They have hydrated my skin and left my skin texture looking smoother and younger.

Do you want a chance to win a pack of 5 for yourself? There will be two winners!!

The rules for the giveaway are simple:

  • Must be following me on Instagram
  • Tag a friend on the picture posted on my instagram page
  • In the comments below tell me why you want to win
  • Giveaway will end 12/6 at 5pm CST

That is it!!! Good Luck!!!

*** This is a sponsored post and giveaway by Seoul Mamas. As always opinions and thoughts are honest and 100% my own***

 

 

 

Mario Badescu: Online Skin Analysis & Free Samples

An online skin analysis by Mario Badescu and then free samples sent to your door? YES PLEASE!!!! I had no clue Mario Badescu offered this service and I am so happy I came across it. As you know I am going through a skincare journey and its a slow process. I have to give my skin time to breathe in between trying products (especially when I break out) and I need to give it time to see if the product actually works for me.  If you are interested in reading some of my previous skin care posts you can read them here & here. So while I was researching skin care I went to Mario Badescu direct website. Although Ulta Beauty offers the line there is still something exciting about going to the direct source and I am so glad I did.

Once I completed the skin analysis I had no idea I would get sent the samples until I received an email asking for my address. Once I saw that I decided I was going to put it to the test and do it two more times. I answered the questions a bit differently each time but still pertaining to my skin. I do get texture but not all the time so that is the subject area I answered differently. Mario Bedescu sent me out two packages with samples per my skin analysis results. One I had sent to my house, one to my parents house but the one I did for my work never arrived. Not sure if they caught on lol or it just didn’t make it to my office. Either way this is a service you MUST TRY!!!!!

Click here for the link to the skin analysis

Lets talk about the samples I was sent per my Skin Analysis. There were some hits and some misses. The first thing I noticed was the product guide I received. Mario Badescu makes finding skin care extremely simple. Everything is labeled by skin type (dry, oily, sensitive, all ect ) which I find so helpful. I looked through my samples and then referenced them in the guide to see what they they claim to do.

Mario Badescu Skin Care

The first thing on my list to try was the Seaweed Night Cream since when this arrived I was searching for the perfect night cream. As you can see on the packet its listed for Combo, Oily and Sensitive skin which is me 🙂  Per the Mario Badescu website: “Wake up with radiant—never oily—skin. Mineral-rich Bladderwrack Extract softens and nourishes skin as powerful, moisture-binding ingredients effectively hydrate without the use of pore-clogging oils. Plumping Collagen and Elastin help further enhance skin’s tone and texture, revealing a silky-smooth complexion come morning”

I LOVED the way this cream made my skin feel but it made my skin itch near my jaw line. This is a sure sign for me the product is not going to work for me. I was so upset because it was not heavy but moisturizing and left my skin feeling sooooo smooth in the morning. This does contain parabens so that may be why as I am realizing parabens can be a trigger for me.

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream

The next product I tried was the Hyaluronic Eye Cream. WOW WOW WOW. I will be buying the full size. Even though it contains parabens as well it did not bother the skin around my eyes. This eye cream is incredibly moisturizing and allows concealer to go on like a dream and it most certainly made the area around my eyes smoother. A little goes a long way which is important to me and mainly my wallet.

Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream

Another unfortunate miss was the face scrubs. Not only did they break me out, I just did not feel that they worked in terms of exfoliating.

Mario Badescu Kiwi Scrub / Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub

The hype is real about this drying lotion and this is another product I will be purchasing. Whether you have a random blemish or its that time of the month this lotion is a life saver! Since having my son blemishes occur at random for me now so it wasn’t long before I put this to the test. I put the drying lotion on my blemishes at night and by morning they were TINY and DRY!!!! It was enough proof to show me why people rave about this product and how its award winning.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

I was so impressed with this service by Mario Badescu and I recommend it 100%. If you have tried this service I would love to hear your thoughts and experience in the comments.

What is your favorite MB product? The Rose Water spray is a must have!!!!!

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

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.

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!

 

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