Makeup Melters


I’m a big fan of double cleansing. I HAVE to double cleanse every day and the first step is removing my makeup. I love trying new products and formulas. There are so many options: micellar water, cleansing balm, cleansing oil, cleansing lotion, gel cleansers, wipes, etc.

Keep reading for the details on some new (to me) makeup removers that I’ve been testing.


Claims–Draw out & wash away makeup, oil, and other skin-dulling impurities :: leave skin hydrated, soft, and dewy

Price–$5.14 at Ulta :: $10.69 at Walgreens :: $7.97 at Wal Mart :: 5.1 oz

Pros–Affordable :: easily accessible :: packaging–pump! :: hypoallergenic :: paraben-free :: phthalate free :: non-comedogenic :: smells amazing :: removes all traces of makeup :: hydrating

Cons–Not cruelty free

Final Thoughts–I love the MaxGlow line and this product was a hit too. It’s gentle yet effective and removes all makeup. The MaxGlow line smells so good and I need them to add a body wash and lotion to this line. It leaves skin soft and hydrated.


Claims–Gentle, yet effective :: melt away even the most stubborn makeup :: leaves skin hydrated, conditioned, and smoothed :: safe to use around the eyes :: won’t leave skin tight, dry, or greasy

Price–$26 at Sephora :: $20 at :: for 5.4 oz

Pros–Clean beauty product :: packaging, pump! :: doesn’t feel greasy or leave on a film behind :: no alcohol, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, or sulfates :: allergy-tested :: gluten free :: vegan :: cruelty free :: ophthalmologist tested :: hydrated :: removes all makeup

Cons–Expensive :: availability

Final Thoughts–I found this at TJ Maxx for $9.99. I love the Hello FAB line and I loved this too. I wouldn’t pay for $20+ for it though. It’s hydrating and has a pump that locks so it’s travel friendly. It removes all traces of makeup and is very gentle.


Claims–3-in-1 cleanser, makeup remover, and anti-aging serum :: completely remove all traces of eye makeup & impurities without drying or irritation :: perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive

Price–$38 at Sephora, for 2.82 oz :: $15 travel size 0.99 oz

Pros–Cruelty free :: removes ALL makeup, even waterproof with ease :: hydrating :: good ingredients–hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, and antioxidants :: hydrating :: doesn’t leave a greasy film after rinsing :: no parabens, sulfates, phthalates :: leaves skin soft and smooth :: anti-aging properties :: mini size for travel/testing :: sleek packaging

Cons–Expensive :: Sephora or online only :: some view jars like this unsanitary :: bulky packaging for storing

Final Thoughts–I love It Cosmetics skincare products and this was no exception. A little goes a long way and it is super hydrating. It says it’s a 3-in-1 cleanser, but I still follow up with a cleanser and serum separately. It’s expensive, but all of the anti-aging properties and ingredients attribute to that. I like this, but I won’t pay $38 for the full size when there are other, cheaper products that do the same things.


Claims–Ultra gentle :: melts away makeup :: deeply cleans away impurities :: leaves the skin supple and hydrated

Price–$7.79 at Target :: $13.49 at & Walgreens :: 1.4 oz

Pros–Comes with a scoop so you don’t have to dip your fingers in it :: vegan :: cruelty free :: non-comedogenic :: gluten free :: paraben free :: dermatologist & ophthalmologist tested :: safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers :: hypoallergenic :: small, compact packaging :: removes all makeup

Cons–Expensive for a small amount of product

Final Thoughts–This has a slight scent, but it’s not overpowering and it doesn’t linger. I like that there is a scoop included and that the packaging is small and compact. It removed all my makeup and is a good product. However, I won’t repurchase it because you get little product for such higher price tag.


Claims–Leaves skin instantly soft & radiant :: easy rinse :: non-greasy :: solid balm transforms into a silky oil, melting away stubborn makeup and removing impurities

Price–$9.99 at Target & Walgreens :: $9.98 at Wal Mart :: 3.38 oz

Pros–Affordable :: easily accessible :: cute packaging design :: won Best of Beauty prize for Allure in 2018 :: little goes a long way :: moisturizing/hydrating :: little goes a long way :: removes ALL makeup with ease, even waterproof mascara :: no harsh rubbing required :: doesn’t leave greasy residue/film behind

Cons–Not cruelty free :: some view jars like this as unsanitary, but you can use a scoop to prevent dipping dirty fingers back in the jar :: bulky packaging for traveling/storing

Final Thoughts–I LOVE this and it is a total dupe for the Clinique Take The Day Off Balm and is a third of the price. It’s affordable, hydrating, and easy to access.  A little goes a long way and you get a lot of product. It removes ALL makeup so easily. There is a slight scent, but it’s not overpowering and doesn’t linger.



My (Current) Skincare Routine

The last post of skincare week is my skincare routine. In case you haven’t noticed, I love skincare and trying new things so my skincare routine is always changing. Here is a round up of the products I’m currently using.

I have two vanities/sinks in my bathroom and since I have it all to myself, I use one for makeup and one for skincare and hair. I have some of my skin on this spinning tower thing and the rest of it in the Instagram famous mini refrigerator. Let me be the first to tell you that putting your eye cream, sheet masks, oils, and moisturizers in the refrigerator will change your life. The products feel so good going on my skin. I refuse to use room temperature products ever again. It’s $20 well spent. Also, I like the spinning tower thing, but I kind of want to upgrade to this one.


  1. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Micellar Water–I don’t wash my face, I just use a little of this on a cotton round.
  2. It Cosmetics Confidence In A Gel Moisturizer–Hydrating, absorbs quickly, makes my skin feel so soft & smooth, anti-aging, here for all of it.
  3. Origins Gin-Zing Eye Cream–I don’t use an eye cream every morning. Honestly, I forget half the time, but if I do, this is my favorite. It’s hydrating and brightening.
  4. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen Lotion–SPF is necessary, end of story. I love the scent, feel, and hydration of this one. I just ordered this one to try out too.


  1. Makeup Remover
  2. Cleanser
  3. Tone
  4. Serum
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Moisturizer + Facial Oil
    • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness + Rose Hip Oil–I’ve been mixing a few drops of rose hip oil in with my moisturizer for an added bit of hydration. I linked the Rose Hip Oil that I use, I got mine at TJ Maxx.


That’s a wrap on skincare week, I hope y’all liked it and maybe learned something. Back to regularly scheduled posts next week!

Routines & Recommendations

The next to last installment of skincare week is all about routines and recommendations. If you don’t have a skincare routine and don’t know how to get started, today’s post is for you. I’ve made your shopping list for you and covered all price points. You do not have to spend a fortune to get good products that will work. There are certain products that I splurge on and others that I don’t, it’s a balancing act.

These are all products that I’ve tried myself except for one that is notated.

Oily Drugstore

  1. Makeup RemoverPond’s Cleansing Balm, $9.99
  2. CleanserCeraVe Foaming Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin, $14.99
  3. TonerShea Moisture African Black Soap Toner, $10.99
  4. SerumNeutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Serum, $22.99
  5. Eye CreamNeutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Eye Cream, $22.99
  6. MoisturizerNeutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $22.99

Keep an eye out for Buy One, Get One Half Off sales at Ulta and/or the drugstores to save even more money.

You may think I’m crazy recommending the hydrating products for the oily skin, but skin is often oily because it’s actually dehydrated. Your body is kicking oil production into overdrive. The Hydro Boost line of products is one of my favorites. It’s hydrating enough for dry skin, but lightweight enough for oily skin.

Oily High end

  1. Makeup RemoverClinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $29.50
  2. CleanserEstee Lauder Perfectly Clean Foaming Cleanser, $26
  3. TonerThe Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clarifying Mattifying Toner, $14
  4. SerumBareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Serum, $55
  5. Eye CreamIt Cosmetics Confidence In An Eye Cream, $38
  6. MoisturizerThe Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream, $20

Oily Drugstore Extra

Oily High End Extra


I’m about to preach to you so listen up. If you have acne, you NEED to try this skincare line. I tried every 3 step line out there trying to find something that would work on my stubborn, cystic acne: Proactiv, Clinique, Merle Norman, Mary Kay, and other creams and potions from the dermatologist. I literally spent HUNDREDS upon HUNDREDS of dollars trying to find something and this is the only thing that worked. I ordered the 30 day to kit to try it out and once it was gone ordered all the full size products, used those up, and my acne has stayed away. I still get hormonal breakouts that week of the month and maybe a random zit, but nothing cystic and really painful and nothing consistently. I will sing the praises of this line all day long. It’s legit life changing, especially if you acne makes you self-conscious like mine did. I would pay insane amounts of money for these products because I know they work. I really don’t think they are a bad price for what you are getting. Sermon, over.

Dry Drugstore

  1. Makeup RemoverNeutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil, $10.49
  2. CleanserNeutrogena Hydro Boost Gentle Cleansing Lotion, $8.99
  3. TonerLOreal Hydra Fresh Toner, $6.49
  4. SerumAveeno MaxGlow Infusion Drops, $23.99 (trial size, $3.99)
  5. Eye CreamNeutrogena Hydro Boost City Shield Eye Serum, $23.99
  6. MoisturizerNeutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $22.99
  7. *Facial OilThe Ordinary Cold Pressed 100% Rose Hip Oil, $9.80

*I have not tried this particular brand of Rose Hip Oil, however, as long as it’s 100% pure, they’re all the same. I use Rose Hip Oil, just a different brand.*

Dry High End

  1. Makeup RemoverKate Somerville Cold Cream Moisturizing Cleanser, $48
  2. CleanserIt Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser, $28
  3. TonerKopari Coconut Rose Toner, $25
  4. SerumBareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Serum, $55
  5. Eye CreamIt Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream, $48
  6. MoisturizerIt Cosmetics Confidence In A Cream, $48
  7. Facial OilKiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $68

Dry Drugstore Extra

Dry High End Extra


Product 411

So far we’ve covered skin types and ingredients and now we’re diving into products before we move onto routines.

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What does each product do? How do I know which products I need? Keep reading to have all of your questions answered,

Makeup Remover



  • Removes built-up skin for clear, renewed, smoother, and younger-looking skin
  • Physical
  • Chemical
    • Diminish the appearance of wrinkles and improve the look of plumpness and firmness
    • Certain formulas can minimize pores
    • Clarify dull, uneven skin tone; smooth rough, bumpy skin; unclog pores; increase hydration
    • Formulated as Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
    • AHA
      • Better for dry skin and advanced signs of aging
      • Improves moisture content for extra smoothness
      • Exfoliate the surface of the skin
    • BHA
      • Better for oily skin with clogged pores
      • Skin-calming and hydrating
      • Relieve clogged pores and white bumps
    • My skin doesn’t respond to chemical exfoliants. I used the beloved Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid religiously for months and saw no changes.
    • I keep my skin clear and my acne at bay with physical exfoliants. I use a more intense scrub, the dr. Brandt, once a week and a gentle one, the Hydro Boost, daily. If I don’t use the Hydro Boost, I mix in the Bare Minerals in whatever cleanser I’m using.
  • Generally, you use exfoliators one or two times a week, but frequency depends on your skin.



  • Lightweight, hydrating liquid to help prepare the skin for moisturizer
  • Primes the skin to absorb serums and moisturizers
  • Don’t apply with a cotton round, pat into the skin with your hands
  • I’ve never used an essence so I don’t have on to recommend, but my friend Christine recommends the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Antioxidant Essence. She has awesome recommendations so check out her blog!


Eye Cream


Facial Oil

  • Good to use if you have dry, dehydrated skin and moisturizer just isn’t enough. Also good to use for seasonal dryness.
  • Conflicting opinions on whether or not to apply before and after moisturizer. I’ve done both, up to you. You can also mix it in with your moisturizer.
  • Help to lock moisture in
  • Try to avoid fragrance oils
  • Recommended oils–coconut, jojoba, grape seed, rose hip, argan
  • I got a rose hip oil at TJ Maxx for $5 and it does the job. As long as it’s 100% pure, you’re good. No need to spend a lot of money on oils.
  • I can tell a big difference in my skin when I use an oil at night. When I wake up, my skin feels so hydrated and plump.
  • Drugstore/Affordable: The Ordinary 100% Cold Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil
  • High End: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate



  • Supporting role in a skincare routine
  • Clay 
    • Absorbent
    • Draw out debris from clogged pores
    • Leaves skin matte, but not dried out
    • Temporarily tightening
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, rinse off
    • Don’t use more than twice a week
    • Drugstore: LOreal Clear & Comfort
    • High End: GlamGlow Supermud
  • Peel Off
    • Remove a thin layer of dead surface skin
    • Leave skin feeling soft and smooth
    • Don’t over use or it will dry out your skin
    • Apply after cleansing, but before the rest of your routine
    • Apply, let dry, peel off
    • Drugstore: Aveeno Pre-Tox
    • High End: GlamGlow Gravity Mud Firming
  • Sheet 
    • Part of Korean skincare
    • Saturated with skincare ingredients that you leave on for 10-20 minutes to allow the ingredients to soak into your skin
    • Massage remaining product into the skin
    • I don’t know that sheet masks have a lot of skincare benefits, but they’re a great way to relax and they leave my skin so soft. I stick mine in the refrigerator before I apply it and it feels amazing.
    • Drugstore: Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Mask
    • I don’t have a high end recommendation because these aren’t something to spluge on.


  • Jade Roller
    • Smooth stone, cool feeling
    • Best benefit: reduce puffiness
    • Jade itself does not have any specific, special properties that benefit the skin
    • I got mine at TJ Maxx for $10ish, no need to spend a lot on these. Amazon has good ones too.
    • TJ Maxx, Sephora, Nordstrom, Ulta
  • Konjac Sponge
    • Cleansing exfoliator made from konjac root
    • Very gentle and safe to use on sensitive skin
    • Works to gently exfoliate and cleanse better than just using your hands alone
    • Toss after a month, not self-cleaning or anti-bacterial
    • Different colors signify different active ingredients i.e. red sponge has red clay
    • 100% biodegradable
    • ecotools, Boscia, Julep
  • Sonic Cleansing Brush
    • Leaves skin soft, smooth, and CLEAN
    • Allows dead skin cells to exfoliate faster
    • Remover oil and debris that are clogging pores
    • Cleans deeper into pores than your hands/fingers can
    • Overuse can disrupt skin’s pH, irritate, and cause redness and inflammation
    • Skin issues like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis–be careful not to use a brush head that’s too rough
    • Clarisonic, Foreo, PMD, elf
      • The rubber bristle ones like the Foreo, PMD, and elf work better for my skin. I have a love the elf. I haven’t used it because the battery died and I’ve been too lazy to change it. #honest
  • Manual Cleansing Brush
    • Don’t need to use every day, could lead to over exfoliation
    • Stimulate circulation, removes dead skin
    • Cleanse deeper than just your hands/fingers
    • Sephora, BareMinerals
  • I had a Clarisonic, but the brush heads were just too rough for my sensitive skin. Yes, even the sensitive skin brush head. I’ve had better luck with manual brushes, but I don’t use

Now that we’ve covered products and tools, let’s move on to what order you apply all of the aforementioned.

As I said earlier, I don’t use an essence, but if you want to, you use it after toner. I also added in exfoliator after cleanser since you only use it a few times a week.

Ingredients from A to Z

Again, not an expert here, but I’m sharing what I’ve found from researching several common ingredients. I got information from the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR), Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and Paula’s Choice (PC).

Paula’s Choice is a great resource for all things skincare and their Ingredient Dictionary is super helpful. PC also gives each ingredient a rating of GOOD, BEST, POOR, or AVERAGE that I will include with each ingredient.


  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
    • Improve signs of aging, dry skin, and uneven skintone
    • Can increase sun sensitivity, be sure to wear an SPF
    • BEST


  • Bentonite
    • Type of clay
    • Used as an absorbent
    • Good for oily skin
    • Can by drying
    • GOOD
  • Benzoyl Peroxide
    • Anti-acne
    • Can reach and kill bacteria that causes acne
    • Considered the most effective over the counter acne treatment
    • 2.5-10% concentration, start small
    • BEST
  • Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)
    • Exfoliates skin
    • Soothes skin
    • Used in acne products to improve breakouts and blackheads
    • BEST


  • Ceramides
    • Improves skin texture
    • Suppleness
    • Replenish and restore
    • BEST
  • Cica (Centella Asiatica)
    • Soothe and repair irritated skin
    • Treat acne
    • Calm sensitive skin
    • Brighten skin
    • Increase hydration
    • BEST


  • Dimethicone
    • A type of silicone
    • Emollient ingredient in moisturizers
    • Gentle & effective
    • Forms a permeable barrier that works to prevent moisture loss
    • Silky feel
    • Considered safe as used in cosmetics products
    • GOOD


  • Formaldehyde
    • Preservative, prevents mold and bacteria from growing in and spoiling your products
    • Skin irritation is a common side effect
    • CIR says it’s safe at levels that don’t exceed established limits


  • Glycerin
    • Skin-replenishing and skin-restoring
    • Defends against dryness
    • Maintain skin’s moisture level
    • BEST
  • Glycolic Acid
    • Shed dead skin cells and renew skin’s surface
    • One of the most effective forms of AHA
    • Softens the signs of aging
    • BEST


  • Hyaluronic Acid
    • Boosts skin moisture
    • Good for all skin types
    • Helps skin retain moisture
    • Skin feels softer, smoother
    • Improve appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    • BEST


  • Kaolin
    • Clay mineral with absorbent properties
    • Good for oily skin
    • Can be drying if used too frequently in high amounts
    • GOOD


  • Mica
    • Mineral used to add shimmer and sparkle
    • GOOD


  • Niacinamide
    • Improve appearance of large pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and dullness
    • Reduce the damage caused by environmental factors
    • BEST


  • Parabens
    • Used as preservatives in cosmetics
    • No FDA rules on preservatives in makeup
    • CIR says they’re safe in cosmetics
    • No info (at this time) showing that parabens, as used in makeup, have an effect on health
    • GOOD
  • Peptides
    • Skin-soothing and skin-restoring
    • Improve the appearance of wrinkles and smile lines
    • BEST
  • Phthalates
    • Group of chemicals used in different forms of personal care prodcuts
    • CIR says safe for us
    • No evidence to show phthalates, as used in cosmetics, pose a safety risk
    • FDA monitors phthalate levels in cosmetics


  • Retinol
    • Stimulate production of new skin cells
    • Wrinkle-smoothing
    • Firming
    • Antioxidant
    • BEST


  • Salicylic Acid
    • Exfoliant, help shed dead skin
    • Reduce breakouts
    • Calm aggravated skin
    • Minimize appearance of uneven skintone
    • BEST
  • Silica
    • Used as an absorbent powder and thickening agent in cosmetics
    • Certain forms prevent pigments from settling in makeup
    • GOOD
  • Squalene/Squalane
    • Natural emollient
    • Lock moisture into the skin, help prevent fine lines and ease dry patches
    • Squalene–more helpful for extra-dry and mature skin
    • Squalane–better for acne-prone and oily skin
    • BEST
  • Sulfates
    • Cleansing agents that remove dirt and oil and makes soaps and shampoos lather
    • Can irritate the eyes and skin and be drying to the hair
    • FDA says there’s not enough science to indicate harm
    • CIR found it to be safe for use in rinse off products
    • GOOD
  • Synthetic Colors
    • Dyes made from a variety of synthetic chemicals used to change the shade of a product
    • Risk skin sensitivity and irritation, can clog pores
    • Can contain carcinogens
    • A few have been banned by the FDA


  • Talc
    • Used to absorb moisture, prevent caking, make makeup opaque, or improve the feel of a product
    • FDA considers granted talc (GRAs) a safe ingredient
    • CIR deemed safe
    • Talc in cosmetics doesn’t present a health hazard
    • GOOD
  • Tea Tree Oil
    • Antioxidant
    • Skin soothing properties
    • Improve skin concerns such as breakouts
    • Potent
    • Concentrations of 2.5-10% recommended
    • GOOD
  • Titanium Dioxide 
    • Protects from UVA and UVB rays
    • Good in sunscreen for sensitive skin
    • Used as thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient
    • BEST
  • Tretinoin
    • Used to treat acne
    • Start with small percentage and build up
    • Prescription strength retinoid


  • Vitamin C
    • Brighten uneven skin tone
    • Skin-restoring and soothing
    • Improves signs of aging
    • Maintain healthy-looking and radiant skin
    • BEST
  • Vitamin E
    • Antioxidant
    • Occurs naturally in the skin
    • Moisturizing
    • BEST


  • Witch Hazel
    • Antioxidant
    • Can be drying and sensitizing
    • Short term solution, on-going use is likely to cause problems
    • POOR


  • Zinc Oxide
    • Protexts against UVB and UVA rays
    • Sometimes used in makeup to increase pigment/opacity
    • Used as a thickening, whitening, lubricating, and sunscreen ingredient in cosmetics
    • BEST


What’s My Skin Type?

I’ve dubbed this week S-K-I-N-C-A-R-E W-E-E-K and I am really excited about it. We’re going to cover ingredients, product recommendations, routines, and all that fun stuff.

However, none of this will make any sense if don’t know your skin type so that’s what we are starting with.


  • Dry Skin
    • All over tight and dehydrated feeling
    • Skin looks dull
    • Flaky areas
    • Fun fact: skin gets drier as we get older
  • Oily Skin
    • Skin tends to be shiny or have a slick look to it
    • All over slick feeling
    • Prone to break outs
    • Even if your skin is oily, it still needs hydration!
  • Sensitive Skin
    • Skin is easily irritated and prone to inflammation
    • May have acne, dermatitis, and/or rosacea
  • Normal Skin
    • Tricky because everyone has a different definition of normal
    • Skin is healthy and hydrated
    • Can tolerate most products without overreacting
    • No signs of oiliness or flaking
  • Combo Skin
    • Oily in some areas, dry in others
    • Maybe oily during the warm months and dry when it’s cool
    • Combination of any of the above

My skin is far from normal. I have dry, sensitive, acne prone skin which makes finding products really fun. Please note the sarcasm. Prior to some acne treatments, I had SUPER oily skin. I’m not an expert, but I feel like I have a pretty good knowledge base for products since I have had basically every skin type, minus normal, at some point in my life.

If you still aren’t sure what skin type you have, check out this link for some helpful information.

Mask Monday: Cosmedix Detox Activated Charcoal Mask

–Draw out pore-clogging dirt, oil, and daily impurities
–Does the dirty work with gentle, effective ingredients
–Not over drying
–Exfoliates to help smooth skin texture
–Cleanse away pollutants
–Ideal for even the most sensitive skin

–$54 at

–Cruelty free
–Gentle enough for sensitive skin
–Leaves skin soft and plump

–Full size is expensive
–Not readily available :: online or select spas

Final Thoughts
I got this in a Boxycharm and it is a good mask. It’s not overly powerful for drawing out impurities like my beloved GlamGlow, but it’s more gentle than GG. I will use this one up, but I wouldn’t buy the full size.