July Favorites: A Whole Lot of Hydration (& Silk, Shimmer, Mint, Honey)

Happy Aug – holy shit, it's August??? Summer??? Didn't we just have the Solstice???

I'm panicking too – but I'm also reflecting on some of my favorite products I've used this July. Most of them are brand new & were wonderful surprises – some are old favorites. There should be at least one that fits your budget! I hope you enjoy a little tribute to the month of July. I'm ready to start testing things for August.

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask – $25

I heard about Laneige (the brand) thanks to KathleenLights. She'd been raving about their lip mask in several of their videos. I immediately checked them out on Sephora & was shocked by the low prices – & high ratings. I didn't get the lip mask right away, but I was in need of a sleeping mask – this water one looked amazing, & compared to most overnight masks, this was practically pennies to pay.

I was 100% NOT let down by this product. You get 2.3 fl. oz. for $25, & the jar comes packed full to the brim. It's also sealed air-tight – like a yogurt cup, you have to peel off the top – & includes a little spatula for application. Major points for the hygienic packaging & the large amount of product for the price paid.

The first time I applied it, it sank in very easily, felt extremely cooling & hydrating, but didn't feel tacky or sticky – it also didn't stick to my pillowcase, which is a problem I often have when using sleeping masks. I woke up with extremely glowy, bouncy, hydrated skin that had little to no redness (big problem of mine waking up, especially around the nose area).

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Definite repurchase – & a reminder that KathleenLights always puts me on to good products with low price tags. The success I had with this mask led to my next purchase:

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask -$20

Okay – the success I had with my first Laneige product was a direct cause of my next purchase. Now that I knew that Laneige's other products were good, I was ready to try the lip mask that everyone – Kathleen, Instagram beauty bloggers, & the people reviewing on Sephora – was raving about. This has an almost full 5-star rating on Sephora, which is incredible…so I was excited to see what the hype was about.

Again – massive amount of product compared with other brands like Bite or Dior (both have overnight lip masks). A little product goes a very, very long way; it feels a bit like a gloss, just a little creamier. It could be worn during the day – you'd just get some shine, so if you don't mind that, I'd go right ahead & wear it during the day (I have done it!). It smells like cranberries & strawberries, & the consistency surprised me – I thought it would be a harder, balm-like texture. It's very soft, similar to the Dior Creme de Rose balm if we're looking for comparisons. This also comes sealed & with a spatula – again, major points.

According to Laneige, the mask's "exclusive Moisture Wrap™ technology boasts hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective film over the lips to lock in moisture and active ingredients. A generous layer of this soothing mask at bedtime helps reduce flakiness so you can wake up to lips that feel refreshed, supple, and soft to the touch." This includes Vitamin C, antioxidants, & fruits like…you guessed it! Cranberries.

The first night I used this, I didn't exfoliate my lips, I just used this product, & this product alone. I woke up for the first time in months with extremely soft, plump lips. I tried it again the next night, this time using the Herbivore Coco Rose Lip Polish first. The results were even better – lips looked healthy, hydrated, full of color, & plump without looking fake (I hate that look).

As someone who's continually dehydrated (thanks, chronic illness!) it's hard for me to find balms/salves that work really well on my lips. Glossier's Balm Dotcom in Rose (or Birthday if I'm feeling fanc) is my go-to for the day time, but it doesn't always work perfectly as an all-night lip mask. This Laneige mask is now a staple in my night routine – & I think it'll stay that way for a long, long time.

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Lip Balms

Now that we're talking lips, let me share with you the three balms I've been using this past month during the day that have been life-savers.

First off – Fresh Beauty Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 – $25. I know $25 is a lot for a lip balm – but this isn't "just" a lip balm. It can be used on other areas of the face (like the eyelids or cheekbonees or nose) that sunscreen might not settle into so easily. The SPF made a big difference on my lips – protecting them from the sun makes them less chapped, & using this treatment was proof of that. I talked about using this in my post about being at an amusement park for the day, which you can read here, in a lip balm post which you can read here, & also in an SPF post, which you can read here. Just know: it's great. & it is very cute, too.

Secondly – Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom – $12. This was released in June, but I developed new appreciation for it over the month of July. I've been using it as a balm – of course – a highlight, & a lid gloss. The shimmer in this product makes it very multi-purpose. Think of it as a cream highlight, but cheaper. Yes – this balm is permanent collection! The special Milk Bar sticker it comes with, however, only lasts for the summer…so if you're all about collecting limited edition stickers/pins/products I'd hurry up & buy this, since I do believe the sticker is gone by September. Also – remember that Glossier changed their shipping policy! Now you can buy any 2 items or more & get free shipping. That means that you can get two Balm Dotcoms (which is $24) & still get free shipping. The minimum previously was $30. Good stuff! Oh, I almost forgot. This smells like birthday cake, of course – it also tastes like it. 10/10, will continue to use.

Finally – Caudalíe Lip Conditioner – $12. I also included this in my lip balm post, & I mentioned that it's a great little luxury to have. $12 is practically pennies if we're looking at the price range of most other Caudalíe products, & it's a lovely alternative to Balm Dotcom for those of you who live in areas where Glossier is not yet shipping. This smells like champagne, has a waxy texture – which I personally like – & is a lovely little luxury. It looks chic, works very nicely, & is available internationally! Win win.

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WINKWINK CALM Mask – $40 (*PR-gifted)

WINKWINK is an indie brand that's gotten some attention on Instagram lately! They were kind enough to offer to send me a mask, & asked if I had a preference. I told them my skin type (dry-sensitive) & asked them to pick one for me! They sent me their CALM mask. The key ingredients are olive green clay (helps rebalance oil flow, strengthen skin & aid scar-healing); matcha powder (powerful detoxifier); & peppermint (eases swelling, reduces redness and calms itchiness. Also a source of salicylic acid).

Basically, this is a clay mask that detoxifies – but is gentle enough for dry, sensitive skin. I was a bit apprehensive when I saw a main ingredient was peppermint; my skin doesn't always love that "minty feeling" (I know, I'm weird) & I was worried I might get a rash or something. It's a reaction I had (unfortunately) to Lush's Mask of Magnaminty several years ago. It's a me thing, not a brand thing.

Surprisingly – this was incredible!!!!! Truly…incredible. I've used it three times now, & always feel detoxed & clean. I also feel hydrated & cool – but in a good way. This is probably the only minty mask that I actually love & want to keep using – the results are lovely & it really does feel good, to my surprise & delight! Check out their range – there's some other great detox masks. But especially check out CALM. You won't regret it.

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 – $6.80

I spoke about this in my brand review of The Ordinary (read it here) & talked about how I think it's the only serum that can truly be a dupe for a Glossier serum (as of right now, anyway). This one is a hyaluronic acid serum, so it's a dupe for Glossier's Super Bounce Serum. Both have plumping, hydrating, soothing qualities – this one just has those qualities for much less.

I love the cooling sensation of this product,  & my skin has been a lot calmer since I've started using it! Even when I did a bit of a product detox, I made sure to keep this one in my routine. I'm glad I did, because my skin looks & feels more balanced thanks to it. Also – order through Beautylish! Faster shipping, comes with cute stickers – & also, you often will get unexpected samples (ex. I got tiny Bioderma bottles with my last order).

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Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask with Echinacea GreenEnvy™️ - $56

Okay – expensive, I know. But also – there was a sale when I bought it (a $15 off special & I was curious!) so it wasn't only a good deal when I bought it…it's an old friend.

I used this on & off throughout the winter but didn't really pay it much attention. It was the first "warming" mask I'd ever used, & I was confused on how exactly to use it. I put it in the back of my cabinet & didn't take it out much.

When I was straightening up this month, I found it again, & decided to give it a serious go. The goopy, honey-textured mask (it's called Honey for a reason) is golden-yellow, until you start massaging it into your cheeks. It melts into a creamy white, & warms your skin; not uncomfortably…just right.

The mask contains "honey (a natural humectant used since ancient times), propolis (an antiseptic found in beehives), and amino acid-rich royal jelly. Echinacea GreenEnvy™ is a unique variant of echinacea purpurea, which contains a high concentration of the phytochemical cichoric acid—a potent, natural antioxidant that enhances hydration and the purifying benefits of honey. Glycerin attracts moisture to the skin and provides hydrating effects for a suppler appearance. " Basically, it's a product sourced from honey & derivatives of honey. It's supposed to plump, clarify, hydrate, & renew – all at once.

In my opinion, this mask is a 2-3 day process. In fact, Farmacy recommends you use it 3 times a week. It's detoxing, so you might see some small breakouts the first day after using it. After I used it three times, however, I could see that my skin was clearer & more transluscent. It's not drying, either – so it's great for dry-skinned people. Just be aware that warming masks don't work well with some skin. Patch test a mask like this if you're not sure how you'll react to it!

Personally, I now adore this mask & will be getting a refill – even though this time it'll be more expensive. Farmacy's released a whole honey line since this mask was put out, & it all looks beautiful & worth a try. This mask, however, will be purchased first.

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Dr. Jart Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel – $39 (*PR-gifted)

I don't have many water-based moisturizers or masks. Well, not until this month, anyway! Dr. Jart was kind enough to send me their Hydro collection (this moisturizer as well as an eye gel & sleeping mask) so stay tuned on a complete review of those products.

I do know already, however, that this Hydro Gel is my favorite of the trio (that's why you're seeing it here). I've only tried one other water-based moisturizer, & that was the Sunday Riley CEO. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it – I only had a travel-size, & I definitely didn't feel like it was worth getting a full-size. I felt like I wasn't maintaining hydration; the gel sank in, but was I getting anything out of it?

With this one, I know I am. It's incredibly cooling & soothing – "hydro" is right. It truly feels like a second face wash after I've put this on. I've been using this as a day cream ever since I bought it; it pairs beautifully with my daily sunscreen: Glossier Invisible Shield. Both are incredibly lightweight & invisible.

This product made me reconsider water-based moisturizers! It showed me that they do work; you just need to find the right one. I know that this was gifted, but I will be purchasing this myself if it continues to work so beautifully.

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Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in "Mars" - $28

Milk Makeup's been around the block a few times – but they really started getting hyped after they released their first Holographic Stick: "Supernova," a holographic, purple-y opal highlight that caught the eyes of YouTubers, Refinery29, & beauty blogs amass. Everyone wanted that holographic shade. I never ended up getting it – I own the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit & didn't feel as though another silver-purple highlight was necessary.

My interest in Milk's Holographic Stick became a bit more intense when Milk announced their addition to the collection: the shade "Mars," described as a golden pink. It was said to be universally flattering, great on the deepest & lightest of skin tones.

I looked at the shade online, in videos & photos & decided that this highlight was targeted for those with deeper skin – that's who mainly featured this product, anyhow (I'm not trying to say that marketing is a bad thing; on the contrary I support & try to highlight brands & products that market to all skin tones).

When I swatched it in-store this past month, I decided to take the plunge. It felt very smooth, & I figured I could use a little fun in my life.

Happy ending! The stick is extremely soft, doesn't pull on the face (it might take off foundation if you're applying it directly & have a heavier amount of face makeup) & leaves a duo-tone, peachy-pink sheen. It's not oily, it doesn't smear – it looks dewy yet unique; subtle enough for my cheekbones but cheeky enough for my eyelids. I love this & was shocked on how well it worked on my skin tone – just as beautiful, but very different from some of the swatches I'd seen on deeper skin tones.

I think this is a great product if you're looking for a bit of a fun highlight that's easy to apply, travel with, & can be multi-purpose!

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The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil – $9.80 &Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil – $22

Clearly, I'm on a rosehip oil kick. Why? Well, it's because rosehip oil is one of those oils that works on every skin type – it does a lot of things, & none of them are bad. It reduces redness & inflammation, soothes skin, reduces texture, clears pores (which reduces acne) & a whole lot more. Basically: if you have oily skin, use rosehip oil. If you have normal skin, use rosehip oil. If you have…you get my point.

So, these are the two options I have tried. I first tried out rosehip oil with the Mario Badescu Nourishing Oil. It was good! It reduced redness & cleared pores – it always felt a bit runny, though; hard to pat onto my face or even mix into creams.

This past week, I got The Ordinary's Rosehip Seed Oil…worlds of difference. This oil's vial is UV-protected, so the oil doesn't lose potency over time due to light. This oil is extremely pigmented & rich in texture…just two or three drops is all you need for your face.

The Ordinary's version of rosehip oil is less than half of what the Mario Badescu one costs…& it's been changing my skin in the most positive of ways: more hydrated, less irritated or red, clearer, too! Even though it's only been a week, I know this one's the winner. This is a great example of cheaper product being much more effective than a higher-end product. They're the things we all want & strive to obtain! This is one of them.

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Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream – $47

I have raved about this product before, & for good reason: it's extremely hygienic (similar air-tight packaging to Drunk Elephant's Lala Retro Whipped Cream), extraordinarily hydrating, & beautifully soothing.

This was a cream I used during the day during my skin detox. Only a cleanser, a toner, a serum/oil, & a cream…this was my day cream! Chaology Beauty (the company behind Saturday Skin) has developed a special formula: one that is in every single one of its products. According to Chaology, Saturday Skin's effectiveness is from "the Cha-7 es Complex, an exclusive peptide formula that promotes skin's natural regeneration process…increases collagen and elasticity while reducing melanin production for a flawless, stress-free complexion."

Basically, every Saturday Skin product ever makes you glow, lifts your face, & keeps infections & irritation away. This is how I've felt using this product. It does the job just well enough that absolutely nothing is imbalanced. Definite repurchase, definite old friend.

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Slip Silk Pillowcase in "Pink" – $79 (*PR-gifted)

I know, I know!!!! This is definitely not one of those things you just casually go to pick up. But silk pillowcases are amazing for your skin, hair, & scalp – especially for those with compromised or sensitive skin. Slip was so kind to send me their (very luxurious take) on a silk pillowcase! There are cheaper options (still wonderful, too) on Amazon for those who can't take this kind of purchase plunge.

Hate being that person, but yes: I really do feel more refreshed. My skin is softer & more relaxed – no pillow wrinkles anymore! My scalp is softer but not rubbed to redness – something I might notice more accutely, now that I'm you know…bald. I'm not sure about the anti-aging claims – remember I'm still just 20 – but my skin does feel softer, looks brighter, & feels more pampered. Going to sleep feeling like a king won't hurt your skin – ever.

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That's all for this month! Things were brought back, new things arrived – I was surprised by new & old products, several times! I'm excited to see what August will bring.

What have your July favorites been? Let me know in the comments!

Love,

Sof ❤

High & Low – My Favorites of Each

We all know that some high-end skin care really isn't all that. At least, I know it…I hope you do. We've all seen beauty gurus doing their "hot or nots" on Youtube, trying out $200 face primers, $100 face masks, & $60 lip balm by La Mer (Jackie Aina says it's not worth the money; I'll trust her).

All that sounds super appealing – I mean, the thought of putting a gold leaf sheet mask on my face just because of the aesthetic concept. But…I know that some of my dirt-cheap, K-Beauty face masks will do more than any gold leaf ever could. I know that oftentimes, I'm just paying for packaging when I buy a higher-end product. However…there are some that are worth the money, just like there are some that are not. I'm going to give two of my top high end skin care products, & two of my top low-end skin care products – & provide reasons as to why they're worth it, or why they're so cheap & still so good. Read on!

Drunk Elephant Babyfacial – $80

 

I've purchased this only once (in early March) & I am not close to being finished with it – even so, I know I will be buying it again. One of the reasons I'll be buying it again is because I'm still not done with it! A high-end product's longevity is a huge concern for me. Yeah…the full-size Caudalie Beauty Elixer is beautiful & wonderful & I adore how cooling it is on my skin – but I cannot drop $50 on a facial spray, no matter how much I love it (I get the $18 travel size when I want to give my skin a special treat). So, since I only need 2-3 pumps of the Babyfacial – not more than two times a week – I can justify the $80 price tag.

Also: the Babyfacial has drastically improved my skin, & continues to do so. It's a powerful, effective detox – I always have softer, clearer skin after using it, & despite my sensitive skin, I've never gotten a bad reaction to it (like a burn or a rash). Plus, Drunk Elephant's super hygienic packaging (Babyfacial comes in an airtight container that doesn't expose it to the light) is just one more reason for my immunosuppressed skin to love it. I'm not ashamed to say I bought the Babyfacial, & I'm not ashamed when I say I will continue to buy it. This stuff lasts, it's effective, &…yes, it has beautiful, pale-pink packaging.

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Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream – $46

Eye creams don't really…work on me. I have dark circles constantly – thanks anemia! – which I'm not really bothered about. I think they give dimension & contour to my face & have come to accept, even love them. However, what I do not accept or love about my under-eye area is the puffiness I wake up with in the morning. This is all thanks to late nights – thanks chronic pain! Thanks anxiety! – & even though I tried a couple eye creams before this one, they didn't do anything to help my puffiness. Sure, my skin under my eyes was softer…but that didn't make me look any less sleep-deprived.

Literally the next morning after I used this cream for the first time, I woke up with absolutely zero puffiness. Yes, I was still tired, & grumpy, & wanted to get back in bed – but it didn't look like I felt that way. I was truly shocked. I don't expect most products to work overnight; I understand that sometimes, skin takes a while to get used to/garner full effects of a product…but this one wasted no time. Now, I use the Saturday Skin cream every night, paired with the Milk Makeup Cooling Water Stick (also a great product that I adore – just not truly categorized as "high end") & (eventually) fall asleep, content with the knowlege that no matter how tired I am when I wake up, I sure as hell won't look that way. This will keep being refilled on my top shelf. Thank you x 10 to Saturday Skin for keeping me looking fresh!

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Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater – $8 or $12

Truly ride or die. This isn't just good because it's cheap…it's good because it's good. I have backups of this absolutely everywhere; I use it as a toner, as a light hair fragrance, as a refresher in the middle of the day when I'm feeling parched & dull, & as a setting spray. It's so multipurpose, so effective, works for all skin types – & you can purchase it in the tiniest little 1 oz. bottle (at Ulta's checkout) for your weekend getaway for $5, in the 4 oz. version for $8, or the jumbo 8 oz. bottle for $12. I have it in all three. You'll always catch one in my purse, two on my top shelf (one for a backup, one for use) & probably another tiny one in my bag – just in case. Are you afraid it's going to smell like your grandma's potpourri? Don't be – it's fresh, light, & absolutely not grandma-y. No offense to grandma. Mario has treated me better than any man ever has – & he'll be here with me til the day I die.

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The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% – $6.79

You know the Sunday Riley Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment? The one that costs $105 for 1 oz.? Try this lactic acid, instead. You get 1 oz. for $6.79. No, it's not as good as the Sunday Riley – but it's nearly as good, & is more than 10 times cheaper for the same amount of product. The 5% version made Into The Gloss'sBeauty Editor's May Favorites article – I initially used the 5%, then worked my way up to 10%. I can't say that the 10% is significantly better than the 5% (10% does tingle more & sometimes I wake up with brighter, clearer skin than when I used the 5%, but it's hard to tell whether it's that product or just chance)…but I can say that they both work beautifully as a chemical exfoliant – even on my poor, dry, sensitive skin. Seriously, it's amazing. Just ignore the smell…some call it "maple syrup," some call it "burnt plastic" (I'm team "burnt plastic") & some say, oh so eloquently, "ass but it still works really well so I don't care" (thanks to one of my followers for giving me that priceless description). Regardless of what you think it smells like, this stuff works. Give it a chance; I don't think you'll be let down. In general, try all of The Ordinary's products – you won't break your bank, & you won't be let down. You might even be let up.

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There you have it! Two things I'm unashamed to say I love (& why) & two things that, even if a higher-end brand has something similar, I'll politely pass on & continue to use my cheap, effective, good products.

Remember – a high price tag does not mean a product will be life-changing! Oftentimes you might just be paying for a name, for packaging, & just because some pricing markups are ridiculous. Don't feel bad about not getting that $60 La Mer lip balm. I'm happy with my $12 Balm Dotcom.

Love,

Sof ❤

Get 20% off any Drunk Elephant purchase here, & get $10 off a $50 purchase from Peach and Lily here!

I Love__…June Favorites!

Hello friends! I’m back, hitting you with my June favorites post. This is going to include some skin care, some makeup, & a nail polish & a bag!!! I’m truly branching out. Amazing! I hope you enjoy these mini reviews. I love all o these & am not faking (as always!! Why would I!).

The Ouai’s Morning After Kit

I jumped on the bandwagon! It’s the one everyone’s been on for a while, but my ears perked up once I saw Ouai’s Rose Hair & Body Oil all over my friends’ Instagram feeds, as well as my own discover feed.

Okayyyy…I get it! I shaved my head again (you all know this…& stay tuned on a post about that) but I used these before I shaved it & will still be using a few even now that I have. I bought the Morning After Kit because it had three products that I was super interested in trying:

  • Rose Hair & Body Oil – it’s an oil…for hair & body! It is super Instagram-able. I get why it’s all over my feed…it’s truly gorgeous. I love anything & everything rose-scented, so I was excited to give this a go. Also…the color of the product looks like rosé. Very elegant, very summery. This is not a greasy-feeling, overwhelmingly sticky or slimy oil! Very lightweight, I only needed two small pumps for my whole head (now just one!) & the smell is absolutely gorgeous. I know people have reservations about rose scented products because of the whole “that’s my grandma’s potpourrie bowl” thing but it’s 2017, people! I promise this won’t give you potpourrie hair. Also…super shiny effect. It feels healthy on my scalp & hair. I really like this & even though I have no hair now, I’ll be getting full-size once I run out of this mini (also, stay tuned for a post on what i do to my hair/how i take care of it when it’s shaved down to almost nothing!)
  • Dry Shampoo Foam – okay, this stuff kind of blew my mind. I’d never liked dry shampoo; it always felt too sticky or cruncy or stiff. This one is in an aerosol can, so it comes out like shaving cream. “Foam” is right – this stuff is like meringue! It smells gorgeous. Everyone describes it as “gardenia florals” & I’d have to agree! It’s definitely not overpowering, but it’s more scented than the Rose Hair & Body Oil. Regardless, it really got rid of dirt/oil, made some real volume in my hair, & is fun to use (I like foamy products if you haven’t noticed!).
  • Finishing Crème – again, another love! There wasn’t a product in this kit I didn’t love. This has a very subtle scent; it’s a lightweight hair lotion that gives hair shine – also makes hair look healthier! Easy to apply on damp hair.

Biossance 100% Squalene Oil 

cannot rave enough about this product. It’s meant for face, body & hair – it’s organically sourced, cruelty free, has no scent (so if you’re sensitive to scents, this one is for you!) & makes everything better…not to be dramatic. Seriously, though! I put it on my hair (again…coming soon on how hair cair is still necessary even when it’s super short), my body, & recently, my face. I was worried it would break my face out, since the skin on one’s face & one’s body are different (the face is 100% more sensitive). Never fear. This oil hasn’t let me down, ever. It’s good on my face, my hair, & my body. It has 4 & 3/4 stars on Sephora, too…I’m not the only one.

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Hair products galore!
FOREO LUNA Mini 2 

This is a cleansing device sent to me by FOREO (thank you so much!!). It really changed my cleansing game, as I’d been using a charcoal sponge to cleanse previously. I recieved it in the beginning of June, fully charged it, & it still is going strong! It’s meant to be used once a day, & I use it in the evening. My skin is even clearer than when I was using the charcoal sponge, which I appreciate – since it’s a device that’s significantly more expensive! I like playing around with the different settings, depending on how my skin feels that day – & it stops every 15 seconds to let you know you should move to another area to cleanse. Very meticulously done, very well thought-out. I really love this! Oh…& now I can shower & wash my face at the same time. I didn’t like bringing my sponge in the shower. Loves it. (Read my review of FOREO products here!)

Glossier Birthday Balm Dotcom

Truly the product of the month. One of my favorite Glossier products is their Balm Dotcom. This flavor/shade (??) was a game-changer. Holographic packaging, a shimmery balm that can be used on the lips, lids, or high points of the face as a highlight. Created in collaboration with Milk Bar (the famous bakery in NYC renowned for their special birthday cake), the balm smells & tastes (!!) like birthday cake. You get a special sticker (pink, with silver glitter, & balloon-shaped) – but only for the summer. The balm is here to stay; the sticker is a summer collaboration with Milk Bar – & a summer collaboration only! Get the sticker while you can (looks amazing on a phone) & if you want a full review of the Birthday BDC, click here!

CLĒ Cosmetics Essence Air Cushion

Sheer coverage. SPF FIFTY. FIFTY!!!!! FOR A FACE MAKEUP PRODUCT! No greasiness, comes in various shades (unlike most K-Beauty brands), doesn’t leave a line, thanks to the cushion applicator, & gives a dewy glow – it’s like Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, except in a cushion. & with SPF 50. Yupppp. Also…stay tuned for some special CLĒ stuff I’ll be doing soon 🌚

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Glossier’s Birthday Balm Dotcom, CLĒ’s Essence Air Cushion, Essie’s Perfect Posture 
Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream

Saturday Skin keeps doing it! This is an airtight moisturizer, so nothing can get to it. Contamination risk? Zero. It feels velvety smooth & soft; the texture is so nice that I can wear it during the day (under makeup or just by itself) or as a night cream. It’s hard to find a moisturizer that can do day & night. This one does day & night…& it does it beautifully. Also: the cream has a light, fresh, citrus scent that is infinitely relaxing.

Herbivore Botanicals Blue Tansy AHA + BHA Resurfacing Clarity Mask

I absolutely love Herbivore, their products, their aesthetic, & their standards – they’re vegan & cruelty free, so for any of my readers/followers who are looking for skin care/makeup that’s vegan/cruelty-free, this is the brand for you!

I’d had my eye on this Herbivore Blue Tansy mask for a while, but restrained myself…since god knows I have enough face masks. However, about a week ago, Herbivore had their 6th birthday, & to celebrate that, had 15% off any purchase – & included a deluxe sample of the Blue Tansy mask in each order. I couldn’t resist! I ordered their Pink Clay Cleansing Bar (stay tuned for a post on solid facial cleansers), & eagerly awaited my package.

I was NOT let down. This is an amazing mask, I’ve used it quite a few times already, & I can really see an improvement in the brightness & clarity of my skin. It’s super lightweight – described as a “natural clarifying and cooling gel mask that gently exfoliates, smooths, and resurfaces skin.” “Gel” is absolutely correct. Although the mask is a deep, ocean-blue in the jar, it gives only the slightest blue cast to your skin when applied. It tingles, which is normal for any product containing AHAs, but is not unpleasant or uncomfortable. I love using this in the evening: I cleanse my face, apply the mask, brush my teeth, hop in the shower, come out, & rinse off the mask. This is the perfect window, since it takes me 15-20 minutes to do all that, & Herbivore recommends you leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes! If you’re new to AHAs, you should start with 5-10 minutes – just so you don’t risk a burn or a bad reaction! AHAs are great for the skin, but if you’re sensitive, it’s better to start slow.

Damn you, Herbivore – you really got me hooked, & I know I will be purchasing the full size once I’ve used up my sample. However, it’s a generous sample. I’m not too worried about running out that quickly! (For 25% off ANY Herbivore purchase, click here.)

Milk Makeup Matcha Cleanser / Milk Makeup Matcha Toner 

Okay. I haven’t done these enough justice (I don’t believe you’d find a photo of these babies on my Instagram) but they’re really amazing. I love both! I love the toner more, since it’s 1) super soothing, cooling, & reduces redness (like a Milk Cooling Water Stick – but actually intended to be a toner) 2) the world’s first solid toner, which is pretty amazing 3) is TSA-friendly – something I’m always on the lookout for! I love the cleanser, too – just not as much as the toner. Don’t get me wrong – I really like it. It smells amaaazing (the toner is scent-free) & I always know I’ll wake up with clear, fresh skin after using  it. I just am speaking out of paranoia here, since I’ve had no issues with it…but the cleanser does have some sort of micro-beads in it, so I’d be nervous to use it every single day in fear of breaking open my skin. Still, this is a suspicion that hasn’t occurred – I’m just voicing why I don’t use it every single day. I’d definitely take the cleanser & toner if I were to fly somewhere. It’s easy, it’s clean, & saves you a lot of extra little bottles & containers. Milk’s been putting out some very neat products lately (aka Glitter Stick for Pride Month!!) & I think this falls into the “neat” category.

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Milk Matcha Duo, Saturday Skin’s cream, Herbivore’s Blue Tansy Mask, my FOREO in the background (as well as some hair product!) & Essie’s Perfect Posture in the foreground

Essie Gel-Couture Color: Perfect Posture 

I love this color so much! Essie calls it a periwinkle poweder blue – I prefer baby blue. Whatever you want to call this shade, it’s amazing – delicate yet unique. It makes your nails stand out, but doesn’t make them look streaky, like so many white nail polishes might do. Basically, it stands out in the best way, stays on forever (part of Essie’s gel collection) & the name is adorable.

Pop & Suki Camera Bag

I finally did it! My very own Pop & Suki Camera bag. I got it in Noir, didn’t choose to customize it, but got a luggage tag (also in Noir) with the pink letter “S” on it. Simple, minimalistic, so easy to carry around – &, despite its small size, it really does fit a surprising amount of things. At the same time, the bag’s small size encourages you not to overpack, which, as a serial overpacker, I truly appreciate. Did I mention that they’re the cutest brand ever? I want a P&S/Glossier collab now, please! They’re the brand queens of #millennialpink (they also have makeup cases, if you’re interested).

I wouldn’t have bought this bag myself, but I got birthday money – & I am glad I used it on this baby. Let me know in the comments if you’d like a “What’s In My Bag” post!

That’s it, everyone! My favorites for the month of June. As always, I’m being completely, 100% honest. I’d never post about a product I didn’t like – especially not for a monthly favorites type of post. Then there’s no point!

Let me know in the comments what your June favs were!

Love,

Sof ❤

 

 

May Favorites! (All New Products)

Hello hello! Happy end of May to all of you! I hope the last full month of spring was kind to you, & that you’re ready to really get into summer mode. I know that I am!

For me, this means staying super sun-protected, super moisturized, & minimal, minimal makeup. There’s nothing like a multi-use product, especially in the summer, so I’ll be talking about some of those in this post! But first, let’s start with my May skin care favorites (since skin care comes first. Always.)

Sun Protection!

As many of you know, I am on biologic medications & chemo medications that make me extremely sun-sensitive. As in, sun exposure will drastically increase my risk for skin cancer (much more than the average person). So, I am always on the hunt for sunscreens! The problem with me is that my skin is also quite sensitive. Sunscreens usually clog my pores, break me out, & leave me feeling sticky–which sucks, because that sometimes makes me not want to use it, even though it’s such an important step for me (& all of you, too!!!). I also hate “that sunscreen smell.” I do everything I can to avoid it.

Two sunscreens that I have used for more than 2 weeks now with no issues are Farmacy’s Green Screen Daily Environmental Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, & Glossier’s Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35. The Farmacy one is a physical sunscreen that feels lightweight, has a fresh scent with no hint of “that sunscreen smell” & sinks into skin swiftly & easily, leaving no sticky or tacky feel. Since it’s a physical sunscreen, the active ingredients are zinc oxide & titanium dioxide, which are usually the ingredients that give a sticky feel/white cast/sunscreen smell. However, this product doesn’t do that! I’ve had no issues with breakouts or stickiness while using this product, & have no bad things to say. Just keep in mind that I’m quite pale, so what might not leave a white cast on me might leave a white cast on people with deeper skin tones. &, of course, if you’re allergic to the active ingredients, leave it be!!!! As for the Glossier sunscreen, it’s a chemical one–so again, if your skin is sensitive to chemical sunscreens, leave it be!!! Again, I’ve personally had no issues with this sunscreen. It sinks in very nicely & is transluscent. The serum-like consistency gives the product that transluscent look, so there’s no chance that it’ll leave a white cast–even on people with dark skin.

Cleansers!

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It’s always important to wash your face: once in the morning & once in the evening. My holy grail cleanser is Glossier’s Milky Jelly, but this CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam Cleanser is a close second. I don’t use this cleanser in the morning, but I love using it in the evening. Although it’s a foaming cleanser–which my skin usually hates–it manages to leave me feeling fresh, clean, but not stripped of moisture. It’s also very user-friendly: massage into your face, & let it bubble up for 30 seconds. I like to use this while doing something else, like using mouthwash, or finding a pair of clean socks…

Toners!

My holy grail will always be the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater, but when I’m feeling a little fancy, I absolutely love using the Caudalíe Beauty Elixer. I bought the mini bottle on a whim at the Sephora checkout, & gave it a go. It smells like white wine or champagne, which I love! & it feels extremely cooling & soothing on my skin. It can also be used as a setting spray, which I love to do as well. The spritzer on the bottle is also great–the product comes out extremely fine & spaces out very well on your face. It’s a very summery product, & I’m going to try sticking it in my fridge to make it even more soothing on an extra hot day.  I also gave the Milk Makeup Matcha Toner a go. It’s great! I really like green tea products for reducing redness, & this one definitely does that. It has no scent, which is a plus for any of you who are sensitive to scented products, & since it’s solid, it’s also a great summer travel option.

Serums/Oils!

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Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil
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Anese Slay Serum
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Biossance 100% Squalene Oil
This was a great month for serums & oils. All three of these were generously sent to my by the brands! The Herbivore Orchid Youth Preserving Facial Oil is, quite frankly…incredible. This is for people who want to try facial oils, but are frightened that they’ll end up greasy. This oil is super lightweight, has a very faint fresh scent to it, & sinks into your skin, leaving you feeling plumped & hydrated–but never greasy.

The Anese Slay Serum gave me some overnight results that I was not expecting! I applied about 3 drops on my face before bedtime & woke up with extraordinarily glowy skin. I had changed no other parts of my routine, so I know it was thanks to this. I was honestly blown away by how quickly–& effectively–this product worked. Also: it’s super concentrated, so you only need a little bit for your whole face. This product will last me a good while, I can already tell.

The Biossance 100% Squalene Oil is intended for face, body, & hair. I haven’t used it on my face or body, but I’ve tried it on my hair. Usually, I use argan oil on my hair (I just massage it in while my hair is damp, then let it air dry) but after giving this a go, I think I might switch over to this option full-time (if my wallet will let me). My hair looked shinier, healthier, & bouncier the very next day–I really, really like this. I will try it on my body & face soon, but right now, I’m just loving it for my hair!

Moisturizers!

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Mario Badescu Honey Moisturizer (that’s not a hair, my bottle is scratched. I swear.)
I haven’t found anything truly groundbreaking for summer moisturizers, but I do love the Mario Badescu Honey Moisturizer. It’s great for sensitive, dry, & combo skin types; it’s lightweight enough for hot, sticky days, but provides enough moisture to keep your skin plump & hydrated.

Masks/Cleansing Balms/Various Stuff!

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Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream
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TCFS Egg Mousse Pack
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Origins Super Spot Remover & Rose Clay Mask
None of these really fit into an above category, so I thought I’d just group them together as one.

Saturday Skin kindly sent me their Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream, which I tried dubiously–I don’t mind my dark circles at all–but I hate waking up in the morning with puffy eyes. One night of use, & I woke up in the morning truly looking…wide awake. Another product that magically worked overnight. I will definitely be getting this myself when I run out–but there’s so much product that I know it’ll last me a long while.

The Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack is such a cool mask! Super affordable, you get a lot of product, & the texture is amazing–it feels like you’re playing with beaten egg whites. It has a very fresh, clean, pleasant smell to it which I really like. You’re only supposed to leave it on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing off, & it purifies, smooths, & softens your skin. I’ve used it twice so far & have really liked it! All around, it’s a super fun product to use (feels really funny on your skin, in a good way!) & you get a lot of bang for your buck.

These two Origins products are some of my favorite skin care products of all time–& I’ve only seriously been using them for about a month. The Super Spot Remover™️ Acne Treatment Gel is seriously the only spot treatment that works overnight for me–& I do not say that lightly. It’s amazing–doesn’t dry out my already dry skin, a little goes a very long way, & doesn’t burn or sting. Love love love. Same goes for the Original Skin™️ Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay. It’s very similar to the Lush Rosy Cheeks mask in that it reduces redness & sooths the skin–but something about this one just leaves my face feeling even softer & fresher than when I use the Lush one. I got this as a 100 point reward at Sephora, & I’m close to running out–I know I’m going to be getting that full size ASAP!

Face Makeup!

As I mentioned before, summer makeup is great–if you keep it low-maintenance. I’m personally trying to get to the point where I need almost no face makeup this summer! My skin doesn’t particularly like face makeup ever, but really doesn’t like it in the summer. I decided to give a face makeup “substitute” a go by getting the Dr Jart+ Cicapair™️ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30.

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Dr Jart+ Cicapair™️ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
As you can see, this looks beige-green in the container–but it adjusts to your skin tone when you apply it. It feels super lightweight, almost like a moisturizer, & has no sunscreen-y smell to it–it actually smells like freshly-mown grass, which I love. Overall, it just basically evens out your skin, does a little color-correcting, & makes your skin look like your skin, just a little better. I think it’s a great summer product, & if you still want to use face makeup, it’s possible to use this underneath as a primer/color corrector. Also, the SPF is an added summer benefit!

Face/Lips/Cheeks-aka, Multis!

I think multis are always an amazing thing to have, especially if you like to keep your makeup low-maintenance. This is especially amazing for the summer, so I have a few multis here, & then one gloss & one blush that I just really love!

Glossier’s Cloud Paint in Beam changed the game for me. I was always really scared of blush becaue I am so pale. Usually, blush makes me look a bit like a circus clown. But Cloud Paint is sheer to buildable–a little goes a very long way, but it blends out so, so, SO well. I love Beam for the summer; it’s an orange/peach/coral shade that makes you look sun-flushed. My favorite hack is to put a bit on the bridge of my nose & blend it out–it makes it look like I’ve been in the sun for a few hours–in a good way, & without the sun damage! It’s the most popular shade for a reason.

The CLĒ Cosmetics Melting Lip Powder is such an amazing formula. It goes on as a powder, which I was a bit wary of, but it really does melt right into your lips. This also doubles as a cheek tint, & I’ve tried it out several times. It’s great! I love doing the same bridge of the nose trick with this one. & it’s cute when my cheeks & lips match so well.

Herbivore’s Coco Rose Lip Tint in Coral is super, super pretty; it’s more of a browny-rose color for me but could be a nude for deeper skin tones. It’s super versatile, & although it isn’t marketed as a cheek product, I’ve used it as such & can say that it looks lovely.

The RMS Beauty Un Cover Up Concealer/Foundation in 000 is amazing for me, the palest of the pale. As the name suggests, it’s somewhere between a concealer & a foundation & is small, solid, & super easy to slip into my bag for a touch-up if I need one.

The Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Gloss in Pink 001 isn’t anything super special; it’s “just” a gloss. However, it has that minty tingle to it that makes your lips look plump, it’s super easy to apply if you don’t have a mirror on hand, & it has just a touch of shimmer to it, which I love. Also, Dior’s silver packaging details are so lovely….it’s hard not to buy this simply because of the packaging.

Fragrance! 

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Margiela REPLICA Fragrances: Beach Walk & Lazy Sunday Morning 
I have recently been eyeing the Margiela REPLICA fragrances, mainly because the bottles are so gorgeous, but also because they have some very fresh, unique summer scents! I have tried out Beach Walk & Lazy Sunday morning; both are lovely. I would say Lazy Sunday Morning is a bit more powdery than Beach Walk, but I really like them both. I’d love your opinion on one or both of these! Comment below if you have either (or both) & why you like them! I’m considering getting a full-size of one of the two.

Grand Finale! 

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Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade, & Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish – Dream Combo
When I’m not complaining about my lips’ tendency to get dry & flaky, I’m trying to find product combos that will fix that (other than my favorite Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom, of course). I finally found it. The Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade is somewhere between a lip oil/mask & a gloss, so it can be worn in the daytime as a gloss, & as a treatment at night (that’s how I justify the price to myself…plus, it really does work). The Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Polish is finally…FINALLY!! a lip scrub that actually works on my lips! Like most lip scrubs that don’t come in a stick form, it’s a bit messy to apply, but oh boy, does it work. I put this baby on, rub it around for about 25-30 seconds, remove excess sugar, & then apply the Dior lip pomade. The result? Plump, glowing, MOISTURIZED lips the next morning.

That’s all I got! I will be using these for most of the summer, if not all of the summer, if things keep working as well as they already are! I hope I gave you some items to put on your wish lists :’)

Love,

Sof ❤

Shop Glossier with me!

$10 off a $50 Peach & Lily purchase (if you’re eyeing that eye cream)

What The Heck Is An Essence?

Until a few months ago, I’d never heard of essences.

Until a few weeks ago, I rolled my eyes at the concept of their effectiveness.

Now, I’m on the essence train.

So, what is an essence? Well, it originates from Korea, the magical land of 7-step hydrating routines (aka, probably perfect for my dry, sensitive skin without even knowing much more). An essence is not a toner. A toner is used directly after cleansing your skin, meant to complete the cleanse, get rid of any remaining impurities, & prepare your skin for additional steps. They’re usually water-based, & they’re usually meant to hydrate & sooth the skin (prime example: my holy grail toner, Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater).

So, okay. An essence isn’t a toner. Is it a serum?

Nope. A serum is much more highly concentrated than an essence. They usually come in smaller sizes, & are meant to be massaged gently into your skin. There are a whole variety of serums: hydrating, clarifying, brightening, soothing, so on & so on (some of my favorites are the Glossier Super Pack–shop here with me!–which, as a trio, hydrate, brighten, & clarify; the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, which is meant to brighten & plump the skin, & The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%, meant to clarify & make skin more transluscent).

So, the conclusion you’ve probably come to at this point is that an essence is something between a toner & a serum. You’d be correct! Kind of. But it’s also its own thing. Just know that I’m really here for it.

Essence is best-suited for dry/sensitive skin types, because it provides the skin with an extra layer of hydration. Essence should be applied with a technique unique (hah) from toners or serums: you’re supposed to pat or press it into your face with your hands, starting at your chin, moving upwards (always apply products in upwards motions, so you don’t drag down your skin). Here’s what SokoGlam, (an online marketplace specializing in Korean beauty products) has to say about applying essence: “Korean women are all about tapping when applying anything on their face. Why? Rubbing your face like you’re windex-ing a window is not the recommended technique. They recommend tapping because it enhances absorption. FYI – it sounds like this, “TOK TOK TOK.” Try it!” (x)

So, when Saturday Skin sent me a PR package (!!!) filled with a bunch of cool things, like their amazing eye cream, lightweight moisturizer, & a small sample of….”Freeze Frame Beauty Essence“….I paused. Finally, essence was in my possession. I had no choice but to give it a go.

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Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence

I researched application tips, & had a go at it. I applied the essence after toner, & before any serums or oils. I used the “tok tok tok” tip provided by SokoGlam. Then, I waited.

Within a few days, I could see my skin looking more moisturized, brighter, plumper, & firmer. My sample was dwindling, so I hurredly placed an order for the same essence by Saturday Skin, while looking for some cheaper (but just as good) alternatives.

I came across an article on Into The Gloss, entitled: Things We Finish: Dr. Jart Ceramidin Liquid. I’d heard of Dr. Jart, & already loved their color correcting Tiger Grass cream, as well as their sunscreen. In short, I was already a fan of Dr. Jart, so it didn’t take much to sell me on this one.

Writer Casey Zhang describes the product as “lightweight…I also like the smell a lot–it has a light herbal fragrance, almost medicinal but in a good way…the main point is that my face feels hydrated, brightened, and sans any flaky cracked patches.”

Well, that sounded good enough for me. Also: $39 for 5 fluid oz.??? I had to double check a few times. Most other essences I had looked at were at least $50. At least.

My ceramidin baby arrived today, & after patting it into the back of my hand after I excitedly opened the package, I saw a difference in about 5 minutes. My skin looked firmer, brighter, more transluscent–very similar to the Saturday Skin one, except a good deal cheaper.

Sorry, Saturday Skin! I love you, I LOVE your eye cream, & I love the bottle of essence I got from you this time around. But when I run out, I think Dr. Jart stole my heart with this one. Welcome home, Ceramidin. Welcome, eternally hydrated skin.

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Ceramidin’s new home on my top shelf. Feat. $11 Jade Roller from Amazon (!) Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence, Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, (of course) & my holy grail toner, by Mario Badescu. Oh…& a few other things, too. Of course. 

Love,

Sof ❤

Interested in trying out the Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Essence? Here’s $10 off a $50 purchase at Peach & Lily. So your wallet doesn’t cry too loudly. 

#TopShelfie: What I Love, What I Hate, and What I Make an “Eh” Sound About

I first posted my Into The Gloss-inspired #TopShelfie on Instagram and Tumblr, but decided to make a more in-depth post about it on here! This covers some new products I have been trying out lately as well as some old favs/holy grails! Yes–some of them will be Glossier…of course. But I’ve got a lot of other things too 🌤so go ahead and take a peek!

(P.S. some products pictured in my #TopShelfie won’t be talked about here, & some products that aren’t pictured in my #TopShelfie will be talked about here. I’ve provided links to all the products, & there are some discounts at the bottom for all of you! <3)

  • Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser – I have to start off with this product. Other than Balm Dotcom, it’s the first Glossier product I gave a go. I was extremely skeptical of a “non-foaming cleanser” a year ago…but it’s stood the test of time, & countless bottles later, my skin is clearer, softer, & always smells slightly of flowers. I always have loved it, I always will, & I can’t live without it. The non-foaming formula actually saved my sensitive skin–most foaming cleansers strip my dry skin of any moisture– & I continue to sing its praises even though I’ve already recommended it so many times.
  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, & Rosewater – this is truly the holy grail of toners for me–AND it’s so so so inexpensive compared to most other toners. I love it so so much; I’ve tried a lot of toners but honestly, this one has to be the best. I don’t think I’ll ever find a better one. I have the big size, the normal size, & the tiny tiny travel size. It’s also a great way to keep cool during the summer–I just spritz it all over my face when I’m feeling a bit sticky.
  • Milk Makeup Matcha Solid Toner – so apparently this is the world’s first solid toner, which is pretty cool! It pairs with a matcha cleanser as well (you have to buy them separately). I personally wouldn’t use the cleanser daily as it’s a bit too exfoliating for my sensitive skin…but I LOVE the toner. It majorly reduces redness (most green tea products do) & both are great options for traveling because they’re solid so you avoid the whole TSA inconvienience.
  • Saturday Skin Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream – i have dark circles but don’t mind those; i DO mind that i wake up with puffy eyes & literally the first day i tried this & woke up looked in the mirror the puffiness was gone. it worked right away for me, no waiting period! Love, love, LOVE. Saturday Skin kindly sent this to me, but I already know I will be purchasing one myself when this one runs out!
  • Dr Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment with SPF 30 – I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! It was a splurge for me…but I don’t really like the feel of face makeup anymore; this is the perfect thing for people who don’t like that feeling. I little goes a very long way, so it’ll last me a good while. It looks green in the container, but adjusts to your skin tone when you apply it on your face, kind of like a CC cream. It’s especially great for getting rid of redness, & also has SPF 30 in it….major bonus for my extremely sun-sensitive skin. It smells like freshly mown grass, which some may find odd, but I really like it! for those who do like face makeup, but also like to color correct, this can be used under makeup too! It’s very multipurpose.
  • Anese Slay Serum – I have only used this ONCE. Just once. I woke up the next morning with incredible glowy dewy skin. It’s super hydrating & very concentrated. You probably need only 2-3 drops for your whole face.
  • Glossier Invisible Shield Sunscreen SPF 35 – Yup, the one everyone’s been yelling bout! I don’t care…my skin loves it & so do I. I have had no problems & have been using it almost daily for a good 14-16 days now. I think chemical sunscreen scares a lot of people, just like the word “acid” does. Neither are necessarily harmful! It’s about different formulations & different ingredients. Some prefer chemical, some prefer physical. I like both, as long as they don’t break me out, or leave a white, sticky cast. This one does neither. It sinks into my skin very well–so well that I feel like it could double as a primer! Overall, a 9/10. The only thing I have to say is that I wish it’d last a bit longer. (For those who prefer a physical sunscreen, see the next two products)
  • Dr Jart+ Every Sun Day UV Sunscreen SPF 50 – This is a physical sunscreen–so for those of you who aren’t interested in chemical ones, it’s a great option; it doesn’t leave a white cast on me (although…keep in mind I’m very pale, so it might leave one on others with deeper skin tones) & doesn’t smell sunscreen-y. It does contain titanium dioxide & zinc, which is normal for a physical sunscreen. If your skin doesn’t like those ingredients obviously stay away!
  • Glossier Super Pure Serum – Another holy grail. I will never stop buying this. It’s my favorite thing to use in the morning, since I often wake up with redness around my nose. This gets rid of it very quickly, & also reduces breakouts/maintains my skin’s clarity. Love!
  • Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum – Okay. This one’s super expensive. A friend who didn’t like the smell gave it to me (I really don’t mind products that have an odd smell as long as they do the job!) & I tried it a couple days in a row. The first day, I got a little irritation since it’s SUPER concentrated (most Drunk Elephant serums are) but by day 3 my skin was brighter, firmer, & more glowy. Like I said, I got this for free! But i am seriously considering buying it myself once I run out. Also: a little goes a long way because like I said, it’s super concentrated. (P.S.: the smell i can only describe as being kind of smoky? That’s weird to say but if you want more detail about it I’d read Sephora reviews or Drunk Elephant website reviews about it!)
  • Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial – Also expensive. This was the first Drunk Elephant product I purchased…but boy am I glad I did. This lives up to all of the hype it has. I’d never heard of “masques” (aka a treatment for any skin condition you want to take care of, usually made up of ingredients like clay, algae, essential oils, carrier oils, herbs and vitamins) before this one, & so of course I got a sample from Sephora before purchasing (with a discount) from the actual Drunk Elephant website (hack-if you use the code at the end of this post, you’ll be able to get this $80 product for $65). After two uses, I was hooked. The Babyfacial makes your skin softer, smoother, & gets rid of bumps & texture. It burns a bit when you apply it, but that’s totally normal. You’re only supposed to use it once a week, since it’s high in AHA levels. (This also makes you more sensitive to sun, so make sure!!!! You use sunscreen when using a product like Babyfacial) Anyway…I will absolutely be repurchasing & repurchasing the Babyfacial. It’s a unique product that works extremely well for all skin types.
  • The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% – SUPER cheap. I love this because i got one of the 100 point Sephora samples of the Sunday Riley Good Genes lactic acid treatment & really liked it…buuuutttt didn’t have $125 to drop on the product. So, I did some research & found The Ordinary’s lactic acid. They also have a 10% version, but they recommend you start with 5%, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. I really like what it’s done for my skin. It helps retexturize & clarify, just like the Good Genes! It does have a weird smell (someone said it smelled like burned plastic; but like I’ve said, I don’t mind a smell as long as it works) & can be a bit tacky on your face. It can also can be a bit drying, so I definitely recommend you use a GOOD moisturizer afterwards. Overall?? I really, really like it & it’s helped me out a lot. It just makes my skin more transluscent & clear. I’m considering trying the 10% version once my 5% is out! We shall seeeeeee.
  • Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich – Cannot live without it. You’ve all heard me scream about it God knows how many times. As it got warmer & more humid, I was worried it was going to clog my pores like a lot of richer creams do. Nope! Still works well, still reduces redness. I love my PMR!
  • Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil – This product has a special place in my heart. It’s the first truly expensive skincare product I ever purchased. Granted, it was purchased with Christmas money, but still. I’d been complaining to a friend about the condition of my skin, & she immediately sent me a link to the UFO. I almost had a heart attack over the price, but I tried a few Sephora samples & finally caved. It was worth it. Super clarifying, smells like a forest, is bright green (which is cool) & clarifies your skin without burning it or drying it out. Another great fact: Sephora started selling a smaller size for $45 as well as the full size which is $80. If you’re unsure about the product, go for the smaller size. It’ll still last you forever (I’m not even half done with mine) & you won’t be dumping a pile of money on a product you’re not sure about. As of late, it’s known to be used by Harry Styles. So…I mean……if that isn’t reason to buy it…..not sure what is.
  • Origins Super Spot Remover – I always whine about spot treatments claiming to work overnight when they actually don’t. For me, this one really does work overnight. The bottle/vial is small for a $15 product, but you only need a tiny tiny drop. I feel like it’ll last a long time. Besides, if it works overnight, I’m happy to spend $15 on it.
  • Origins A Perfect World SPF 40 Age Defense Moisturizer With White Tea – It is classified as an age defense moisturizer,  so you probably don’t NEED it if you’re a young person. However, this was sent to me by Origins so I decided to give it a try. Initially, I was a little iffy about it since it’s a cream PLUS an SPF which could potentially make it heavy, sticky, or both. However, I’ve used it overnight a multiple times by now & haven’t had any issues with breakouts. The smell is also very fresh, almost therapeutic, which I really like! I was also doubtful about using it in the day time, as it seemed kind of heavy for day. At the same time, however, I felt like it is INTENDED for the day since it contains SPF. I didn’t know what to feel about it, but gave it a go. No complaints, no breakouts. It’s not my absolute favorite cream ever, but I like that it didn’t feel heavy or sticky during the day or night, & it’s a great option for when you don’t feel like adding the sunscreen step to your routine.
  • CLĒ Cosmetics Oxygen Foam CleanserI love this for the evening. This is seriously the only foaming cleanser I can use without feeling like my skin has been stripped of all its moisture. It’s very soothing & I like watching it bubble up on my face! I don’t know how they managed to make such a soothing cleanser that was also foaming, but they certainly did that. I thought they sold all of CLĒ at Ulta, but they don’t sell this cleanser; just their other cleanser which is a non-foaming one. However, you can buy the Oxygen Foam Cleanser on CLĒ’s website, as well as a bunch of other really cute cosmetics (most of them with SPF inclusion, which is great) so I highly recommend checking them out!
  • Tonymoly Makgeolli Sheet Masks – I really don’t have a problem with any of the Tonymoly masks because they all work very well. However, when I want my skin to clear up, these always have my back. Their rice sheet masks are also clarifying, but the makgeoli version works best for me! It makes my skin more transluscent, doesn’t dry me out, & reduces redness. Magic, & super cheap.
  • Origins Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay – another magical Origins product. I got the travel size one as a 100 point Sephora reward, and I cannot wait to run out & purchase the full-size as soon as my mini runs out. This is very similar to the Lush Rosy Cheeks face mask, since both reduce redness & irritation. This one, however, I like just a little bit more. Something about the slightly exfoliating texture makes my skin about 100 times softer after I remove it. I always feel refreshed, soft, & free of irritation or redness after using this baby.
  • Glossier Mask Duo – my last two cents (for now). I love this mask duo, especially in the summer. It has everything that you might need for summer skin, all contained in two masks. The first one, the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, is a clay mask that reduces redness, clarifies skin, & detoxifies–described as a juice cleanse for your face. The second, the Moisturizing Moon Mask, is my favorite summer mask. I especially love it chilled in my fridge–it provides an extra boost of coolness, & it smells absolutely amazing: kind of like fresh yogurt (in the best way possible. I don’t even like yogurt that much but this smells amazing to me). The best hack for this mask? Chill it in your fridge, apply it before you step in the shower, & bask in a cooling mask & a steamy shower. Amazing. Oh, & it plumps your skin. Oh, & you can use it as a sleeping mask, too. Okay. I’m done.

I promised you discounts, & here they are! 20% off Drunk Elephant (you need. the. baby. facial), 20% off Anese, $10 off Peach & Lily (get the Saturday Skin Eye Cream!!!!) & $10 off the Tonymoly website (literally any & all of their sheet masks are good).

And, of course, I would absolutely love it if you shopped with me at Glossier. You can see my favorites, my cute (and a bit awkward) video, & get some good skin stuff..and good makeup stuff. Just good stuff in general.

My first “skin care” post on here, but many more to come! Comment & tell me what you’d like to see, or what your favorite/holy grail products are! Or tell me what you think I should try next that I would love! Just comment.