BEAUTY buys: Detoxifying Clay Mask

I'm not a huge mask fan for the most part (mainly because I have an issue getting it EVERYWHERE), but since this was a Valentia product, a company I'm a big fan of (especially because they are cruelty free, vegan, 98% natural, and made in the USA) - I had to at least give it a whirl. So here we go!

Their Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask ($25) smells unbelievably nice and has a SUPER thick consistency, which makes it very easy to put on and requires little product per use (seriously, this tub will last me a year doing this mask weekly). It takes about 20 minutes to fully "dry", but it feels really cool and tingly while it's on, which wasn't at all what I was expecting. After washing it off, my face felt amazing. My skin was glowy and firm (but not too tight), and overall just felt super clean and refreshed. I was honestly really surprised at how much I liked this mask compared to others I've tried. 

The photos above was taken the day after I used the mask. My skin was definitely more "glowy" than usual - even with using my normal Bare Essentials powder on top. I still used my daily face moisturizer, but probably could have skipped it completely. Definitely will be using this a few times a month. 

BEAUTY buys: EYE gel

I've been on a BEAUTY buys roll these past few weeks, and I have another awesome skincare product that I recently tried and loved - so I thought I'd share the wealth. This eye gel is a bit different than the eye cream I reviewed a few weeks ago, but is definitely equally great. OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel is another product aimed towards decreasing your dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines around your eye area, but what makes this really stand out is that it's a gel, not a cream - which I love. I have an obsession with anything that is cooling, so gel is always my preferred skincare base. 

Since I use my other eye cream in the morning, I decided to use this one at night (although a lot of the reviews online say that it's great under makeup too - so you could do either or), and I have to say after a month of use, my eyes are SO much brighter looking. My dark circles have retreated almost entirely since I started using this product (even with the occasional late night out), and the price is on-point (less than $20!). It's also become one of my favorite nighttime rituals - since it's so refreshing and perfect to put on right before bed. 

LASH love

If you have ever seen any pics of me, or better yet know me in real life, you know I always (always!) wear eyeliner. Not necessarily because I always want to (even though I have it down to about 30 seconds an eye these days), but more because I always felt I had to, since I have very light features. I'm not saying I'm going to die without eyeliner, I just look kind of tired and washed out without that bit of contrast. I have heard about lash extensions a lot this past year, but never thought that they would make that much of a difference on me, since I always wore eyeliner anyway. But when Lashbee reached out to me to see if I would be interested in trying a full set, I couldn't resist and immediately scheduled an appointment for the following weekend. 

And let me tell you, I was a bit skeptical at first (things near my eye scare the crap out of me), but when I went to their launch party the Thursday before my appointment and saw how amazing they looked on some of the attendees, I was convinced I would become a fan.

I was right. I am obsessed.

I opted to get the Queen Bee, since I like a little drama, which is one up from their signature Lash Bee (the difference between my Queen Bee and Lash Bee is that I had faux mink lashes applied with a little extra thickness). From start to finish, the entire experience was really pleasant. It's not scary at all (seriously, I thought it would be a little scary since it involves eyes, but I swear, it's actually really relaxing). It does take a little while - depending on how many eyelashes you have (fun fact: I have 143 on each eye) - but it's actually really nice to just lay there and not have to worry about doing anything (not something I'm usually very good at). It doesn't hurt that the space is super cute too - with bright pillows, great lighting, and relaxing music. 

The results were amazing. Not only did my lashes look full-on glamorous, I looked wide-awake and bright eyed - without the use of any eye makeup (below left image). Even with the use of my normal eye makeup (below right image), my eyes were so much wider and dramatic - and the only thing I used was eyeliner on the top and a bit smudged under the bottom lashes. Seriously, I'm never using mascara again. 

The best part is they last a while (they will fall out with your regular lashes), and you never have to go and get the whole thing done again - you just have to go once every 3-4 weeks for a quick touch up to keep them nice and fluffy. 

So all in all, I have to say I was super impressed - from the results (as you can see), to the full experience. Erin and Anjali (the owners) were super sweet and very professional - giving me play-by-plays of exactly what the experience would be like - and Erin did a fantastic job on my lashes. They certainly made a believer out of me!

P.S. thinking about trying them? You can book here (consultation is always free!), and if you mention you were referred by me, you'll get $10 off your set!

SKIN deep

I'm a pretty big advocate of skin care. After all, you're going to have your skin for life, so you should be pretty nice to it. I'm lucky to have fairly nice skin - albeit pale as could be - but none-the-less nice. As a creature of habit, I've been using the same Clean and Clear face wash and lotion since I was 12. But now that I'm (supposedly) maturing with age, I've upgraded my routine to include a some new higher-end items (you can see a few new favorites here), but there's two items that I absolutely love, and are drugstore cheapies.

Palmer's Cocoa Firming Butter is the BEST body lotion I've come across. It smells delicious, soaks into your skin super quickly, and is the most moisturizing lotion ever. And for $8 a bottle (I do buy them in packs on three on Amazon, since I go through a bottle a month), it's the cheapest way to keep your skin super soft and pretty. 

Candy Cane Chapstick is the most refreshing and cheap lip balm out there. It has the perfect amount of minty tingle, and you can (and I definitely do) buy it in three and six packs. I keep one in my bag, on my nightstand, in my office, in my car...literally there's one anywhere I can stash it. I also use it on my knuckles, since it's really moisturizing and my knuckles tend to crack and bleed during these harsh winter months. And for about $3 a stick, it's a penny-pinching cure-all with a delicious candy cane smell.