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 ❤

The Ordinary: Are They Dupes? Are They Not? Are They Good? Here’s My Thoughts:

“Have you tried it?” “Does it work?” “So cheap!” “There are dupes for everything!!!

The things being said in the opening questions are most likely about the line called The Ordinary. You’ve probably heard of it in the past half year or so, right?

DECIEM, a larger brand that carries several lines – all have different prices & effects. DECIEM by itself is described as “The Abnormal Beauty Company.” They carry one called Foundation & White RX, to name a few. Their most popular, however, is The Ordinary.

If you haven’t heard of The Ordinary by now, I might be a little surprised. I’m not quite sure how DECIEM pulled this off, but with virtually zero online/paper advertisements, The Ordinary became a cult-favorite line in the skin care community. Serums for $5! Oils for $7! DECIEM “Monkeys” (customer service employees) help you map out a personalized skin routine over email – for free. No one could figure out the catch. It seems that there is none. It’s good for beginners; good for old-timers, too.

I was introduced to The Ordinary thanks to an anonymous message on my Tumblr, telling me I should check out the brand’s prices. I was intrigued, of course – who can resist claims of $5 serums?! – but skeptical. I kept my distance for a while – but everyone else was way ahead of me. I watched the photos of these little bottles whisk down my Instagram feed. I tried to figure out what their “Advanced Retinoid” meant. Then…I started to hear that some products carried by The Ordinary contained some of the same (almost exact) ingredients as the Glossier Supers (Glossier’s famous trio of serums released last September).

Look – I love Glossier! (Duh) & I love using their products. But…no one can ever say no to trying a dupe that might be better than the real…right?

Still, I balked. I just didn’t feel like it. & then I got some Sephora sample rewards one day, & discovered Sunday Riley’s Good Genes. I was (obviously) floored…the results were incredible & an overnight difference was evident.

Buttt…Good Genes is over $100 for a not-very-big-bottle. I don’t have $100+ to spend on a single product. I wish I did! But I don’t. So, I started doing my research. I figured out what lactic acid was, what it did, & what it didn’t do.

A few months later, I was doing my nightly routine, browsing online as I waited for a mask to finish… & I came across (& read a review) of the Lactic Acid 5% on Into The Gloss – a serum I’d been happily using for over 2 months!

When ITG says it’s good, it’s good. When the Lactic Acid 5% got the ITG stamp of approval, I decided to give some others a go. I decided to get the Super Pure & Super Bounce “dupes” – as well as something completely unique.

Without further ado, here’s the list of products by The Ordinary that I already own; I’ll include a small wish list at the bottom & explain why each would be a good choice for my skin

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%+ HA 2% /Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%

I first bought the Lactic Acid because of my sad inability to regularly purchase something like Sunday Riley Good Genes. I quickly became grateful I’d found out about this product – even if I knew nothing about Good Genes.

The serums are either light yellow or a dusty brown rose color; the 5% is paler because it is less concentrated. Both have a gel-like consistency – not watery at all. It’s something I like putting between my hands then gently patting into my skin, kind of like an essence.

The serum smells rather odd – plastic-y yet sweet? – & has a tacky consistency even after it’s dried. That’s the only thing I don’t like about the serum(s); bad smells don’t matter to me – as long as a product works, it’s fine!

I noticed brighter, fresher skin & fading dark spots & scars. This got better as time went on. As with all acidic products, I take extra time to ensure that my face (& body) are protected. Remember – AHAs & other peeling products make your face more sun-sensitive!!!

After I used about 3/4 of the 5% serum, I decided to go for the stronger one to see if it would make a difference. I should say: I don’t think it does. The 10% is slightly more jelly-like in texture, & is a darker color. It might tingle a bit more, too The end result, however, is exactly the same as I have seen using my 5%.

I’ve gotten many questions as to whether the 5% vs 10% have different/better results. I’d have to go with no. perhaps, if your skin is less sensitive or oily-type, you could go for the 10% to start off – it might penetrate more easily. For me, however, I saw no difference in the strengths, & next time I refill, I’ll probably go with 5% again. It feels the same, is gentler on my skin, & I can’t notice a difference in results. All good!

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The two Lactic Acids. Excellent – but one is not better than the other

The AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution/ “The Vampire Facial”

 Described as a “10-minute peeling solution,” you may have seen this on various Instagram stories – more as a joke, since it’s hard to take an attractive selfie with this stuff on your face; you’ll end up looking like you were in battle.

Despite all the blood/vampire jokes (seriously, make sure you’re wearing something you don’t mind getting stained, just in case) this stuff works. It may be a great introduction to those curious about products like the Herbivore Blue Tansy Mask, or the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial – but those who don’t want to spend $40-80 just out of curiousity.

If you’re looking for a cheap, effective resurfacing masque, this one might be the one for you.

I will say it feels more intense on the skin as opposed to the Herbivore or Drunk Elephant products – & the results aren’t necessarily as good. Still – when I use this, I look & feel brighter/softer in the following days. I just have to be careful to leave it on for only ten minutes (the stuff burns) & to wash all of it off. When using this masque, I only find it necessary to use once a week. It’s that tingly! It can also be a bit drying. If you have dry/sensitive skin, I wouldn’t say it’s a product that gets a hard “no” – I’d just say tread carefully!

This product has barely any scent to it, & the liquid, although thick & gel-like in texture, dries down on the face very quickly. The only two things truly noticeable about the product are its color – & its burning (yet) effective sensation.

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I said “vampire”….
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….& I meant it. If you are squeamish to blood…this one may not be for you. Still, don’t worry – only needs to stay on 10 minutes

 Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

This was what everyone was telling me to get as a replacement to my Glossier Super Bounce. I’ll admit it – I was doubtful at first. Eventually, however, curiosity took the better of me & I ordered a vial about 2 weeks ago.

Firstly: oh boy, is it great!!!

Secondly: I feel like a fool not to have purchased this earlier.

This serum is truly great – probably my favorite thing by The Ordinary that I’ve tried. It has no scent to it – it’s just cooling, hydrating, soothing – I could go on. It has a slight tackiness when it dries down, but I’ve found this to be the case with most (if not all) Ordinary products I’ve tried.

I had a bit of a reaction on my face last week & I cut my routine down to the essentials…I added this on, however. I’m convinced my face calmed & cooled down more quickly because of this product. If a Glossier Super can be duped, this is the dupe for Super Bounce Serum. Good product, good quantity, low pricetag.

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Cooling, scentless, & hydrating – worth every (less-than-$7) penny

 Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Again, I was told, another perfect Glossier dupe – this time for Super Pure Serum. Some of you may know that Glossier’s Super Pure Serum is something I use every day, no matter what – it’s a holy grail for me, it’s improved my skin exponentially – so I was doubtful when someone told me that this serum was a dupe for it. I was also curious. Super Pure is $28, right? If a $6.80 serum felt the same as Super Pure, & had the same results, I’d certainly be reconsidering my favorites. So – I got it. & I used it for a week straight.

First impressions: same texture as super pure: a watery gel. There was no strong scent to it; no overpowering chemical scent. It feels very cooling & refreshing when first applied.

Then – & this is what I don’t like about the serum – it dries down tacky.

This is the big difference between Super Pure & Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. Yes, they contain an extremely similar list of ingredients. But the Ordinary’s “dupe” dries down tacky, & doesn’t reduce inflammation or redness as well as Super Pure does, in my opinion. It’s also slightly drying – Super Pure never dries out my skin. That was another thing to consider. While this is a great clarifying serum, it is more drying than Glossier Super Pure & it does not reduce redness as well. I think by itself, it’s a good serum…but it’s not close enough to the Glossier Super Pure to be called a dupe. Dupes are supposed to perform almost identically to the original product. In my opinion, this one does not. If you want a dupe for a Glossier Super, go for The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid – it’s a great dupe for Super Bounce.

So…let’s go back to the question I’ve been getting all the time lately: “What do you think of The Ordinary?”

I think they’re an amazing company. They’ve grown exponentially in a very short time. They’ve kept their prices lowest of the low. This allows “skin care newbies” to feel comfortable. It’s very intimidating when you’re new to skin care & only see talk about products that are over $40. The Ordinary is a great source for those new to the skin care scene because of their inexpensive yet effective products.

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The supposed Glossier Super Pure “dupe” – good, but different. I’m sticking with Super Pure – might add this one in, though

It’s also great for people who’ve been “into” skin care forever. Who can say no to a bottle of 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oilfor less than ten dollars?

 I would recommend The Ordinary as a brand to anyone – & I often do just that. I would, however, advise you to regard The Ordinary as their own brand. Might you find some dupes for more expensive products? Absolutely! But don’t expect everything to be a copy. I think The Ordinary is very focused on its own message. You don’t to be looking for a dupe to shop their products. They will provide you with quality skin care (& customer service) no matter what. They’ll help you come up with your first-time skin care regimen…or help you refine/add to it. It’s just a great, affordable brand that’s been getting a lot of buzz – for very, very good reason.

What’s on my wish list for The Ordinary?

Well, as I type this, I am adding The Ordinary’s Rose Hip Seed Oil – the Marula Oil is also on my eye…as soon as it’s back in stock. Those are the two I have my eye on…especially the Marula. Drunk Elephant sells one for $70 – The Ordinary’s is under $10…which is why it’s always out of stock. A girl can dream, though!

Rose Hip Seed Oil reduces redness & calms inflammation – a great thing to have on any top shelf! I’m was using a Mario Badescu rosehip oil that was much more expensive than The Ordinary’s. I can’t wait to give this cheaper one a go – my sources say it’s incredible.

Like I said – I have absolutely nothing bad to say about The Ordinary! They provide quality service & products; they make everything easy to read/learn about on their site; they give good recommendations. They keep rolling out new products: their foundation drops were all the buzz about a month ago, & they’re coming out with some very cool-looking Vitamin C products that I’m very excited for. Because of all this buzz, shipping can be slow – especially when a new product drops. It can take up to two weeks to get a product.

Once I noticed Beautylish was carrying The Ordinary, I started shopping that brand through Beautylish. Shipping is slightly faster – but my favorite thing about Beautylish x The Ordinary? The stickers that come with every order (as seen in cover image). A small sheet contains labels like “1” “2” or “3.” Some say “Niacinamide” or “Vitamin C.” It’s great for someone trying to build a regimen who has trouble keeping track of the steps to their skin care. It’s great for me too – I’m a Glossier aficionado, after all. Who doesn’t like free stickers with a skin care order?

Love,

Sof ❤

What Ordinary products have you tried? What are you thinking of trying? Are there any favorites – or hates? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

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!

Acids: Not As Scary As You Think

On Tumblr, I’ve been recently getting a lot of questions regarding Glossier’s use of acids in their products – as well as questions in general, & a lot of people wondering if acid in a product make it bad for your skin.

Guess what! That’s a myth. Acid sounds scary,  However – there are so many types of acids that you can use on your face; they’re all different & each one has a benefit! Acid is a word that’s been given many negative connotations, for real reasons. But! These aren’t the kinds I’m talking about.  If you pick the right “acids” to use on your face, chances are your skin will thank you. It might even seriously change your beauty routine in a positive way!

So! Here’s some education about some products I own that either contain acids, or are just acids in & of themselves.

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2%. 

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This product is so, so, so good. It even made the cut for Into The Gloss’s May picks of the month. This acid works as a chemical exfoliant – it’s basically a chemical peel you can use at home, rather than get at your dermatologist’s office. That means that it’s a lot more gentle, more subtle – & less harmful to your skin. Yes, the lactic acid removes dead skin cells from your face – but it does so gradually, over time, so you never see any peeling skin – & never have to pick or scrub at your skin. It’s made my skin clearer, more transluscent, & even made my features more defined. What’s the HA? That’s Hyaluronic Acid – an acid that simply plumps & moisturizes your skin. In other words, it goes against any stereotype of acid you may have in your mind! Hyaluronic Acid is contained in serums (Glossier’s Super Bounce, for example) moisturizers far & wide (Glossier’s Priming Moisturizer) & yes, as add-ons to other acids. The 2% of Hyaluronic acid in this product helps prevent dryness & redness – even on my sensitive skin. I love this product so much that I’ll be moving up to the 10% version as soon as I’m out of this vial.

Glossier Priming Moisturizer 

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Remember the HA (Hyaluronic Acid) I just mentioned in the product above? That’s right…hyaluronic acid is found in this innocent tube of moisturizer, too. &, according to Into The Gloss, this is most certainly not the only moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid. In fact, “chances are you’ve been using products chock-full of HA for years now without knowing it.”

That’s not a bad thing…at all. Actually, it’s good. Hyaluronic acid is a sugary molecule that’s actually found inside your body (mainly in connective tissues & in-skin’s structure). In your body, HA works to help your body retain moisture, as well as lubricate your joints.

On your face? Hyaluronic acid works to reduce redness, provide an extra shot of moisture that continues to deliver all day, (like I said, HA helps your body retain moisture – so it does the same for the skin on your face) & keeps your face looking plump & young.

Acid sounds like a scary word. But whatever skin care products you use, whether it’s CeraVe moisturizer from your local Walgreens, or a cream from La Mer – it’s more likely than not that hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient – & that you’ve been using acids on your face for years without even knowing it! (& yes. They help.)

Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil

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What I like to call my evil potion – the oil really is a green color, it’s not the bottle! –  that soothes, clarifies, & has a powerful yet comforting smell. 

That’s right – acid, found in an oil – u ually thought of as one of the most moisturizing products out there. Well, that’s not wrong. This oil is a “dry oil,” an oil that easily sinks into one’s skin, leaving it moisturized but not greasy (especially great for oily skin, but works amazingly well on me, too!). It contains 1.5% salicylic acid – this one you might be familiar with. Notorious for being used in products that serve as spot treatments (& often dangerously over-drying & painful if used in excess), salicylic acid is one of those original acids used to help acne & blemishes.

What’s amazing about this oil is that it contains salicylic acid, yes – but it also contains a variety of nourishing oils, like tea tree oil & black cumin seed oil, both of which cleanse & clear pores but don’t leave your skin parched as the Sahara Desert. The small percentage of salicylic acid combined with these clarifying yet nourishing oils makes it an ideal oil for oily/combo/troubled skin – but also amazing for someone like me, who comes across the occasional blemish & clogged pores – but can’t use different clarifying treatments as they’re too drying. I love using it at night, so all of its benefits sink deep into my skin as I sleep. Another reason to buy? It’s Harry Styles’ favorite. (But I bought it first. Justs saying.)

Drunk Elephant C-Firma™️ Day Serum

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Vitamin C – one of the best things to use on acne scars, hyper-pigmentation, & dark spots. Vitamin C also brightens your skin & makes it look plumper & healthier. This serum, while containing Vitamin C (of course) also contains what DE calls their “Potent Antioxidant Complex.” This complex contains a whopping 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, & Ascorbic Acid & Vitamin E 1%, all of which work together to firm & brighten skin, as well as defending the skin against signs of photo aging, pollution, & other environmental stressors. (The Vitamin E is also an oil-type hydrator, hence the “oily”, not watery, consistency of this serum ). You can always trust Drunk Elephant with the latest, most complex, & most effective skin care chemistry, & this product is no different. The ingredients in the C-Firma serum work on your skin for up to 72 hours after application, sinking deep down so that even when you wash your face in the evening, C-Firma is still doing its job. This is a super-concentrated serum that contains a high percentage of acid – so it’s powerful! When first using, you may experience a little redness or irritation (I had a little of both) so Drunk Elephant recommends that you start out with diluting the product with something like Hyaluronic Acid, or just mixing it into your moisturizer. Either way? An amazing product that does excactly what it claims, & more.

The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution 

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The Vampire Facial. 

AHAs – also known as Alpha Hydroxy Acids. AHAs are probably the most powerful acids I’ve personally used on my face, & they’re very beneficial, but you have to tread carefully. AHAs are found naturally in foods, as well as in your body – yes! acids are in your body & in what you eat, as well. AHAs are made up of several different acids: lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, & citric acid. Together, they work to remove dead skin cells from your face – what we call chemical exfoliation. That sounds really scary…but for someone with dry, sensitive skin (like me) chemical exfoliation is actually better for me than physical exfoliation! I don’t get microabrasions when I chemically exfoliate (I usually do if I use a sugar scrub, just one example of a physical exfoliant). Basically, AHAs are a great way to resurface, retexturize, & brighten your skin. They also decrease breakouts, & can help fade fine lines & wrinkles.

However…I did say you need to treat carefully with AHAs. This is because, if left on too long, they can burn your face. If used too often, they can seriously irritate your skin. You should be using an AHA product twice a week maximum. AHAs also increase your sensitivity to sun – so you must wear sunscreen when using an AHA (you should be anyway…but if you don’t, please do wear one when using an AHA product).

AHAs usually tingle or burn on your face when you apply them. That’s normal! They are penetrating your skin & removing dead skin cells, after all. However, if you have particularly sensitive skin, try to start slowly. Maybe you can dilute the product with a little water, or start off with a shorter application time. So – let’s move on to the first AHA product, The Ordinary’s AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.

This is what I like to call the vampire facial. This stuff is blood red – & I mean blood red. Your face will look like a murder scene, but only for 15 minutes. Wash it off after that! 15 minutes is the maximum time this should be on your face, but if you’re nervous about hurting your skin, you can start out with 5-10 minutes! I started with 10 minutes, now use it for 15, & have no issues whatsover. Just be careful!

Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial™

I saved my favorite acid product for last…it truly is my favorite one. Yes. It’s expensive. But it works more effectively (for me, at least) than the Ordinary’s peel (although if you want to try out an AHA without breaking the bank, give The Ordinary’s a go first! It is good…I just prefer Babyfacial).

This was the first AHA product I’d ever used, so the tingling sensation I previously mentioned was definitely a new (kind of funny – I couldn’t stop giggling) thing for me. Drunk Elephant’s site says to leave on for 20 minutes – but to start with 10 if you have sensitive skin – but as I’d gotten this as a sample, & been told by the Sephora skincare consultant to leave it on for 20, I went with the whole 20, unaware of the sensitive skin warning.

However – & this is a testament to the effectiveness yet gentleness of Drunk Elephant’s products – I had absolutely no problems immediately after removing, during the night, or the morning after. I just kept marveling at the smooth, soft texture of my skin. (My mama got annoyed at me because I kept coming up to her to say “LOOK!”) After two more tries with my sample in the next two weeks, I bit the bullet, & made the purchase.

The purchase was made in early March. I am nowhere near done with my bottle – & that’s because you only need 1-2 pumps, & aren’t supposed to use it more than twice a week. Since I alternate between the Babyfacial & some other AHA products like the Ordinary’s, sometimes I’ll go a week without it. My point is: the product lasts you a long time, it is air-tight, it is cruelty-free, fragrance-free, &, if you’re trying to decide on something to splurge on, I would tell you, out of all the things on my top shelf, to go with this one.

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The Drunk Elephant Babyfacial, along with the mini sample of Virgin Marula Oil it comes with. It’s recommended you use a moisturizing product after using an AHA – it helps soothe your skin. The Marula Oil is a great one, but there’s many other cheaper facial oils that work just as well. 

And that’s it! That’s about all I have to say about acids. Basically…they’re a lot less scary than you think. They occur naturally in your body, & they can do a lot of things for the outside of your body, as well. Just make sure you do your research (like you should be doing with every product you put on your face or body!) & find what works best for you. &…if you’re going to use an AHA – WEAR SUNSCREEN! & then, enjoy your clearer, softer, more hydrated skin…all thanks to the variety of acids that may become a key part of your skin routine.

Love,

Sof ❤

  • If you want Babyfacial but don’t want to break the bank…here’s 20% off Drunk Elephant. That brings it down to $65…less painful.
  • As always, I’d love if you shopped with me at Glossier! If you want to try some of their products that contain acids, go for their Priming Moisturizer (mentioned here), which contains hyaluronic acid…& their Super Bounce Serum, which is a hyaluronic acid serum! Plumper, softer, more moisturized skin. 
  • These are affiliate links! I want to be always open & honest with you all. But by shopping with me at Glossier, you’re making it possible for me to get more products to review for all of you who might not know what to do for your face! 
  • As always, leave comments & questions! I love hearing from all of you.

#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.