Makeup Melters

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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.


AVEENO MAXGLOW MICELLAR GEL CLEANSER

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.


FIRST AID BEAUTY HELLO FAB COCONUT MICELLAR MAKEUP MELTER

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 firstaidbeauty.com :: 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.


IT COSMETICS BYE BYE MAKEUP CLEANSING BALM

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, itcosmetics.com 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.


PHYSICIANS FORMULA THE PERFECT MATCHA 3-IN-1 MELTING CLEANSING BALM

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

Price–$7.79 at Target :: $13.49 at physiciansformula.com & 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.


POND’S COLD CREAM CLEANSING BALM

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.


 

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July Favorites

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  • Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner by Wendy Blight book and study with Proverbs 31 OBS
    • Y’all, I can’t say enough good things about it. I highly recommend that everyone reads this. I promise it will strengthen your faith!
    • I go more in depth about this in my July Favorites video that will be up on my YouTube channel on Thursday.
  • Planner Organizer
    • My friend, Melissa, had this at one of our Bible Study discussions and I had to have it. I love the storage options it provides and I can keep all of my planner stuff in one place. It’s from Hobby Lobby and currently on sale!
  • Kindle
    • I had been reading my ebooks on my iPad which I like, but I didn’t like that I couldn’t read outside. Windsor loves to be outside so I’ll go sit on the deck or the balcony and read while he runs around and gets some fresh air and that just wasn’t possible with my iPad.
    • This Kindle has a back light so you can read whenever, wherever.
    • I used some credit card points so I got mine for super cheap, but it’s a really fair price in my opinion.
    • You can get my case here. I added the lipstick sticker. Obvi.
  • Maybelline Brow Precise Micro Pencil in Soft Brown
    • I had gotten away from using such skinny pencils because it can take a while to fill in my thick brows with just a tiny pencil. However, I wasn’t loving how my brows were looking with my current pencil and this was one of the few options my Dollar General had so I grabbed it.
    • I ended up LOVING it. It’s creamy and easy to apply and the shade is perfect for me. I will definitely repurchase this pencil.
  • MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
    • Most people use this as an eye shadow base and it is a good one, but that’s not why it’s a favorite for me.
    • I can’t get foundation to stay on my chin or my chin for the life of me. Enter Nikkia Joy and this paint pot. Problem solved.
    • I apply this after primer, don’t apply foundation to my chin & nose, and apply concealer instead. I then bake that area and my makeup actually stays all day.
  • Clean & Clear Lemon Zesty Scrub
    • I bought the trial size of this to take on a trip and ended up loving it and I’ve since bought the full size.
    • It smells amazing and the scrub is very fine so it’s gentle enough to use daily, but effective at the same time.
  • Juvia’s Place The Tribe Volume III Highlighter
    • Y’ALL this might be the best highlighter and the end all be all of highlighters for me. I can’t stop wearing it.
    • It’s gorgeous, affordable, and did I mention gorgeous? AND IT’S ONLY $12
    • If you have fair skin, you need to try this!
  • Laura Geller Balance-N-Glow Illuminating Foundation in Porcelain
    • I set my makeup with a matte powder to lock everything in place and I prefer a matte look to a dewy look even though my skin is dry.
    • I don’t however, like a flat matte look. I like a little dimension and radiance/sheen.
    • I got this at TJ Maxx and I use it as the last step in my routine before setting spray to add some radiance and glow to my look.

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I got this coat rack for my birthday and I have it holding (almost) all of my bags. I love it! It was affordable, easy to assemble, and does the job. I had my bags in box under my bed, but it was such a chore to lug the box out when I wanted to change bags. Problem solved!

Again, be sure to check out my YouTube channel and let me know what you’ve been loving this month in the comments!

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.


AM PRODUCTS

  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.

PM PRODUCTS

  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.

Extras


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

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

Cleanser

Exfoliator

  • 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.

Toner

Essence

  • 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!

Serum

Eye Cream

Moisturizer

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

SPF

Masks

  • 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.

Tools

  • 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.

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A

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

B

  • 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

C

  • 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

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  • 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

F

  • 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
    • AVERAGE

G

  • 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

H

  • 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

K

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

M

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

N

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

P

  • 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
    • AVERAGE

R

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

S

  • 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

T

  • 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

V

  • 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

W

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

Z

  • 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

 

This then That

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My back up box is constantly overflowing for a few reasons. One, I don’t like running of products I love and use regularly. Two, I love to test and try new things. If I see a product I want to try, for instance a micellar water, I’ll buy it and stick it in this box to use once I finish up the one I have open. Here’s a peek into my backup box and to see when I finish this, then I’ll use that.

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Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Micellar H20 // Neutrogena Hydro Boost Micellar H20

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Eye Cream // It Cosmetics Confidence In An Eye Cream

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Exfoliating Cleanser // It Cosmetics Confidence In A Cleanser

Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer // Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask // Catrice Lip Oil

Lush Santa Baby Lip Scrub // Colour Pop Lip Scrub

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Express Hydrating Spray // elf Keep Your Balance Hydrating Toner

Mask Monday: Cosmedix Detox Activated Charcoal Mask

Claims
–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

Price
–$54 at cosmedix.com

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

Cons
–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.

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meh