My Current Morning Skincare Routine


I wish I was a morning person, but on most mornings I hit the snooze button more times than I should.  I do, however, always try to make sure that I have time for my skincare.  While I  tend to  have a number of products on rotation, these are the ones I'm enjoying at the moment.  By the way, I have combination/oilyish/breakout prone skin.  Doesn't that sound fun?!


Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
I massage this cleanser onto my dry skin and wipe it off with a hot cloth.  This cleanser has a gel/oil consistency that just melts into your face as soon as it touches your skin.  There is something about massaging this into my face in the morning while still half asleep that is so comforting. (let's be honest, I'm not awake until I've had my coffee) I'm a big fan of the rosy scent and it leaves my skin feeling balanced and comfortable.

The Body Shop - Vitamin E Hydrating Tone
This toner lotion reminds me of the Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner  in its consistency in that it isn't very watery like most toners, but think a watered down gel... if that makes sense.  I love the feeling of applying this onto my skin because it is hydrating and refreshing and like the Oskia Cleanser leaves my skin feeling balanced.  Notice a theme here?  Balance is key!

First Aid Beauty - Eye Duty Triple Remedy
You never know what the long term affects of a eye cream will be, but it's one of those things that at least in my case, I feel guilty if I don't do.  When the product has a metal applicator it isn't a step you want to miss anyway.  (put it in the refrigerator for those extra tired days) The First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy is pretty much everything you need in a morning eye cream for instant brightness and a soothing cool application.  It does claim to "reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles" but I'll have to report back on that in a couple of years.  A little bit goes a long way and I like to let it set before I apply concealer, so by the time I'm done with the rest of my routine, it is good to go.

The Body Shop - Aloe Protective Serum 
We (my boyfriend and I) recently went to Vermont for a little ski getaway and my skin did not enjoy the cold harsh winter weather at all.  I had been in search of a serum and I had heard a lot of good things about the Body Shop Aloe Protective Serum.  I've been using it for about two weeks and my skin feels much more calm  and the redness has fairly reduced.  I am a big fan of layering my skincare and I really enjoy the extra protective barrier this provides, while still letting my skin breathe.






La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo +
I don't use this everyday but if I have a spot or a hormonal breakout this is my go to item.  It helps to speed up the healing process and it's super gentle on my skin.  This is a staple skincare item that I am never without.  NEVER!  


First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer
Like all First Aid Beauty products, this moisturizer is ideal for sensitive skin.  It's lightweight and perfect to wear beneath my tinted moisturizer or foundation.  Because my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is already armed with SPF this is creates the perfect base for a flawless and even application.

Kiehls - Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+
Speaking of SPF, if you are looking for a non-greasy formula that will sink beautifully into your skin, look no further.  This formula is very watery which in my opinion is what makes it so great for daily wear.  It will not irritate your eyes and is perfect to be worn underneath your make up as it won't produce the white cast that most other SPF's will.

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
I am quite obsessed with lip balms and I must have one with me at all times.  The Agave Lip Mask is the mother of all lip balms!!! Its super rich formula makes it so that you don't have to constantly reapply but it doesn't feel heavy on the lips and it leaves a nice sheen for those days you can't be bothered with lip gloss.  A little goes a long way so the tube will last for quite a while.  If you live in a cooler climate you may have to warm the tube a little in your hands in order to get the product out, but trust me, it's worth it.  I can go on and on but I won't...just go try it...your lips will thank you!





I know that this seems like a lot to do especially when you're trying to run out of the door in the morning, but it takes me under 10 minutes to get through my routine.  I consider this my "me time" before I start my day and I really do cherish it.
 I would love to know what your favorite products and if you think that there is a product I need to try please comment! 

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2015



I had never heard of the Beautylish Lucky Bag until this year and apparently, I've been missing out because it has been around since the late 1800's.  Who knew?!
Fukubukuro, the original name of the lucky bag, was born in Japan and now takes place every new year all over the world.  It's a great way to try new (full size) products for a fraction of the price.




The Beautylish Lucky Bag retails for $75 and contains over $150 worth of products and I was very excited to receive mine.  There are three options to choose from, Bold, Natural and MUA (Makeup Artist) and as you would expect, these bags sell out pretty quickly so I did jump on the opportunity when I saw that I still had one.  Although the the MUA bag is the most popular, I thought the Natural Bag would suit me the best.  Here are the goodies I received.

  I'm a fan of Bliss products and this did not disappoint.  It's a very refreshing and moisturizing lotion and one I'm more inclined to use in the morning because of the citrusy and uplifting scent.  It is creamy but it absorbs into my skin quite nicely.  While the air doesn't get very dry here in Miami, I always appreciate a good moisturizing lotion.
This toner reminded me of the Caudalie Beauty Elixir in that it emotes that same spa like, refreshing yet relaxing feeling.  Since I received it in January, it has been in my morning and evening beauty routine rotation and I can't say I've noticed any changes.  I think that it is a beautiful product but for the price, I would rather try a different toner that yields results. (this toner is for normal to dry skin and I have combination skin)
I've been using this mascara since I received it and I find myself reaching for it over my Tarte Gifted Mascara which I love.  I was in Vermont this passed weekend where I used it almost everyday and it did not budge or smudge.  This is not a wet formula, I find it sits perfectly between wet and dry...it's a very happy place.  What I really like about this mascara is that it's formulated as a treatment which is meant to promote length and volume. I haven't seen any drastic changes but I like the formula enough to continue using it and find out. 
As lovely as you would imagine, this eyeshadow duo is beautifully pigmented and so incredibly soft.  This duo delivers a great everyday look but can also a offer a sultry smokey eye.  Beautiful!!! I look forward to trying other Kevyn Aucoin products because you can be sure that the quality will not disappoint.     
This is what I was most looking forward to in this bag because I have been keeping an eye on these brushes since Wayne (we're friends in my head) mentioned them on his channel.  This brush pretty much solidified the fact that I need to try the rest of the collection.  As promised, it is the softest brush I have felt and it blends like a dream.  Job well done!
I had never heard of this brand or product before receiving my Lucky Bag and as someone who isn't a glitter aficionado I didn't think much of it.  I went to the Beautylish website and read reviews on the product, and most if not all were positive reviews that raved about the Sparkle Kit. The glitter pot is packaged with an accompanying glue which makes for an easy application and from what I read makes it easy to remove the glitter as well.  In my little experience with using glitter products, I do know that removing it is the most tedious part.  If the mood ever strikes I'm glad I have the Summer Sparkle Lit Kit in my collection.
Did you purchase the Beautylish Lucky Bag?  What did you get in your bag?  What are your thoughts? Would you purchase it again? Let me know!
     
     





American Apparel Nail Polish



For as long as I can remember, I've been giving myself at-home manicures and pedicures.  While at first, it was out of necessity...a broke college student, away from home but still wanting to look clean and presentable, it quickly became a weekly ritual and part of my me-time.  Now, I've been doing this for years, used many nail polish brands both high end and drugstore, tried the gel manicure and I also get the occasional salon mani and pedi, so you can imagine that in this time I've developed some nail polish favorites.




Cue the under-rated, never spoken of American Apparel nail polish.  These polishes have been one of my favorites for years and I rarely hear them mentioned.  This range has a wide variety of beautiful colors, which are long lasting and BONUS they are cruelty free and DBP(dibutyl phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde free..that was a mouthful. Try picking one up next time you plan to get a mani/pedi...below are the awesome colors I own and love.


1) L'Esprit, 2) Neon Violet, 3) Parakeet, 4) Pink Ladies, 5) Office, 6) Mount Royal, 7) Violet Panache, 8) Neon Orange, 9) Mouse , 10)Dance, 11)Imperial Purple, 12)Mannequin, 13)Meteor Shower, 14)Manila, 15)Poppy 

If you try these polishes, let me know what you think!

Life Changing Deoderant


That's how I felt when I started using Lavanila Healthy Deodorant.  After years of dealing with uncomfortable rashes in the armpit area (TMI but true), finding this deodorant was heaven sent.  Since I started using it about 3 months ago, I haven't had to deal with discomforts of ANY kind and I can't begin to express how much relief that brings me.



In my search for a "better" option, I came across the Amway Body Series Invisible Solid which wasn't horrible, but it just did not work for me.  I was still suffering with rashes and embarrassing dark armpits and to be honest I lived with it for far too long.

Fast forward to today and I am happy to report that those issues are no more!

This deodorant goes on smoothly, it won't damage your clothes and is vanilla scented.  (there are other scents but that one is my favorite)
  
Keep in mind, because this deodorant is not an antiperspirant it will not keep you from sweating, so if your day to day is very active this may not be the right product for you.  Luckily, I don't have strong body odor, but I do alway carry a travel-size in my bag...just in case.  Quite frankly, I would rather embrace my natural body odor than have to endure the discomfort that I was experiencing.

If you are looking for a natural deodorant that works,
give the Lavanila Healthy Deodorant a try, you will not be disappointed.

xoxo, Carolina

A little luxury...

Rouge Dior Lipstick in 941 Rouge Cannage and Lipliner Pencil in 999 Rouge Dior

With so many different textures and finishes now available in the lipstick realm, it's nice to take a step back and use a classic and lavish product. Rouge Dior Couture Colour Voluptuous Care (mouthful) and the  Dior Lipliner Pencil are a luxurious combo that check off all my lipstick boxes.  These beauties are smooth, creamy, moisturizing, highly pigmented and to top it all off, long lasting.  They glide right on and smell sweet and delicious...I can't get enough of the scent!  If I wanted to go for a different texture I could use the lip-liner pencil with a balm for a matte look...so there are options here.



A little swatchy swatch


What's your favorite 'luxury' lip product? Leave a comment.

Thank you for stopping by!

Face Time

As I mentioned in a previous post I have quite sensitive, breakout prone skin for which I have tried countless products in an attempt to treat ... some that work and some that unfortunately

don't

.  More recently in this endless search, my skin is enjoying these, which are currently in rotation:

The 

Blue Green Algae Antibacterial Toner

 from

Michael Todd True Organics

 is calming, refreshing and balancing. The hyaluronic acid aids in the renewal of cells which promotes healthier skin and a more even complexion.  It also smells surprisingly fresh which I guess you wouldn't expect given the name.  I use this toner as part of my morning routine as a way to prep my skin for the day.  Something about the antibacterial property gives me comfort...one less thing to worry about.  

Overall I haven't noticed that this toner makes me break out, it makes my skin feel nourished and never dry, I will definitely continue to use it. If you want to try this brand I recommend the starter kits ($33.00), the sample sizes will help you determine what products if any you want to purchase.

There has recently been a lot of buzz over the Rapid Tone and Rapid Wrinkle Repair line from

Neutrogena

and after reading and watching a decent (or indecent) amount of reviews I decided I had to try it.  Since I have dark spots and an uneven skin tone I chose the

Rapid Tone Repair Night Moisturizer

.

I felt results the very first time I used this product which makes it worthy of a review despite the fact that I have been using it for less than a week.  My dark spots have by no means disappeared but I did feel an almost immediate soothing/calming sensation.  The main ingredients and those which contribute to the correcting aspect of this moisturizer are Retinol and Vitamin C which give it a citrus like scent I quite enjoy. (My boyfriend also likes it)

I am going to continue to use the moisturizer and give my final verdict in a month or so.  In the meantime I plan on adding the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer and I'll switch off every other night.  Wish me luck!

If you have any suggestion please feel free to leave comment.

Thank you for stopping by!

Things I'm loving...

I thought that I'd share several items that currently make me happy because we all need these little tidbits that make us feel better. No?
Some of these items are new to me and some are staples in my life...I just can't live without them.



I own an insane amount of nail polishes ranging from glitters to neutrals, pinks, reds, blues, you name it I probably have it. I'm not proud of it but what can I say, I like to indulge in these small luxuries that bring me joy.  As of late, my fingernails and toenails have donned these beauties all fitting of the holidays.

left to right: L'Oreal Stroke of Midnight, OPI Just Spotted the Lizard, American Apparel Meteor Shower, Color Club Killer Curves, Essie Loophole


The Body Shop body butters are to me a necessity in the cooler months.  There is just nothing better then slathering these on after a nice hot bath.  They are moisturizing but not greasy and they smell pretty amazing.  I lean toward the more subtle scents making Olive and Shea my favorites of the range.



Brow Speed by Benefit is a new favorite and it is perfect for your everyday look.  It is a tinted brow gel suitable for all brow colors. It is no fuss and I love it.




I use lip balms all year round especially in the winter months and I love the Rosebud Perfume Co. balms both for the packaging and the product.  I am currently using the Minted Rose and the Strawberry flavors which I pick up at Sephora.  They smell amazing, they are moisturizing and they give the lips a subdued glossy look which I love.




Last but most definitely not least is the Urban Decay Naked3 Palette which I was lucky enough to receive as a gift for Christmas from my boyfriend.  Like many other ladies I am obsessed with this palette for its wear-ability and range of beautiful rose gold neutrals. The Naked3 and original Naked palettes are all I need for a variety of looks that can take me from daytime to nighttime.



I hope you enjoy these picks and would love to hear which products you're enjoying.  Leave a comment!

Thanks for stopping by... xoxo Carolina