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Best in Beauty: June 2020

Part of being a want to be dermatologist, and a beauty obsessed blogger means that I try a boat load of products regularly. That of course leads me to have favorites and staples in my routine, so a while back I decided I’d start a monthly series of all my favorite products.

So without further ado, here are my favorites for June!

Best in Beauty: Skincare

Morning Cleanser: Tula Purifying Face Cleanser

Nighttime Cleanser: SulfaCleanse *by prescription only

Cleansing Balm: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil

Makeup Remover: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil

Exfoliate: Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder

Acne Fighter: Curology *by prescription only

Serum: Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Serum

Face Oil: Beauty Bio The Radiance Brightening Omega & Rosehip Seed Oil

Acid: Skinceuticals C E Ferulic Acid

Morning Lotion: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Moisturizer

Nighttime Lotion: Beauty Bio The Quench Quadralipid Rapid Recovery Face Moisturizer

Eye Cream: Pixi Beauty Retinol Eye Cream

Overnight Mask: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

Anti-Aging: Tretinoin *by prescription only – I use Curology for my prescription (see above)

Face Mask: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

Toner: Biologique Recherche P50

Facial Mist: Tatcha Luminous Dewy Mist

Self-Tanner: Jergens Daily Glow Moisturizer

Hair Removal: Billie Razors

Eyelash Serum: Avon Anew Clinical Unlimited Lashes Lash & Brow Serum

Best in Beauty: Makeup

Primer: Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Illuminating Primer

Highlighter (Liquid): Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Highlighter (Powder): Becca *in shade Champagne Pop

Foundation (Liquid): Dior Forever Foundation

Foundation (Powder): Bare Minerals Original Foundation

Foundation (Stick): Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick

Tinted Moisturizer: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer

Translucent Powder: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder

Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape

Bronzer: Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer

Eyebrow Pencil: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Blush: Laura Mercier Matte Bronzer Powder *in shade Soleil 2

Eyeshadow Palette: Urban Decay Naked3 Palette

Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara

Mascara Primer: Lancome Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer

Eyeliner: Physicians Formula Eye Definer Automatic Eye Pencil

Lipstick: Mac Powder Kiss Lipstick *in shade A Little Tamed

Lip Liner: Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner *in shade Supersize Me

Liquid Lipstick: Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick *in shade Lover

Lip Gloss: Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss *in shade Nude

Lip Treatment: Lucas Papaw Lip Ointment

Lip Balm: Lucas Papaw Lip Ointment

Makeup Brush: Sonia Kashuk Makeup Blender Sponge

Body Bronzer: Vita Liberata Body Blur

Best in Beauty: Haircare

Shampoo & Conditioner: Klorane Soothing & Anti-Irritating Shampoo/Conditioner with Peony

Dry Shampoo: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oak Milk

Hair Mask: Olaplex No3 Hair Perfector

Texturizer: Its a 10 Miracle Blow Dry Texture Spray

Heat Protectant: Kerastase Resistance Blow Dry Primer

Volumizer: Aveda Volumizing Tonic

Leave In Conditioner: It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product

Hair Thickening Product: Aveda Thickening Tonic

Hair Smoothing Product: Bumble & Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

Hair Spray: Tresemme Tres Two Extra Hold Hair Spray

Hair Dryer: Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer

Curling Iron: Conair InfinitiPro Nano Tourmaline 1-inch Curling Iron

Have any suggestions for new categories you’d like to see added in the future? Have products you’d like me to try? Comment below, or send me an email!!

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A No Make-Up, Make-Up

I can’t speak for you, but being quarantined has really put a damper on my beauty routine. While it has allowed me to put a much needed emphasis on skincare, I’ve also found that it has me wearing less and less makeup. In truth, it’s been a bit liberating to not feel the need to have a full face of makeup on to be comfortable going somewhere or joining a video meeting. Granted there are still days that I like to get all glamourous, but the vast majority of the time my makeup routine consists of five products.

To be clear, when I say makeup routine, I mean just that. Lotions and serums I apply are items I consider skincare related, so I’m not talking about those in this post, but rather every item I put on my face from the time I apply my morning lotion until the time I’m out the door. But let’s be real – there’s nowhere to go, so really these are the products I put on to sit in front of my computer and work.

Charlotte Tilbury Face Filter

I’ve probably talked about this stuff a thousand times, but it’s so great. It gives a great glow to the skin without being too shiny and without looking like I got into a fight with glitter. It isn’t a foundation, so it isn’t going to cover flaws, but I also use the next product to hide those pesky imperfections J

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

There’s a reason that this is rated as a top concealer, and it does wonders for hiding under eye circles and covering blemishes. A little goes a long way, but I dap under my eyes and then a little throughout my t-zone (where I am most red) and blend with a damp beauty blender.

Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder

I use this overtop of all the areas where I applied concealer and it does a phenomenal job. It never creases under the eye and it never looks powdery or cakey.

Hoola Bronzer

My face always looks a little scary until I apply bronzer, and this is a darn good one! It’s a great shade that isn’t too orange or too dark and gives my face a much needed dash of warmth.

Nars Afterglow Lip Balm in Orgasm

Lip colors are practically a thing of the past because well – hello masks! So instead of opting for lip stick or gloss, I just give my lips a little of this balm and we’re good to go.

How has your makeup routine changed since quarantine? Share in the comments below!

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Amazon Beauty: Recent Purchases

Hi my name is Jessica, and I have an Amazon addiction. So much so, that when randomly scrolling through my recent orders in their app, I discovered that in 6 months’ time, I’d ordered 14 beauty products. Like what?!! That doesn’t even take into consideration orders outside the beauty atmosphere (yikes). Anyway, with the large volume of products I’ve tested out, what better blog post then to share which of these products I’d reorder and which I’d rather return.

Tinkle Eyebrow Razor

These are truly great, and I’ve reordered them several times now. They’re inexpensive, and great for shaping eyebrows or getting rid of peach fuzz on the face.

Verdict: Reorder

COSRX Acne Pimple Patch

I actually just reordered these, which is how I stumbled upon the large volume of beauty products I’d ordered from Amazon in the first place. I wouldn’t consider these a miracle cure for a zit, but they certainly speed up the life cycle of one.

Verdict: Reorder

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

I love Living Proof Full Volume Blast, so I thought I would give their dry shampoo a chance. It’s good, but I don’t like it as much as Klorane Dry Shampoo. That said, it makes for a great texturizer through the strands.

Verdict: Return

The Ordinary Peeling Solutions AHA 30% + BHA 2%

I wrote about this product in more detail in this blog post, but this is one product I could not live without. It’s available at both Sephora & Ulta for cheaper half the price, but sometimes I’m willing to pay a premium to get it delivered quicker.

Verdict: Reorder

It’s A 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In Product

This product is a trusted old friend, and I use it in mine and Beckett’s hair. It’s a great detangler, and keeps my hair healthy and happy.

Verdict: Reorder

8Greens

The story of this product is amazing, and while I have no complaints about these, I just couldn’t remember to use them. I struggle enough remembering to get adequate water in the day, much less adding a tablet to the water and drinking that.  

Verdict: Return

The Ordinary “B” Oil

I ordered this when I was looking for an oil to mix with my body moisturizer. While it did give my legs a little more hydration, I’d have to order a bucket of this stuff every few weeks because a little did not go a long way. In their defense, I don’t think this product was designed for body use.

Verdict: Return

UCANBE 18 Color Eyeshadow

I ordered this because it looked a lot like this Huda Beauty Eyeshadow Palette. After using it for a while, I would’t exactly classify these two products as similar, but it’s still a great palette at an even greater price.

Verdict: Reorder

Whaline Spa Facial Headband

I ordered these to hold my hair out of my face when I was washing it, or when applying a face mask and these do exactly as promised!

Verdict: Reorder

Kerastase Blond Absolu Shampoo

My absolute favorite blonde shampoo, that I will order over, over and over again.

Verdict: Reorder

L’Oreal Paris Rouge Matte Lip Stain in Color ‘Savor’

Honestly, I can’t remember why I ordered this, but if I was guessing – another blogger recommended it. The color was a little too pink for my liking.

Verdict: Return

Revlon HD Vinyl Lip Polish in Color ‘Act Natural

Love the formula of this product, and the color is nice though admittedly a little more ‘beige’ than I typically wear.

Verdict: Return

Revlon HD Vinyl Lip Polish in Color ‘Birthday Suit’

As a said, I really loved the formula so I ordered this in another shade and found a total winner! It’s the perfect blush nude shade, and one I wear all the time.

Verdict: Reorder

Hair Scalp Shampoo Massager Brush

I love this thing – not only because it gives my scalp a good scrub but for the arm workout I get when I use it. Great for removing product build up, dandruff and for general exfoliation.

Verdict: Reorder

What products have you ordered from Amazon recently? Share your favorites below!

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Six Beauty Products I Could Not Live Without

Throughout my life, I’ve used A LOT of beauty products….A LOT! Even as a young girl, I was always the person to try a new shampoo/conditioner, a new powder or a new foundation every time I ran out of old one. Ultimately, this game continued until I found products so good that I refused to live my life without them, and for some products this game continues even now.

While I’m not exactly a certified beauty expert, the sheer volume of sampling and testing of various products gives me enough credibility to write today’s blog post. So without further ado, these are the six products I could not – and WOULD not – live without.

Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion

If you are interested in beauty in the slightest, then you’ve heard of this product. It has a cult following of people who all swear it’s the Holy Grail, so I knew it was something I needed to try. As far as I know, there is only one place to order this online (if you’re located in the US), and that’s Rescue Spa. I’m not usually someone who likes to fall in love with a product that is exceptionally difficult to get, but on a whim I caved and ordered it.

The first day I tried it, I wanted to die. Not literally, but I’m not going to sugar coat this – the product smells like sweaty feet and salt and vinegar chips. And spoiler alert – it’s not lotion. It’s more of a toner, as it’s meant to be used by saturating a cotton round and sweeping over the face. So it’s safe to say that I was not impressed on day one of using.

But as any good beauty guru will tell you, give a new product time – and that’s exactly what I did. I had to incorporate this product slowly into my routine because I have extremely dry skin, but once my face (and nose in this case!) got acclimated, it was the game changer everyone had claimed it to be. Since using, my skin is less irritated, my breakouts are far and few between, my skin tone is even and my complexion is bright.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%

As I said, I have extremely dry skin and so exfoliation is an absolute must for me. Truthfully, exfoliation should be a must for everyone regardless of skin type, but it is crucial that I exfoliate my face or my makeup settles into the dry patches on my face and the dry flakes will start to make my skin breakout. I’ve tried so many manual and chemical exfoliates over the years, and while many of them were fine, I was looking for something more…borderline magical.

After bouncing around the idea of a serious chemical peel at a dermatologist office and chickening out, I googled some of the strongest “peels” you can do in the comfort of your own home. That’s how I stumbled on The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2%, and the $7 price tag made it a no brainer for at least testing.

One use and I was completely sold! Even my husband commented after that one use that my skin looked great and my face was really soft. I will say, it’s a rather odd product to apply, as it comes with a dropper for application, and the product itself is thin but kind of sticky making it a little difficult to apply but it’s totally worth it. Do not apply this product if you have any open wounds (like a zit you popped) or a sunburn, as it will hurt like hell. Even on the best of days with this product, it tingles – not enough that I’m super uncomfortable but for 10 minutes I definitely want to itch my face. I use this once a week, and it has helped tremendously with getting rid of my dry, flaky skin.

Aveda Thickening Tonic

Changing gears a bit to hair care products, let’s talk about this thickening tonic. What is a thickening tonic? Thickening products claim to expand strands of hair, making them – thicker. Though I do have fine hair, I have a lot of it, so thickening products are super beneficial to help me achieve fuller, bouncy hair. And I’ve used a boat load of products that claim to make hair thicker, most of which didn’t work, and those that did almost always irritated my super sensitive scalp or made my forehead break out.

When I tried the Aveda Thickening Tonic, my expectations were low, but boy was I surprised! I use on damp hair, spray throughout from roots to ends and then brush and blow dry. It leaves no weird texture on the hair (no crunch, no grease, nothing) and makes hair noticeably thicker. I’ve used this product for almost 3 years now, and have recommended to so many people – all who agree that this is one of the best haircare products on the market. You can expect to pay $30 for 3.4 oz, though I will say I’ve occasionally found this product at Nordstrom Rack for a discount. You can also order a travel size to test it out for $19.

Lucas Papaw Lip Ointment

If you know me, then you know I tend to be a little dramatic and over exaggerate just about everything, so you might think I’m exaggerating when I say that I have tested every lip balm/chapstick/lip mask on the planet. But that is not an exaggeration because I have seriously tried everything on my perpetually dry lips!

As an avid mouth breather, my lips are ALWAYS dry. It’s something I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember and nothing – and I do mean nothing – has been a game changer. I’ve tried every chapstick, every balm, every mask, nose strips to help me breathe through my nose instead – literally everything. Then I tried the Lucas Papaw Lip Ointment and holy shit, it’s legit.

I will preface this by saying that, as a mouth breather, there is only so much a lip ointment can do. The constant moisture on the lips from inhaling and exhaling will dry out lips, and putting an ointment on them is only a temporary Band-Aid. That said, this lip balm is the best of the best and really helps combat the dryness. It has some serious staying power which means I don’t have to apply it as often, and when I combine this with drinking enough water for the day, and a huge focus on breathing through my nose – my lips are night and day different.

BeautyBio The Quench Quadralipid Lotion

Warning: this stuff is expensive. Additional warning: But it’s so good!

I know I’ve said it like 8,000 times in this blog post, but I have really dry skin and most of the lotions I’ve tried over the years aren’t enough to restore moisture into my face. This stuff is no joke. I don’t use it as part of my AM routine unless my skin is really dry because I find it makes my makeup a little more greasy than I like, but as a PM moisturizer – it’s the bees knees! It’s thick, but thin which I know makes zero sense, but you will wake with hydrated and happy skin after just a couple uses.

Pulled straight from BeautyBio’s website, this moisturizer contains 4 key lipids (good skin fats) responsible for skin’s protective barrier, bounce, hydration and radiance. It’ll set you back $125 for 1.7 oz. but if you’re suffering from dry skin, or live in a dry atmosphere, then it’s worth it.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

If you’re looking for an “I woke up like this/skin that glows from within” kind of product, this is your dream come true. This product is extremely versatile, as it can be worn as foundation, highlighter or even as primer. The best part is that it truly gives the dreamiest complexion that looks like you stepped straight from a facial, drank 100 oz of water and have a skincare regimen of 40+ products.

This is a product I use every day, but there is one caveat. In my experience, it doesn’t travel well. Every time I’ve put this in my makeup bag, it’s leaked everywhere – which is typically a deal breaker – but for this product, I’m willing to make special accommodations and exceptions for given how great it makes my makeup look.    

Well there you have it – the six beauty products I could not live without! Have questions about any of the products, or want to share your own ride or die products? Put them in the comments below!

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Back to Blogging

Wow, it’s been such a long time since I’ve written a blog post here. So what have I been up to for the last year and a half?!

If I’m being honest, after 4-ish years of blogging, I’d finally had enough. I started my blog without any real concept, and over the years I assumed I’d find my way in the blogging atmosphere, but truthfully I found blogging to be more of a task than a passion. Don’t get me wrong, I love fashion and I love writing, and naively I figured that doing two things I love would be amazing. Instead, it became about likes, collaborations, unauthentic outfits, and keeping up with other bloggers. It was a rat race – one I was never going to win, which became defeating. It became a constant game of comparisons and wearing what everyone else was wearing because that’s what society and blogging groups were telling me to do. Frankly, it was the exact opposite of what I sought out to do when I started blogging. And so I stopped posting on my website but kept up with Instagram because I didn’t truly want to give up on something I’d work so hard at through the years. During all this, I had a nagging feeling of being lost. My page had no purpose, I had no passion and so I finally quit posting on my Instagram page too.

Let me just tell you. The 5 or so months I spent soul searching and without the constant pressure of social media was liberating! No deadlines, no pressure, no comparisons. No spending time liking other’s content, in the hopes of some ridiculously complex algorithm rewarding me by putting my content higher up the food chain. It was a breath of fresh air and allowed me to get a 50,000-foot glance at what I was doing, and what I was trying to accomplish. And then one day it just clicked.

I love fashion…but I also love a lot of things. Like ice cream. That doesn’t mean I need to write a blog about it. So I spent time figuring out where my strongest passions are. Writing is probably my number one. I’ve dreamed of writing a book since I was a kid, and it’s something I will check off my to-do list one day. This led me to conclude that I should definitely continue writing a blog. But what about? What else am I passionate about? And then it hit me – skincare! Growing up, I wanted to be a dermatologist. Matter of fact, I started college as a pre-med major (didn’t everyone start college as a pre-med major?!), but then I got lazy and said hell no to so many years of school. Even though I didn’t go on to be a dermatologist, my passion for skincare never went away.

So during my soul searching, it clicked. I should focus my blog content on skincare and beauty instead. And you might be thinking – there are thousands of beauty related websites and bloggers already out there, why bother? And you’re right, there are. And some of these bloggers and websites are pages I know, love and trust. But there is also plenty of content I haven’t been able to find, like valid skincare advice during my perioral dermatitis episode and legit products to use on hormonal acne.

So from this point forward, I’ll be putting a huge focus on all things beauty. Every now and again, I’ll post some additional content (fashion, life, maybe even ice cream!), but the vast majority will be honest and authentic reviews of products I have actually used and tested, specific topics related to beauty (skincare products to use during pregnancy, hair care products that actually get rid of dandruff, how to simplify your skincare routine, etc.), highlights of specific brands and sales, and I’ll be bringing back my Best in Beauty monthly series that will include all my favorites each month.

So who’s excited?! I know I am!! First up, I’ll be posting the 6 beauty products I could not, and absolutely would not live without. Stay tuned tomorrow for that post! In the meantime, I’ve left a nomination form on my Instagram highlights for products you’d like to see reviewed or have covered in a blog post!

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