Skin

July Beauty Favorites - 2017:

 

"If the world is cold, make it your business to build fires."

- Horace Traubel

 

 

 

Hello darlings!

Here are my July beauty favorites! These are the makeup and skincare products I have been loving lately.

 

I struggled a lot with my skin the past few months so I didn't wear makeup as much as I usually do; I've found a few skincare products that saved my skin so let's talk about those first:

 

Drunk Elephant is a brand that I've quickly fallen in love with these past few months. They pride themselves on minimal, non-toxic ingredients and are said to be safe for even the most sensitive of skin. Their bright packaging is what first caught my eye when I found them in Sephora and their story is what made me try them. I'm so glad I did because I've been loving quite a few of their products! They are pricey so I'm slowly adding to my collection.

The C-Firma Day Serum ($80) is a Vitamin C serum made to brighten and firm as well as help with signs of photoaging. I tried this because I'm starting to see more and more sun damage pop up on my skin and I'd like to fade those spots as much as possible! This is a light-weight serum that absorbs quickly into the skin. It does have a funny little smell (not chemically) but that doesn't bother me much. It goes away once you've massaged it into the skin.

Although I haven't been using this long enough to say that I've seen amazing changes or anything... I've been enjoying it! I will update you guys as I continue using it.


Next up are two products from Dr. Jart. These were sent to me by the company (for PR unboxings follow my snapchat: @themakeupaffair) and they must have gotten the Bat Signal letting them know I needed them because I was recovering from yet another allergic reaction when these arrived and within two days, my skin was no longer dry, flaky and irritated! I was instantly hooked.

I am in NO WAY shape or form being paid to say that! I truly mean it.

Dr Jart Ultimate Hydro Gel review

Ultimate Hydro Gel ($39) is a gel moisturizer that is said to brighten and deliver long-lasting moisture. I can't agree with this more! I layered this on the areas that I had flaking, dry skin and let it just sit and soak in... As soon as it did soak in, I added another layer. This made such a huge difference! It's the only moisturizer right now that is helping calm that irritation down. Thank Goodness!

Dr Jart favorites

It has a seal to help keep the product contained as well as a little spatula so you don't have to stick your fingers in the product. It helps to keep it sanitary!

Dr Jart Ultimate Hydro Gel

You can probably tell that I've already put quite a dent in this! It's a gel based moisturizer so a little bit goes a long way and it absorbs quickly into the skin.

My other favorite from Dr Jart is the eye gel that is also part of this Hydro Gel line:

Dr Jart Hydro Soothe Eye Gel review

The Hydro Soothe eye gel ($42) became a quick favorite because of that gel formula! I'm very prone to milia on my eyes and cheeks and this is one of the only eye creams I've been able to use that doesn't cause them!

Hallelujah!!!

Dr Jart Hydro Soothe Eye gel

This also absorbs really quickly! If you have super dry under-eyes, this may not be enough moisture for you as it is super lightweight and not one of those thicker, more emollient eye creams you may be used to.


On to the makeup! :)

 

Benefit Brow product favorites

Benefit's brow products..... HOW have I never tried these before?!? I am obsessed!!! I will forever grab these before Anastasia's brow products from now on. They are that good. I'm trying out a few of their other brow products as well but these four are my current obsessions.

3D Browtones ($24) - This is an interesting product. It's a brow gel but it is meant to highlight areas of your brows. You want to pick up the shade that is slightly lighter than your brows and it will soften the look of darker brows or enhance lighter brows by adding dimension. I've been loving using this in the inner portion of my brows to keep that feathery, lighter look and to keep the inner portion from looking too harsh.

Ka-Brow ($24) - If you've ever used Anastasia's Dip Brow, this is pretty much Benefit's version of that... But in my opinion, it's better and easier to use. They describe it as a cream-gel and I think that's a perfect description. That stem coming out from the top of the jar is a small angled brush, I don't use it but it's actually pretty good quality! If you'd tried Dip Brow and struggled with it or completely hated it, try this! It's SO easy to use.

Gimme Brow ($24) - This has been a staple in my routine for years. It is a brow gel with microfibers that helps to add not only color to your brows but the fibers fill in sparser areas. It's just perfection. I love to use this on full-glam days all the way to no-makeup days. This helps to add texture back to your brows after filling them in. And on days when I wear no makeup, I like to throw this on to quickly fill my brows in without them looking too made up!

Precisely, My Brow Pencil ($24) - This is your Brow Wiz dupe! Dual ended, product on one side and spoolie on the other. This formula is incredible! It's not too dry, not too creamy. It lasts all day! It's the perfect brow pencil.


Next up are a few products from bareMinerals. I will start by saying that I haven't had the best experience with their products. Most were fails for me in the past but these are some new products they've recently released and oh my goodness, I am in love! These are phenomenal!!

bareMinerals Combo Control Primer review.JPG

bareMinerals Combo Control Primer ($26) - I haven't been able to find a primer I've loved in a while. I've been testing out a few and they've just been okay. So when I first tried this, I wasn't expecting much... After trying for the past few weeks, I love it!! I tried it with foundations that have been breaking down quickly on me and I've seen a huge difference in how long they wear now. It controls my oils but doesn't accentuate dry patches like some combo primers have done to me in the past. It's a milky formula but feels almost like a moisturizer once you apply it and it absorbs really quickly.

bareMinerals Bare Pro Full Coverage Foundation review

Barepro Liquid Foundation ($34) - This foundation.... Man, was this a pleasant surprise. I absolutely hated the Pure Brightening Serum foundation so I was nervous to try this... But I love it! There are 30 shades available with varying undertones (THANK YOU BAREMINERALS!!!!). These two shades are Dawn and Champagne, both yellow undertones. I mix both for a perfect match because I am almost never one shade!

The claims:

  • Full coverage
  • Papaya Enzymes improves the appearance of skin texture over time.
  • 24-hour breathable coverage
  • MineralLock Technology that blends mineral pigments with natural lipids in the skin to lock in transfer-resistant coverage
  • Bamboo Stem extract for naturally matte, soft focus finish
  • Heat, humidity, water and sweat resistant
  • SPF 20

This foundation reminds me of MAC Pro Longwear concealer... If you're familiar with the texture of that concealer, it's super similar to this. It's full coverage, apply a very light layer to start with because it's very easy to go overboard and turn into a total cake face! The finish is matte but I can see why they say it has a soft focus finish because it's not totally flat. I will be testing it more to see if it transfers or not but so far, I'm loving it! It wears all day so I've been choosing this one for work quite often.

bareMinerals Barepro foundation

It comes with a pump that locks; awwwww yeah!!!!

 

bareMinerals Contour Palette review

Barepro Contour Face-Shaping Powder Trio ($34) - Another product I was pleasantly surprised by! These powders are super creamy and blendable. I've not only been using them to contour but I've also loved using them as eyeshadows!

bareMinerals Contour Palette Tan to Dark

This is the Tan to Dark palette. For contouring, I can pretty much only use the darkest shade. The middle one is too orange for my skin tone and the highlight shade is too dark so those two I use for eyeshadows.

bareminerals powder shaping trio review

These are so easily blendable! I'll be picking up the lighter palette next.


Those are my favorites from July! Let us know your current favorites in the comments below!!

 

xoxo.

 

 

FTC: Some of these products were sent to me by the company. All opinions are my own.

Update: Where I've been & I'M BACK!

 

"They will insult you, hurt you, defeat you, betray you, injure you, set you aflame and watch you burn.

But they will not, shall not, cannot destroy you.

Because you, like Rome, were built on ashes, and you, like a phoenix know how to rise and resurrect."

- Nikita Gil

 

 

 

 

Hey guys! I can't remember the last time I posted consistently on this blog. Life has been so up and down; around and around... And each time I think things will settle down, the Universe laughs at me and throws another curve-ball. But now I think, I hope, that I will be back to posting regularly. And on that note, I wanted to update you on what's been happening in my life and what's been holding so much of my time and attention..

In my last favorites post I mentioned that I would be renting a room in a local salon, starting my own business.... It took about a month or so to get that up and running... And within about another month or two, it all came crashing down. My entire business was packed up in boxes and moved to my basement... Put on hold. I posted a video about what happened on my facebook page; I will link that here if you'd like to watch it. Unfortunately, things fell apart. It wasn't the right place for me.

Long story short, I was back to square one... Figuring out where to go and what to do.

Thankfully, this post is to show what I've been doing all this time. My new project. My new space. I'm quite happy with how it is turning out and I am thankful to say that it is not only a space to take clients once again, but it's also a space where I can film and blog. It is bright and airy, cozy and perfect for what I need right now.

Here are some before and after photos:

This is the back porch of my home. I was not crazy about taking clients at the house but it's just another step in my long journey. A little backstory on this space, both of my parents smoke. And instead of smoking in the house, this is where they would. It smelled strongly of it and literally everything was covered in dust and a film from all of the smoke over the years.

Smoking.jpg

Nasty....

to say the least.

It took me two weeks to deep clean this room once it was completely empty. I washed the walls, ceiling and floors with dish soap and vinegar - twice. After deep cleaning, I primed the walls, baseboards, ceiling and doors with Killz Primer (also, twice)... This 100% got rid of the smoke smell, thank God!

 

 

 

Priming took another week or two because the walls are this weird textured wood. So wherever the primer didn't fill, it turned an offwhite-ish color. It was a nightmare!

After priming, I painted the walls and ceiling white; the doors a grey color.

I should also add that I did almost all of this by myself. My boyfriend helped with the first layer of primer and then at the end with hanging fabric, which I'll show in a second... So this is also why it took so long. I was so incredibly sick of painting at the end of this!!!

 

So the fabric... I had this vision of flowy white sheer fabric all over the walls and ceiling. Maybe lights hanging behind, but that is still a little undecided. So I went with Tulle (Thank you Sarah for your help!) and my boyfriend and I went to Home Depot to get everything we'd need to hang it all. PVC pipes and flanges to attach to the wall. This part I didn't document because frankly, I was so over it.. I just wanted the room finished!

 

 

Here is the after! The ceiling isn't finished... I was very wrong on the amount of fabric I needed. I originally thought I'd need maybe 50 yards... HA! It has taken around 120.... I was way off! So that extra fabric is on it's way. I will post photos of the ceiling once it's done! I also ordered some lights to possibly hang on the walls or maybe the ceiling.

But anyways, here she is!!!

Studio - After 2.jpg

I still have a bit of organizing to do but this is it so far! I'm very happy with how it turned out and I'm so glad to be back!!!

 

She's officially open and ready for business! If you're in Buffalo and would like to book an appointment, click that menu bar and head over to the - book an appointment - page! I have my menu as well as multiple ways to contact me!

 

I've missed you guys very much. I'm sorry for so many delays but I promise that my heart is still in it.... I'm back :)

If you've stuck around, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you!

New posts coming soon!

xoxo.

Glowing Skin For Textured/Acne Prone Skin:

"Find what you're afraid of most and go live there."

- Chuck Palahniuk

Hey loves!

Today's focus is a quick how-to on creating a glow to the skin without using highlighters!

 

We've all seen the dramatically highlighted women on Instagram. Glowing to the Gods. Love it or hate it, a "glow" can be absolutely beautiful and make you look more awake and youthful. But many of us don't want to go that dramatic - and more importantly for this blog post, most of us can't.

Highlighters can accentuate any texture on your skin like crazy and for those of us with texture, acne, and/or fine lines, we don't want ANY of that accentuated.

The trick? ......... Beauty oils! 

The oils I use the most often are Boscia's Tsubaki Beauty Oil or just plain Jojoba Oil (more affordable option) but there are hundreds to choose from on the market.

There are three ways I add oils into my makeup routine - During my skincare routine, before applying makeup, mixed in with my foundation as well as after applying all creams/liquids (before any powders).


Mixing with foundation:

 

I prefer liquid foundations and I always mix it on the back of my hand prior to applying. I find that this warms up the product a bit and helps give you a smooth application. Mix two to three drops of your oil to the foundation before applying.

This gives a luminous glow to the foundation. Dependent on the foundation and oil, it may lessen the coverage slightly so I always like to try different brands to see which mix is my favorite.

 

 

Not only does this give you a glow but if you are oily to combination, it may help improve the longevity of your foundation! When you add oil to the skin, it doesn't feel the need to produce as it normally would throughout the day so I typically find that my foundation doesn't break up as quickly as it usually would!


My favorite way to get an added glow is applying the oil over top of my foundation and concealer. This technique doesn't work with every foundation, some do get broken down by the oil and you'll find spaces that almost lift off of your skin but when you find one that works? Ohhhh, it is beautiful!

I apply about two or three drops to my damp Real Technique Sponge (beauty blender, drugstore sponge, whatever you want to use!) and dab the oil into the areas of my face that I want an extra glow.


Using an oil will give your skin a natural looking glow instead of using glittery/shimmer highlighters that will enhance the look of texture on the skin! Truly, I love doing this!

If you are nervous about using oils, check out my previous blog post! Never fear! Oils are your friend. :) 

Give it a try and tell me what you think in the comments below!

xoxo.

Oil Cleansing and why you need to do it:

"Commit to loving yourself completely. It's the most radical thing you will do in your lifetime."

- Andrea Gibson

Oil cleansing. Chances are you've heard about it... Oils are huge in the skincare industry right now - and for good reason! They are amazing for preserving and maintaining the health of your skin. Whether you are as dry as a desert, you'd compare your face to an oil slick, or you fall somewhere in-between, oils are your friend. Let me explain why... 

For starters, oils preserve your youth! They help to prevent/prolong fine lines/aging and they also protect your skin from free radicals as well as trapping and holding moisture in the deep layers of your skin. 

All skin types can benefit from using oils! Dry skin needs as much moisture as possible so oils are usually a no-brainer but my oily skin beauties usually cringe at the thought of putting even MORE oil on their skin.

But listen, hear me out.... Oil attracts oil! The more hydrated and nourished your skin feels, the less it needs to produce oil. That doesn't necessarily mean you will go from an oily skin type to combination skin - skin types are (typically) genetic - however, it can help drastically when your skin is off balance and over-producing oils.

......... Someone count how many times I say oil in this post.


There are so many different kinds of oils now. Cleansing oils, moisturizers, beauty oils, serums... Oh, marketing. Today we'll keep to cleansing oils but if you'd like to hear more about any others, let me know in the comments below!


The main difference in each cleansing oil is the base oil that is used. Each are good for certain skin types/concerns so it's important to know what your skin type is before purchasing!

Essentially, you have good and bad oils. The "good" oil, your cleansing oils, will grab onto the bad oils (sebum, dirt, makeup, etc.) and when you rinse, it will take those bad oils with it. If you are very oily/acne prone, I do recommend doing a double-cleanse and following the oil with your typical cleanser. This will ensure that your skin is 100% clean!

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These cleansing oils not only include specific "good" oils but they can also include antioxidants, anti-aging ingredients or acne-fighting ingredients for added benefits.

The best cleansing oils for your skin type:

Dry Skin:

  • Macadamia 
  • Avocado
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sweet Almond 
  • Argan Oil

Oily Skin:

  • Grapeseed
  • Jojoba
  • Safflower 
  • Evening Primrose
  • Hemp Oil

Combination Skin:

  • Coconut
  • Rosehip
  • Almond 
  • Apricot
  • Sesame

Sensitive Skin:

  • Grapeseed
  • Calendula 
  • Jojoba
  • Sunflower
  • Coconut

How to use:

You'll want to apply your cleansing oil with dry hands, on dry skin. Work it in really well throughout your face, massaging it in and focus on your most congested areas. It removes eye-makeup like a dream! After you are done massaging the oil into your skin, add some water to your hands and this will emulsify and break down the oils on your face. Rinse a few times. If you feel that there is still some oil residue left on your skin, double cleanse with your typical cleanser.


I have very acne-prone combination to oily skin. I have seen a huge difference when incorporating oils into my daily skincare routine. Not only for cleansing but also moisturizing and even in my foundation to give a glow and believe it or not, to make my foundation last longer!

Here are some of my favorite cleansing oils - 

Excuse the chips of paint missing from my desk - these Ikea desks don't last for very long!!!

From left to right:

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Cleansing Oil ($32) - This oil is more on the pricey side but I absolutely love Juice Beauty and this is one product I need to repurchase. It's part of their anti-aging line and is suitable for all skin types. The main ingredients are: Malic Acid, Aloe Leaf Juice, Jojoba Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil and Borage Oil to name a few.

Dermalogica Precleanse ($10-$40 depending on size) - We use Dermalogica at the beauty school I teach at and I have grown to love and adore Precleanse so much. It removes makeup beautifully and I've seen beautiful changes in our guests skin when they incorporate this into their routine. Ingredients: Borage Seed Oil, Kukui & Apricot Oils, Rice Bran and Vitamin E Oils.

Jojoba Oil (the Vitamin Shoppe brand - $9.99) - A staple in my household, I love Jojoba Oil and mainly use it for topically applying essential oils but this has quickly become a go-to for thoroughly removing my makeup. I love saturating a makeup wipe with Jojoba Oil to take off as much makeup as possible before cleansing with my regular skin care routine.

 

With all of these oils, you want to make sure to apply with dry hands to a dry face. Massage it in really well for a few minutes and apply water when you are ready to remove the product.


Have you used cleansing oils before? What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

xoxo.

Sephora Haul 2016:

“I used to have faith in fate, believed it would some day be us if I played the cards right, or if I tried hard enough to be someone worth searching for.

Then one afternoon, I sat there alone with a pen in my hand and bleakness in my heart, and the thoughts of you stopped providing comfort.

"You weren't elixir, but the plague I tried to avoid,” I said.“

I wish I could speak to myself a few years ago. I’d tell her to stop wishing on every 11:11 for a love so futile, to let go of someone who made her lose sight of her constellations and allowed her to see herself as a city night without stars.

I’d tell her that she was the universe he would never be a part of, and that will be one of the best things she’ll ever have."

- Ming D. Liu, Stories I'll never tell #135

Hello beauties! I placed an order to Sephora a few weeks ago and have been testing out all of the products I purchased so I thought it would be fun to do a haul and include little mini reviews of each.

I'll skip over the Caudalie Beauty Elixir because I've already done a review on that! Check it out here.

-

Next I picked up the Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Moisturizer ($45): I've loved this brand for years and have mentioned other products in previous posts.

I was curious to try this because my skin usually reacts well to glycolic acid, and well.... This brand just always pulls me in. I haven't been using it daily because it's pretty strong so I try to use it every other day. I can't say whether I like this or not yet... I'm not sure. I'll need to use it for a few months to really come up with a for sure answer.

 

-

The other skincare product I picked up.... 

Sunday Riley's Power Couple Duo ($85):

I've been absolutely dying to try both of these products from Sunday Riley and when I saw they had both in a nice sized kit, I just had to snag it! It contains the Luna Oil and Good Genes. Both are great sizes for a kit. Luna and Good Genes are 1 oz in the full size and in the kit, both are .5oz.. That may not sound like a lot but these will easily last you a few months! I'm so glad they made them large enough to really get a feel for them. Skincare products need to be used for at least a few months before you can really start to see changes (most of the time) so this is awesome! These both cost $105 for the full size so the price is on point too!

The Luna Oil is for use only at night and I've kept my Good Genes uses to night only as well. Apply Luna first and let that sit for about 5 minutes before applying Good Genes.... Let me tell you, I saw a difference in my skin within the first week of using these. I don't know if they put baby unicorn tears in here or what but I'm obsessed! My skin has been glowing. I've noticed so many more "good skin days" since adding this to my regimen and although they are both extremely expensive, I definitely plan on buying the full size of both.

This kit is an incredible deal!! 

-

I picked up the travel size of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light ($24):

I wasn't sure if this would look good on my skin tone or not so I thought the travel size was a much better option than dropping $50 on something I may dislike. It's .5oz of product and would probably last a very long time - I wish all companies sold travel sizes like this!

 

They have one other shade in this range and this is the lightest. It has definitely specks of glitter and it's quite warm. It's not a shade you'd want to use for contouring but it gives you quite the bronze. It's so much more pigmented than it seems! 

  

 

 

I'm a little too pale for this right now so I'll be saving this for when I get a bit more of a tan. It's beautiful though and adds a natural looking bronzy glow to the skin. It lasts all day and didn't fade after 7 hours of wear. 

 


Lastly, I went a little crazy in the Anastasia section of Sephora.. I already own the liquid lipstick in Pure Hollywood and love it so I was anxious to try a few other shades. I also picked up two of the lip glosses. I want to get the Modern Renaissance palette but it has been sold out so that will be the next purchase hopefully!

I picked up three shades of liquid lipsticks ($20):

From left to right: Naked, Catnip & Vamp.

I absolutely LOVE all three shades. They are super pigmented and long wearing. I'm not very picky when it comes to liquid lipsticks, I love almost every one I try but this formula is one of the best in my opinion.

 

 

Naked is a great nude shade for my pale beauties, especially those with yellow/olive undertones who have a hard time finding pale nudes that look "natural" on them. Sorry, the only photo I have wearing this one so far is a crappy Snapchat picture. I love doing a slight ombre with a darker lip liner.

 

 


 

 

Catnip is a bright, vibrant pink and although I don't wear pink lip colors very often, I grab for this one a lot!

My only complaint with this one, an error in packaging: the sifter is not working properly and way too much product comes out with each application. I could have sent it back for a replacement but I hate doing that so I just try to scrape the product back into the tube before application.


 

 

 

Vamp is hands down one of my favorite lipsticks I own. It pulls very dark on me once it dries completely and looks more brown than red but it's so unique and it's incredible for fall! 

 

 


Last but not least, the lip glosses! Unfortunately I don't have photos wearing these yet but let me know if you'd like to see them on! ($16):

Undressed is on the left and Gilded on the right.

Undressed is a beautiful peachy nude and Gilded is a gorgeous gold metallic!

These are the most pigmented glosses I've ever used! They are slightly sticky but not too bad and pretty long-wearing for a gloss. I plan to purchase more shades for sure! 

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So there's my haul! I hope you enjoyed it!

I recently placed an order to Forever 21 for some clothes so if you'd like to see that haul as well, let me know! As always, leave any post requests you'd like to see in the comments below!

Love you all.

xoxo.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

"No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell."

- Carl Jung

Hey loves! Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is a product that has been the topic of some conversation lately in the beauty community and after hearing so many good reviews (and some bad), I had to try it for myself.

This is a toning mist made for all skin types - except dry. The claims:

  • Sets makeup
  • Provides an instant boost of radiance
  • Tightens the appearance of pores
  • Solution for: Dullness/uneven texture, pores and dryness

 

On Sephora’s website,Inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary's famous elixir of youth, Beauty Elixir is formulated with grape extracts and clarifying ingredients to provide an immediate burst of radiance. The complexion treatment reduces dullness and is infused with toning rosemary, astringent mint, and soothing rose essential oil to prepare your skin for further treatments. 

 

Beloved by celebrities and makeup artists worldwide, the Beauty Elixir is the ideal priming base and setting spray between layers of makeup for a long-lasting and smooth finish. Perfect as an aftershave for men, the formula contains essential oils and plant extracts to clarify and brighten the complexion. The therapeutic scent is invigorating throughout the day and can be used mid-day at the office for an instant pick-me-up and in the evening to refresh your makeup so that it looks like you had just applied it.”

 

Man, do they know how to talk up a product! I’m sure you can see now why I was so curious :) 

 

As always, we’ll start with the packaging:

Caudalie Beauty Elixir Review

Beautiful! I love the frosted glass, it has a nice feel to it. Heavy and sturdy. 

The mist is absolutely perfect. Not too much, not too little. It doesn't leave splatter of product on your freshly applied makeup, which I am so appreciative of.

One complaint, the scent is strong. More so than I expected and I’ve never been one to be put off by fragrance in products. It’s not terrible, very spa-like but super intense. So if you aren’t a fan of strong scents in your products, this may be one that you want to avoid. Or try it in store to see if you’d like it.

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The claims? Some I agree with, others not so much. But let’s talk about the ingredients first because that will tie in with some of my opinion.

  • Water - The most abundant ingredient in this product. Pretty typical for toners like this.
  • Alcohol - Ahhh, why must companies do this! Alcohol on your skin is extremely drying and overall just BAD.
  • Bitter Orange Flower Water - An ingredient commonly used in skincare, soaps, shampoos, etc. Used as a skin-conditioning agent as well as for fragrance. The methanol content can make this irritating to the skin.
  • Fragrance - Another additive that I wish companies would omit. As I’ve said, the fragrance is extremely strong in this product. And fragrance is a known irritant for many skin types.
  • Rosemary Leaf Oil - Antioxidant and antimicrobial. Also used for fragrance.
  • Potassium Alum - An astringent used for tightening or tingling sensation.

These are only some of the ingredients, overall I can’t say that this is a product that would improve your skin over time at all but can provide some of those claims above, but also beware of the alcohol and fragrance that could cause irritation for more sensitive skin types.

My routine, as mentioned in the Milani Conceal & Perfect Foundation review (coming soon!) - I like to apply a thin layer of foundation and let it dry, follow with misting my face with this Elixir and once that dries, applying one more thin layer of foundation for extra coverage where needed. At the end of my makeup, I finalize with another mist of this product.

 

I’ve been enjoying this. I wasn’t expecting much; I try to go into every review with a clean slate and no expectations, regardless of what reviews I’ve heard. I definitely have been loving my makeup more than I usually do. I agree that it sets makeup well - does it provide any additional longevity? Nah. I wouldn’t say that. But it does leave a beautiful finish and can be used the same way you’d use a Mac Fix+ type product. It tones down any powderiness and gives a more natural glow to the skin. Which leads me to also agree that it gives a boost of radiance. Absolutely.

Does it tighten pores? Nope. I don’t feel or see any tightening whatsoever but I’d say that with just about any product with a claim like that. Most don't.

I also don’t agree to it being a solution for texture… It’s the esthetician in me when I say texture is texture and no makeup product on the planet can tone that down. But it does help with dullness, again due to the radiance it gives.

 

Overall, I’ve been loving this. Do I think it’s worth the hefty $49 price tag? No. Would I repurchase…..…… Okay, maybe. :)

Have you tried this yet? If so, leave your opinions in the comments below and leave any recommendations for other finishing sprays you love!

xoxo.

What Causes Dark Circles & How To Prevent Them:

There's many different things that can cause dark circles under the eyes, some avoidable - others, not so much...

Genetics - unfortunately, dark circles can be hereditary.

Thinning skin - as we age, skin thins and the area under your eyes can be greatly affected because the skin here is already thin to begin with. When this area thins with age, blood vessels become more visible and therefore, darker.

Lack of sleep - if only I could sleep all day! :)

Anemia - an iron deficiency. Skin looks more pale and area around the eyes look darker.

Lack of nutrients - an unhealthy diet can affect your skin in SO many ways, dark circles included. Try a more balanced diet and your skin will love you for it!

Dehydration - drinking water goes hand in hand with a balanced diet. Drinking enough water daily will help your body flush toxins.

Hormonal changes - gotta love being a woman! Pregnancy, menopause and menstruation can cause dark circles and puffiness.

Allergies/Hay Fever... Smoking and drinking also does not help! :)

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How to prevent them:

Drink lots of water throughout the day.

Try your best to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. Also, you can sleep with your head elevated (add an extra pillow) - this will help prevent any blood from pooling under your eyes while laying down.

Always wear SPF! (sun damage can darken your circles)

Slices of potato or cucumber - place on closed eyes and keep them on for around 15 minutes.

Cold compresses can help with both dark circles and bags.

The caffeine in tea bags can help diminish both dark circles and puffiness. Leave on your eyes for 10-15 minutes (make sure it's not too hot!)

Take your daily vitamins and eat as healthy as possible.

Eye creams - collagen, vitamin C, retinol. Gently pat in below and around eyes with ring fingers.

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An immediate relief from dark circles? Concealer! Pick a shade the same color as your skin tone or a shade or two lighter. Pat in with ring fingers then blend. Set with a powder (Ben Nye's Banana powder is a huge favorite of so many).

Any questions or requests, feel free to email me! marie_estycare@yahoo.com

Skin Care Routine

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Clarisonic Mia 2 ($150): I can't say enough good about this, and I may do a review in the future. You can use a makeup remover and two cleansers, and the Clarisonic will STILL find makeup left over. It removes blackheads and although they do not claim that these exfoliate your skin - they do. Quite the investment but absolutely worth it. There are different brush heads you can buy, although I've only used the sensitive one so I can't speak about the others.

** If you have acneic skin, be very careful. This can spread bacteria around if you have current breakouts (no matter what brush head you buy).

Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover ($7.99): super popular in the youtube & blogging communities... I like this, it works well. However I usually have to go over twice because doing it once just doesn't cut it.. But, I do layer mascaras so that could be the reason why.

Bioré Steam Activated Cleanser ($7.49): I use this to cleanse my face in the shower in replace of the Cetaphil. It is good to switch up cleansers from time to time because your skin can get used to them and if that happens, they could be less effective for you. I like to use the Bioré one for a little change, and I also like the way it leaves my skin feeling after. It has a few small "exfoliating beads" in the gel, however not enough to actually exfoliate your skin so... Not sure why they bothered but hey, as long as it works, right? :)

Cetaphil Cleanser For Normal To Oily Skin (11.99): This is fantastic. Always one I recommend to clients, and is also dermatologist recommended. It is gentle and great for sensitive skin, removes makeup well. It does have a scent that kind of bothered me at first but I got used to it after a while. Another cleanser similar that I would recommend that doesn't have as strong of a scent is CeraVe (they have a foaming cleanser for normal, combo & oily skin and a hydrating cleanser for dry to normal).

Cetaphil also has an oil control foam cleanser and one for all skin types. Additionally, they have a body wash, cleansing bars, and moisturizers.

Thayers Lavender & Witch Hazel Toner ($9.49): I did a previous post where I mentioned this toner. I can't say enough good about it. Works wonders, smells nice, removes any access makeup that is left over, and helps heal any blemishes faster.

Here is my previous post:

http://themakeupaffair.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/why-use-a-toner/

Keyano Aromatics Alpha Beta Exfoliating Cleanser ($25) & Dermabrasion Cream ($30): I used these in the spa while working at my school. I believe they are only available for purchase online via the company to professionals, however my school did have retail of this brand and you may be able to find spas who sell this, also Amazon has it (cleanser, couldn't find the dermabrasion cream on there)... The exfoliating cleanser is amazing, the dermabrasion cream can be dangerous if you don't know how to properly use it. It's extremely abrasive and many have gone overboard with using this and damaged their skin. But when used correctly, it works wonders.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque ($3.79): I also did a post on this. It's super cheap and more effective than many high end masks I've used. It's a clay based mask that dries up any acne and clears away blackheads.

More about this product in my post:

http://themakeupaffair.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/mint-julep-masque/

 

Clean & Clear Dual Action Moisturizer ($5.99): I have a love/hate relationship with this.. Although I try to avoid clean & clear products - simply because I believe many of these brands are geared towards younger skin - at times, this works very well for me.. Contains 0.5% Salicylic Acid, feels nice on the skin and is oil-free. It's very lightweight so I'd recommend it for summertime.

Burt's Bees Radiance Eye Cream (the small jar with white top) ($13.13): I bought this because I needed an eye cream for my state board practical exam and just grabbed it while wondering Target.. Have been using it for the past few weeks and can't give much of an opinion on it yet.. I haven't seen any results. It smells and feels nice though.

*Prices may vary slightly :)

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Contact Info:

Instagram: Estycareblog

Follow me on twitter!

https://twitter.com/marie_estycare

Like me on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/estycareblog

These are ways I can stay connected with you, feel free to contact me via those sites. Any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat! I’d love to hear from you <3

Business Inquiries – email: marie_estycare@yahoo.com

Daily skin care/beauty tip:

As you age, you'll more than likely need to reassess your skin type. Typically in teenage years, oiliness is more common. As you age, dryness becomes more of a factor because oil production decreases with age. You may have oily to combo skin throughout your 20's, then have trouble with dryness and flaking in your 30's.Skin type is not permanent so let your skin tell you what it needs! :)

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Contact Info:

Instagram: Estycareblog

Follow me on twitter!

https://twitter.com/marie_estycare

Like me on facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/estycareblog

These are ways I can stay connected with you, feel free to contact me via those sites. Any skin care/makeup questions, advice, post requests or just to chat! I’d love to hear from you <3

Business Inquiries – email: marie_estycare@yahoo.com