October Skincare Favorites! Part 2

This post continues my second part of my October Skincare Favorites! Let’s get to it shall we?

8. Hand Cream: Neutrogena Original Hand Cream

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This isn’t really a new product out there. It’s Neutrogena’s hand cream. At first, I wasn’t crazy about this product because I didn’t like the gel-like formula, but it’s effectiveness left my hands hydrated and so soft. It instantly grew on me. This is my go-to hand cream that I always have in my handbag. Love, love this handcream!

9. Hand Salve: Burt Bee’s Hand Salve

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Another Burt’s Bees product! Look at the burly man on the front! Remember I mentioned having dry eyelids and dry skin underneath my earlobes? I honestly swear by this stuff! One of my eye primers were causing severe dry patches on my delicate eye area and I was trying everything to hydrate them. Aloe vera, coconut oil, vaseline, cocoa butter, intense moisturizing creams. I tried them all! And nothing was working until I read a forum online and some people recommended Burt’s Bees Hand Salve. And FINALLY! An affordable product that worked wonders! Not only did this hand salve completely alleviate my dry eye area, it helped keep my skin soft and hydrated. Even my dry earlobes were cured. AH! I have nothing but praise for this product! Well done Burt’s Bees! Well done.

This product is a salve made up of botanical oils such as olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and various other flower oils. It’s also made with beeswax (naturally, haha). Some people may not care for the smell of this salve if you’re not into herbal aromas such as lavender and rosemary, but I myself quite fancy this scent a lot. I’d rather prefer an herbal scent over a sugary, sweet, candy-smelling scent. It’s so soothing and refreshing to me.

I also wanted to add that my husband loves this hand salve. After a day tinkering in the garage working on his cars, his hands are beat up and dried out. He always reaches for Burt’s Bees Hand Salve to bring back the moisture in his hands. Seeeeeeee, this isn’t just for women! ūüôā

10. Morning Facial Cleanser: ¬†Philosophy’s Purity One-Step Facial Cleanser

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I got a sample of this cleanser at Sephora and wanted to try it out. I love how gentle this cleanser is. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or irritated, but makes it feel hydrated and refreshed. I don’t use this facial cleanser every morning, as I don’t really think washing your face everyday is all that great for your skin (at least with my experience), but I’ll use this if I feel like my face is feeling overly oily or just needs a quick pick-me up.

11. Morning/Daytime Facial Moisturizer: Dermalogica “Active Moist”

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As you already know, and like many of you out there, cold weather and skin is an ongoing battle. Dry, flaky skin. It’s soooooo annoying and embarrassing to have. I did my own research looking for a good facial moisturizer and came across Dermologica “Active Moist.” Even though I have oily, acne-prone skin with the occasional dry patches, my skin still needs to be moisturized. This moisturizer does the trick. Even though it is a bit pricey, a little goes a long way. Not a huge fan of the smell, but it doesn’t linger for long and the moisturizer itself doesn’t leave my skin greasy with clogged pores. No more dry, flaky patches! Okay, gross.

12. Morning/Daytime Facial Moisturizer with SPF: Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin

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This may seem over kill on the moisturizer, but I can’t leave the house without my SPF on. After putting on Active Moist, I’ll put on this daily moisturizer. It’s unscented and does the job I need it to do. As we all know, SPF helps to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. And it also helps to reduce wrinkles AND skin cancer.

This concludes my October Skincare Favorites! I hope you all enjoyed it! ūüôā

October Skincare Favorites! Part 1

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I’m so excited fall is in full swing! ¬†Crisp air, colorful leaves, hot beverages, and of course, cute clothes! ¬†Bring on the scarves and boots!! ¬†But as the seasons change so does my makeup and skincare routine. ¬†My face tends to get very dry in certain areas especially around the mouth, eyelids, and weirdly enough, behind my earlobes. ¬†Oh yes, even behind the earlobes. ¬†But the rest of my face remains oily to normal AND acne-prone. C’est la vie.

Lately, I’ve been having issues with acne (the typical annoying small bumps around my jawline and cheeks) and my prescribed topical cream was just not cutting it anymore. ¬†I needed to adjust my skincare routine to supplement my topical cream. ¬†With so so SO many skincare products out there on the market, it can become a very daunting task, but I was up for the challenge. ¬†I scoured the internet, read countless online reviews, ¬†and watched a number of beauty gurus on youtube who recommended products. ¬†To say the least, it was (as I suspected) a very overwhelming and exhausting process, but I weirdly quite enjoyed the hunt. ¬†Lets be honest though, you will never find the “perfect skincare routine.” ¬†It will always be changing. ¬†Always. ¬†Sorry to break it to ya.

With¬†a wealth of information I had in my holster, I took to my local Sephora and ULTA stores and chose a few products to purchase. ¬†So far, I’m very pleased with my purchases. ¬†I hope I can recommend some products that you can try yourself, but I can’t guarantee an overnight miracle. ¬†Some of these take time, so be patient, and be conscience of how your skin reacts to any and all products you use. ¬†There are a lot of products I’ll be mentioning which is why I’ve split this post into two parts.

Alright, enough with the jibba jabba, let’s get to it!

These are listed in the order I like to apply each product:

1.  Eye and lip makeup remover: Bioderma

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Honestly, one of the best makeup removers I have found. ¬†Believe me, I’ve tried Baby Oil, Vaseline, makeup remover wipes, etc. to get rid of my eye makeup. But this. ¬†How did I live for so long without THIS!!! Bioderma is an independent French company/laboratory who work closely with dermatologists and research centers to create products for mainstream marketing (mainly for skin cosmetics and medicine). How COOL is that???

Anyhow, so this Bioderma stuff is amazing. ¬†It is not oily AT ALL! It feels a lot like water on the skin and is incredibly gentle. ¬†I hated using oily-based products to use for eye makeup remover because the oil would get in my eyes and my vision and contacts would get all cloudy. ¬†And I hate using makeup remover wipes because the wipe itself tend to be too rough for my eye area and if I got any of the moisture in my eye, it stung! ¬†But no more. Bioderma has arrived. ūüėÄ ¬†Bioderma is also incredible for removing fake lashes and waterproof mascara. ¬†I couldn’t be more pleased with this product!

2. ¬†Facial makeup remover (1st cleanse):¬†Clinique “Take the Day Off” Cleansing Balm

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When I wear a full face of makeup, I want a gentle cleanser to help remove it all and that’s why I choose to cleansing balm to do the job. ¬†I’ve been reading a lot about these balms and I finally decided to try one out. ¬†Let me tell you. ¬†This stuff feels like buttery velvet on your face. ¬†It is so smooth and luxurious, honestly, as much as I love putting makeup on, I just as much enjoy removing it by the end of the day. ¬†It’s almost like my own personal “spa” treatment I like to give myself. ¬†And my skin loves me for it.

Clinique’s cleansing balm melts all of my other makeup right off making it so much easier to wash away! ¬†You can even add a bit of water to the balm and it will turn into this milky consistency to help remove the makeup off as well. ¬†Ah! So lovely! Rinse your face with lukewarm water and you can proceed to your second cleanse.

Instead of dipping dirty fingers into the balm every use, I’d use a little spatula or the other end of a plastic utensil to remove the balm from the tub. ¬†This will help keep your balm free of festering germs. Yuck!

**I always do a double cleanse when removing my makeup. ¬†The first cleanse it to get the majority of your makeup off. ¬†The second cleanse is what actually cleanses your face and pores and removes any excess makeup you maybe have left behind. ¬†I only double cleanse when I’ve worn a full face of makeup that day. ¬†Other days, I stick to just one cleanser.**

3. ¬†2nd cleanse:¬†Philosophy “Miracle Worker” Lactic Acid Cleanser and Mask

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Onto the second cleanse! Another beloved favorite of mine: Philosophy’s Lactic Acid Cleanser and Mask. ¬†This product claims to be “anti-aging” but if you read¬†My Philosophy¬†page, you’d know that I just don’t buy into that market. ¬†However, what I REALLY was sold on about this product was it’s key ingredient: Lactic Acid. Lactic Acid has been known to help improve skin texture and hydration. ¬†I’ll do a more in depth post about Lactic Acid in skincare products in the near future. ¬†But just know, it’s also a great ingredient to be on the lookout when searching for skincare products.

4. Evening Moisturizer:¬†Burt’s Bees Sensitive Night Cream¬†

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I love Burt’s Bees products. ¬†And Sensitive Night Cream has been doing well for me so far. ¬†It’s lightweight and unscented. ¬†My husband hated my previous night creams. ¬†They always had a strange and typically strong scent. ¬†I also grew tired of the smell, but most importantly, the previous night creams were just too heavy feeling. ¬†It felt like my skin couldn’t “breathe” at night. ¬† I don’t believe that this cream helps to reduce fine lines or anything, but it does the job to keep my skin hydrated without breaking me out.

5. Eye Cream:  PURE Vitamin C+ 

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I found this eye cream at TJ Maxx, actually. ¬†And for only $5.00, I thought I’d try it out. ¬†I also like that it contained Vitamin C (or rather another form of Vitamin C called Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate. ¬†This form is still an effective antioxidant like it’s neighboring part, absorbic acid.) ¬†It’s been known to¬†help brighten the skin, making it a perfect ingredient for eye creams.

Vitamin C is a great ingredient to keep an eye out when you’re on the search for a good skincare product. ¬†Vitamin C helps collagen production, keeping your skin looking firm ¬†and healthy.

Using this for several weeks now (day and night) I have noticed that my dark circles have been minimized, which I’m quite pleased! This cream is very hydrating and I love the scent of it. ¬†It smells like oranges! ¬†Mmmm! ¬†Another added tip, stick your eye creams in the fridge. ¬†The cold cream will help with any puffiness around the eyes. ¬†I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this product considering it was only for $5.oo!!! Winning! ūüôā

6. Homemade Lip Scrub with Coconut Oil

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I loooove this lip scrub.  I actually have never ever made or even used a lip scrub before.  I was bored one night and decided to make some from a recipe I found on Pinterest.  It was great because I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  This homemade lip scrub has three simple ingredients: 1 part coconut oil (solid form), 1 part honey, and 2-3 parts brown sugar.

Let me tell you. I am so hooked on this stuff! It smells amazing, it tastes amazing and it exfoliates and hydrates wonderfully! Coconut oil helps to moisturize the lips, honey has medicinal qualities, and brown sugar helps to exfoliate your lips to make lipstick/lipgloss application soo smooth without having embarrassing dried, peeling lips. Oh yes, it’s happened to me. Not a cute look. ¬†This is the perfect remedy for fall/winter chapped lips when your chapstick just isn’t cutting it.

Just rub this lip scrub on your lips and wipe away. ¬†I guess you could eat it too, but it’s too sugary for my liking, but still yummy. ūüôā

7. Lip Balm: ¬†Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Skin Protectant

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To finish off the lips after exfoliating, I apply Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Skin Protectant. ¬†This is soooo wonderful on my lips. ¬†When it says 8 hours skin protectant, believe it. ¬†It’s soo hydrating. ¬†I really like the smell too, but some may not care for it. ¬†It reminds me a lot like Smith’s Rosebud Salve, but I feel that it lasts longer than the Rosebud Salve. ¬†I don’t know, that’s just me.

Thanks to one of my favorite makeup artists on youtube, Lisa Eldridge, for introducing me to this lovely product. ¬†It’s been around for a while and is very very well known in the beauty/cosmetic world. ¬†I also keep a tube of this in my pro kit also when I do freelance work. If my client’s lips are dry and chapped I’ll use a q-tip and rub this on their lips. ¬†My clients always ask me what it is I put on their lips because they love the feel. ¬†Love, love, looove this stuff!

This concludes the first part of my October Skincare Favorites!  Stay tuned for Part 2 of my October Skincare Favorites tomorrow!

If you have any products you’d like to recommend me to try, I would LOVE to read your recommendations in the comments section!

What is up with Parabens????

When I began my quest in search of skincare products I wanted to try, I read a lot of the labels to see what ingredients they contained or didn’t contain. ¬†Many of them, if not, all of them proudly advertised “NO PARABENS” or “PARABEN-FREE.” ¬†I had heard the word before, but didn’t think much of it, but this word kept popping up everywhere that the scientist in me decided to do a little research on the subject.

What are parabens you might ask?  Well, parabens are common preservatives found mainly in cosmetics, skincare, shampoos and even some food and drugs.  The most common parabens you might find on labels are: butylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben, and methylparaben.  Basically, they help prevent the product from going bad, hence a preservative.  For the science nerds out there, I provided the chemical structure of the most simplest form of a paraben (oh how I miss Organic Chemistry!):

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To a lot of you, this picture may just look like a really bad pictionary drawing.

Moving on…

The paraben controversy has been going on for well over a decade. ¬†Research was done back in 2003 to 2005 on the harms of parabens. ¬†One research journal ¬†published that parabens were found in breast cancer tumors, however there was no evidence to indicate that parabens were the cause of breast cancer. ¬†The same source also stated that parabens could mimic the properties of estrogen (which as we all know, estrogen is one culprit in some breast cancers), however, the activity levels of these parabens were so small and insignificant, that it is highly unlikely that parabens could increase your risk of breast cancer. ¬†I’m not saying that we should take this information and toss it to the wind. There could possibly be a correlation here, but further research needs to be conducted in order to uphold or negate that these speculations are true.

Another published journal found that methylparaben exposed to sunlight (specifically UVB rays) may increase skin aging and DNA damage. ¬†I wasn’t able to read this article’s entirety but the questions I have about this is, how long was the paraben exposed for, what was the wattage, how much of the methylparaben was there on the skin, etc.

All in all, no matter what fancy scientific journal says about parabens, the amount of parabens in your cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, etc, are less than 1%. ¬†This really is an insignificant amount. ¬†I mean sure, if we were talking about paraben levels over 25%, maybe this would be a concern, but with the research done (or lack thereof) on this subject, I just don’t think parabens are anything to get your panties in a bunch for. ¬†Even the FDA states that at this time, there is no real threat or harm for the use of parabens used in the cosmetic industry. ¬†You can read what the FDA has to say about parabens here.

Having said that though, I do appreciate the efforts of scientists going out to investigate potential harms of any substances.  I also do appreciate that there are cosmetic companies out there who care for their customers well-being that look for alternatives  to help cater to the masses.  That is good business (even if that company feels the same way I feel about parabens).  I guess what I want you to take away from this post is use your own discretion.  Be conscious what you put on your skin.  And of course, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.  If parabens are just not your thing, hey, no one is judging you.  If parabens rock your socks off, more power to you!

Welcome!

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Hi! I’m Jackie and I started this blog for the soul purpose of sharing my philosophy and reviews on makeup products and skincare with the occasional personal blog posts, DIY projects, and ramblings of the day. ¬†I’ve recently been intrigued with skincare and the science behind it as I find myself watching and reading numerous reviews from youtube beauty gurus,¬†bloggers and the like. ¬†It might just be because my background comes from the science fields and so naturally, I want to read more and more on the subject. ¬†Could this be the connection I’ve been looking for when scientist meets artist? I think so! And it was right under my nose…literally!

I’m not a licensed esthetician, but being a freelance makeup artist, I’ve picked up on a few things here and there and I hope to share with all of you. ¬†All reviews written on this blog are my own personal and honest opinion. ¬†I don’t believe in writing false reviews for monetary compensation, nor would I ever. ¬†With that being said, any reviews spoken about should also not be taken as a prescription. ¬†Not all the products I discuss will always agree with your skin type, please bear that in mind, ¬†but I do hope my blog will help you discover some new things and maybe even learn a bit of science if you’re into that. ¬†Thanks for stopping by!