Clean Beauty Round-up

Getting into green beauty

As I’m trying to incorporate more natural makeup and skincare into my routine, I wanted to share some new additions to my collection.

I love everything from Bite Beauty and the Amuse Bouche lipsticks are no exception. They’re creamy, smooth, and really pigmented.

This Clove and Hallow concealer covers the dark veins under my eyes so well. It also blends in nicely using the Ecotools Concealer Brush.

I’m usually not much of a primer girl, but the Whish Beauty primer is actually smoothing and hydrating on my skin. I’ve been enjoying the extra step in my routine.

I’ve been testing out some Mad Hippie skincare lately. I love that you can find the line at Whole Foods and it’s affordable compared to some other clean lines. I’ve been using the Vitamin A Serum twice a week to combat fine lines; I need to test it longer before I can give it my stamp of approval. I like the Cream Cleanser as a gentle morning face wash. It doesn’t remove my makeup, so I don’t use it at night.

This Beautycounter Nourishing Eye Cream is my favorite discovery from the line so far. It’s hydrating without being heavy.

Lastly, I’ve written about this Balance Me mask before, but I’m loving that it’s 98% natural and makes my skin feel so soft.

What are your favorite clean beauty products??

Benefit Get the Pretty Started Palette Review

My favorite face palette

I picked up this adorable palette from Benefit back in November and it has been my go-to item for blush, bronzer, and highlight since. All of the shades are gorgeous and blend out nicely. I also love that the palette has a mirror and think the pink packaging is just the cutest.

This was supposed to be limited edition, but you can currently get it at Sephora for $20! It includes minis of the Hoola bronzer, Galifornia blush, and Watt’s Up highlighter.

The powders are highly pigmented, but they’re easy to sheer out on the skin. The Watt’s Up highlighter is normally in a stick formula, so this poured cream version takes a bit of warming up with your fingers. After a few seconds, it looks really natural on the skin and isn’t glittery at all. I also use Hoola in the crease and Watt’s Up on the lid for a quick and easy eyeshadow look.

All in all I have been loving this palette and highly recommend it! What’s your favorite face palette?

Beauty Minis I Packed for a 2 Week Trip

Skin, body, and haircare reviews

I’ve been in Chicago for the holidays since last week and I’m not heading back to NYC until next week, so I packed a bunch of travel-sized products to last through my whole trip. Here are some of my favorites.

My hands are always dry during the winter, so this Tocca Hand Cream has been so useful. I love the Florence scent, which has notes of Gardenia, and that it sinks in quickly.

The Drunk Elephant Marula Oil is super hydrating, so a little bit goes a long way. I’ve been using this at night instead of a night cream and it’s helped with the flakes around my nose. This duo is a great way to try the oil and their amazing glycolic serum.

I also travel with the Pekee and Juju bars from Drunk Elephant- one for a gentle cleanse that removes makeup and the other for light exfoliation. I never thought I’d like bar soap, but these are so effective and convenient. They also last forever compared to a traditional liquid cleanser.

I received this Beauty Protector Protect and Volume Spray in a Birchbox and I’m really considering picking up the full size. It adds shine and volume to my thin hair and provides UV and heat protection. I love that it has a spray nozzle and smells lovely.

This tiny Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Cleanser only lasted four uses, but I really enjoyed it. It has a nice gel texture with a light scent. It removes makeup really quickly, so I used this at the end of the day.

I’ve tried a couple things from IGK and really like the brand so far. Their Coconut Oil Gel adds moisture to my wavy hair. The light hold helps tame frizz as well. I use about a dime sized amount from my ears to ends.

What are your must-haves when traveling?

Mini Mask Reviews

Rounding up four face masks

I love testing new face masks! I recently received a couple with my last Sephora order and had two from past Birchboxes, so I wanted to share my thoughts.

Tara Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58)

I really enjoyed the texture of this mask. It was a gel-like base that was easy to spread on the face. You are supposed to leave it on for 20 minutes and then remove with warm water. This little jar lasted about 3 uses and I loved it. It definitely made my skin softer and more radiant. I also love that the Tara Harper line uses safe ingredients, is effective, and feels luxurious.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask ($30)

I am obsessed with this clay mask! It’s great at drawing out impurities and it actually makes my pores look smaller. It feels like a mud mask but isn’t overly wet. It’s definitely thicker – almost like a cream. It does dry down so you know when to remove it, but it hasn’t dried my skin out. I only put in on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Reed and I have both used this a couple times and there are a few uses left, so this is a generous sample. I would definitely buy the full size!

Farmacy Honey Potion Hydrating Mask ($46)

This mask is bright yellow and goes from a thick jello-like texture to a creamy foam once rubbed in. You’re supposed to feel warming while massaging for 2-3 and I don’t really enjoy that. I have some flakiness around my nose and this didn’t fix that either. I wanted to love this because I’ve heard such great things about Farmacy, but I won’t be using the rest of this.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask ($26)

I tried a few things from Balance Me thanks to Birchbox and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried! This mask only requires 5 minutes and it’s a physical exfoliator and brightening mask in one. It has an interesting, natural scent that’s grown on me and I like how it dries down quickly. It’s also pretty affordable.

All in all, it was fun to try out these different face masks and 3/4 is a pretty good success rate to me! Have you tried any of these masks?

Gift Guide: Beauty ($85 and under)

Gift Guide: Beauty

It was so hard to narrow down items for this gift guide! There are so many amazing beauty products and brands out there (Glossier, Colourpop, Besame, Sunday Riley, Drunk Elephant, Ilia, RMS beauty, and on and on…), but I stuck to items from the more mainstream brands that can easily be found at Ulta or Nordstrom because we’re only 9 days away from Christmas now! These are gift-worthy items I personally use and love or would really like to receive.

  1. Tarte Blush Bazaar Palette ($44) – These blushes are really pigmented, blendable, and long-lasting. I think this palette makes a great gift, especially with the cute packaging and tons of colors.
  2. Lorac Ocean Sunset Palette ($42) – I love the mix of shadows in this palette. It’s an unexpected gift that you can get a variety of looks out of and it comes with a mini primer. Lorac eyeshadows are soft, buttery, and pigmented as well.
  3. L’occitane Almond Gift Set ($52) – This is a bit of a splurge for bodycare, but I think it’s worth it because the products are so luxurious and you get minis for travel. The Shower Oil helps soften skin while the Milk Concentrate is really moisturizing and they both smell amazing.
  4. Chantecaille Save the Rainforest Palette ($85) – I love the philanthropic aspect and the amazing gorilla print on these eyeshadows. The color combo is stunning as well. This is one I haven’t tried but would love to receive.
  5. Deborah Lippmann Color On Glass Set ($24) – The colors in this trio are so pretty and I think nail polish makes a nice gift for someone you may not know well enough to choose eyeshadows or lipsticks for.
  6. Bare Minerals Mini Lipsticks ($26) – The Gen Nude Radiant Lipsticks are one of my absolute favorite formulas. They feel smooth on the lips, are moisturizing, but pretty long wearing, and smell nice. This kit is great because it has a mix of the neutral and statement colors at an affordable price.
  7. Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics ($27) – This is one of my most used eyeshadow palettes and is a great deal at Ulta right now. The matte colors are beautiful for every day wear and you have some deeper shades for liner or going out. There’s also one shimmery shade that’s perfect for the lid. I highly recommend it!
  8. A custom gift set! This one features some great haircare items and this adorable Velvet Bow Hair Tie ($18). The Living Proof No Frizz Oil ($20) is amazing for hydration and taming dry hair. The mini size will last for several months as well. I also love this R + Co Shine Cream ($27) which I use on wet hair to define curls. The packaging definitely makes it gift worthy.

There are a dozen more items I wanted to add and now my personal wishlist has gotten longer! What’s on your beauty wishlist or gift guide?