Two Skincare Products Doing It All

Two Skincare Products Doing It All

Hey Friends! 

I just have a short and sweet post today about some important developments in my skincare routine! 

All products mentioned are linked below!


I just wanted to come on and chat a little bit about my new(ish) additions to my skincare routine. I’ve been pretty diligent with taking care of my skin each day, and making sure that, at the very least, I’ve removed my makeup before going to sleep. Since becoming more and more consistent with my skincare, I’ve come to enjoy taking off my makeup and giving my skin some much needed care and attention.

The specific step that I believe has made the most dramatic improvement in my skin is using a toner, both in the morning and evening. Prior to incorporating toner, I felt as if my skin was unbalanced and not getting the full potential benefits of my prescription treatment and moisturizer. A few months ago, I really decided I would be consistent with using my Thayer’s Witch Hazel as a toner product after cleansing.

**Note: I use this by soaking a cotton pad and sweeping it over my face 1-2 times. I also sometimes use this more like an essence, by pouring some in my hands and gently pressing the liquid in to absorb. 

Photo of My Current Bottle, a back-up, and my back-up’s back up!! 😉

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I can’t really describe how dramatically this has helped my complexion. My skin is noticeably smoother and less prone to irritation. I also feel like it has helped with texture, as well as keeping my lines/wrinkles somewhat at bay while I’m in between Botox treatments (I have an appointment Monday ;-)!!!)

I can remember taking about a 2-3 week break from the toner after running out and not repurchasing. I really didn’t think too much about skipping it until I saw my skin begin to take a turn back to look more dull and my pores more visible. I also felt like my skin defaulted back to an overly-dry “mode”, and I was seeing dry patches pop up. Since then, I have kept this stuff stocked in my collection and I’ll never go back!

I was so blown away by the benefits I was seeing from using a toner, I  decided to take the routine to the next-level by incorporating Caudalie’s Grape Water Spray— which also has toner-like qualities to hydrate and soothe. The “grape” ingredients in this mist are extracted from grapes in the Bordeaux, France wine region.

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The grapes multi-task in providing extra hydration, as well as reducing skin sensitivity (it is recommended for the most sensitive skin types/conditions, such as eczema.) If I am feeling irritated from cleansing or doing a new face mask, I will always pull out this guy to immediately soothe and calm my skin. This spray just feels SO gentle and refreshing! I think that it works hand-in-hand with the Thayer’s to re-balance my skin to take in the benefits of moisturizer/serums. Because I have seen the marked benefits from using it, I only use the Caudalie for skincare–I do not use this as a makeup setting spray. I’ve just seen such a marked improvement by using these two very effective (and very gentle!) products in tandem.

Overall, using the 2 “toners” has significantly increased my hydration and overall look of my skin. I’m also seeing less sensitivity from my prescription treatments and daily serums. Toning has basically just helped “mesh” all the products together, and I’ve been starting to see significant benefits from everything in my routine! I like to think of toner as the “glue” to your skincare products — it just enhances and elevates your whole skin game!

 

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If you feel like you’re in a skincare “rut”, and you aren’t seeing the benefits you should be from your products, I highly recommend evaluating your use of toners! I just can’t say enough good things about using the 2 products together.

 

I’m SO curious now:

What are y’alls thoughts on using toners, and what are your favorites? Feel free to share below! 

 

Thank you so much for reading! 😉

xo

Jena


 

FTC: This post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are honest and my own, and I purchased all products myself. Some links are affiliate — thank you for your support!

REVIEW: Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

REVIEW: Drunk Elephant Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser

Hey everyone!

I came to chat about my latest impulse purchase from Drunk Elephant, The Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser. I saw it on DE’s Instagram and knew I wouldn’t be able to pass this one up.

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I bought mine online for $34 USD from Sephora. (I am pretty sure the Drunk Elephant website ships to more international locations than Sephora)

I love a cleanser that takes off all my face/eye makeup easily, without having to do 1000 extra steps to clean up leftover product. Considering the claims and high quality Drunk Elephant always tends to have, I had pretty high expectations for this one.

Just a few quick specs on it:

  • Its a rich oil, balm formula that claims to melt all dirt, makeup, & sunscreen off (even water-resistant formulas)
  • DE recommends for normal, dry, combo, and oily skin types
  • A few key ingredients are non-fragranced fruit extracts (blueberry, kiwi, and strawberry) and fruit oils (cranberry seed oil, acai fruit oil, watermelon seed oil) for moisture
  • It also comes with a small tube of Bamboo Booster— a mix of bamboo and charcoal powder to help exfoliate away built-up dead, dry skin.
    • This is an optional step recommended to use 1-2x/week along with the balm. (Due to excess irritation, DE doesn’t really recommend using the booster with retinols. I’m on an RX retinol, so I decided to skip this step for now). 

*Here’s a photo of the Bamboo Booster that comes with the cleanser (not sure if they are planning on selling this separately or not?). It’s a small little 3gm sample tube.

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Suggested Use:

  • Apply to dry skin, and massage the product in with dry fingertips
  • Add water to activate, rinse with warm water, and pat dry OR remove with a soft, damp cloth

**I used this with a full face of makeup on as directed, and rinsed with warm water.

 

The first thing I immediately LOVED about this product was the packaging. I do really like several other balm cleansers that come in a jar, but contamination is always an issue if you dip into it with makeup-covered hands.  DE solved this problem brilliantly, by providing a little scoop that has a magnet to attach perfectly on top of the container. SO CLEVER!

Here’s a photo of the magnetic scoop that comes with the cleanser:

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Random Q: Am I the only one that LOVES how each product in the DE line has its own individual color? Just such a fun little detail I really appreciate! 💚💚

On my first use of this, I think I used about scoop and a half, which was probably a little too much. You really don’t need much product to cover your whole face with a thin layer. I love how you can just rinse it off with water—some products with this consistency require you to use some type of cloth to actually pull the product off your skin.

didn’t have any issues with burning or sensitivity in my eye area. It will cause a little bit of blurriness if it gets in your eyes; if you’re a contact lens wearer like me –you might want to remove your contacts before using this. The balm is also completely odorless, so you don’t have to worry about it being over-fragranced. 

When I washed it off, I was genuinely shocked at how SOFT my face felt right away. It did basically remove all makeup on my face, including mascara and eyeliner.  My skin felt super clean, but not stripped or that overly “tight” feeling. It truly felt like a cleanser/moisturizer all in one step. I didn’t feel the need to go in with another cleanser or micellar water, but I did use my favorite toner on a cotton round.


 

I’ve used this product about 3 or 4 times total, and so far I am so so happy with it. It just works SO well and truly melts everything off. I would compare the effectiveness to the Clinique Take the Day Off Balm, which I also love; but this one really provides a higher level of moisture and noticeable smoothness to my skin. Because the effects of this cleanser aren’t really “dewy” or radiant, I think this would work on all skin types. It just provides so much nourishment and softness.

I just LOVE this product so much. As of now, it’s a game changer for my skincare routine and really exceeded my expectations. I’ll definitely keep using it and update on any more long-term effects seen from it.

Drunk Elephant, I love you! UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a72

 

Has anyone bought this or is planning on picking it up? Please tell me ALL your thoughts about it!!

Thanks so much,

Jena

 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored and all products were purchased by me. Thoughts and opinions are honest and my own. Some links may be affiliate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: A 2-Day Wear Test

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: A 2-Day Wear Test

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Hey y’all!

Lately I’ve been on a foundation kick. I’ve been searching my collection to rediscover old favorites and purchasing a few new ones to test out. Although I’ve seen an improvement in my acne, I am struggling with a few textured and dry areas on my cheeks and between my eyebrows. My lines on my forehead and around my eyes are more prominent than usual since I’m overdue for Botox (first world problem). All that being said, I need a foundation that addresses all of these “issues” and won’t cake or dry me out. I want to look in the mirror and still look like myself.

Cue: FACE atelier Ultra Foundation. I’ve heard about this foundation from a ton of glowing reviews on YouTube and it has had me curious for a while. It’s more of a pro makeup artists’ brand and is less known in mainstream beauty communities. You can definitely tell it is geared towards makeup professionals with the minimal packaging and availability to purchase all the shades for bulk pricing. I so appreciate the toned-down, sleek look of the packaging. You are paying for the QUALITY of the actual product, not the pretty plastic it comes in. FACE atelier is a cruelty-free, PETA approved Canadian brand and is exclusively sold on their website [linked below], QVC, and Amazon [check reviews to make sure product is authentic—I did purchase mine from Amazon with no quality issues and fast shipping].

A Few Things to Know……

  • This foundation is oil and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, and claims to not require the use of a primer (it is silicon based).
  • It comes in 2 sizes; I purchased the smaller one– 0.68 oz. or 20mL for $36 USD that comes in a plastic bottle with a pump.
    • A really cool feature that the FACE atelier website offers is that you can purchase a sample size in any shade for only $1.00.
  • Comes in a range of 18 shades, with some of them being “adjusters”, where you can deepen/lighten or adjust the undertone of another shade.

***I think that this customization option will help most skin tones find a shade that works, the formula is also pretty forgiving and seems to adjust with your natural skin tone as you blend it in. I purchased the shade #5 sepia –“cool-medium skin tone with yellow undertones”. It is pretty spot on shade-wise for me, but I feel like going up/down a shade could work just as well.

One of the claims for this foundation is that it doesn’t require a primer. However, I always use some kind of primer and I had just received a new one from Sephora I was dying to test out. I started out with a full pump of the foundation and dotted it equally all over my face, then blended with a foundation brush. [Note: I think that a damp beauty sponge would work with this, but a brush will give more coverage using less product]. Once I got the first layer blended, (with minimal effort), I was seriously BLOWN away. It instantly looked like a second skin with an absolutely stunning natural finish. My deep-set lines weren’t emphasized and meshed with the foundation perfectly; the textured areas looked smoothed and blurred. I used another full pump to provide an additional layer of coverage. The overall effect for me is a solid medium coverage, with a very lightweight and breathable feel. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful of a skin-like finish this foundation provides, y’all. The website describes the formula as flexible to your own skin, which is an absolute perfect description of it. It blended seamlessly with my bronzer/blush and looked like I was having an awesome skin day. It is probably most ideal for normal/dry skin, as it does give a natural glow. Oily skin might require the use of matte primer/powders and more maintenance touch-ups throughout the day.

***A few more details to note about my experience with this foundation: I wore it with a very hydrating primer that I was also trying out for the first time— the MILK MAKEUP Hydro Grip Primer. I can say that I would not recommend this combination of foundation + primer, I would reserve the primer for more matte, full coverage foundations. With the exception of my under eye concealer, I did not set my face with any powder or setting spray.

Here’s the Breakdown: 

I applied the foundation at 9 AM–took the pic at 9:30AM — it looked beautiful!

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By about 1 PM/1:30PM, I did notice that my face was getting shiny and my pores were more visible, but the foundation was intact and not broken up. Here is a pic about 2:30ish later that day, let the meltdown begin.  Woof!

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By 3:30PM (6.5 hours in), my face was way too shiny and I noticed the foundation broke up a little bit above my eyebrow and near parts of my hairline. I was genuinely horrified when I saw the amount of shine. EEEEK!!  I really, really think that the primer was the culprit of the excessive “dew” here. My husband said he thought I had on some type of gel face mask! 😂😂😂

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I did touch up at 3:30PM with a light dusting of Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder all over my face—this really eliminated the shine . Here is a photo after the touch up at 3:45PM. A little dry looking, but better!

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Finally, here is the last photo of the day, at about 8:45PM. This was almost 12-hours of total wear. It was expectedly more broken down and the shine is definitely back; However, It did hold up really well most of the day after my one touch-up. As mentioned before, I think I might have over-applied the primer or the 2 products simply don’t play very nice together.  Don’t mind my smeared eye-makeup– I’m having terrible allergies and issues with my contacts. There’s also flash here since the sun was gone for the day!

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On to Day 2……

I wanted to give this foundation another go to see if I could increase the staying power and avoid the literal meltdown again from the day before.  I knew I would have to change my application approach so I did a few things different this time:

        • I did NOT use the MILK Hydro-Grip Primer (it was in time-out for bad behavior—I will bring it out another day).
        • Instead, I used the Maybelline Facestudio Master Blur Stick in light/medium. I just applied this in my T-zone (still relatively new to this product but it has some very promising results so far).
        • I did not set my face with powder. However, I did use a setting spray—-I am absolutely LOVING the Wet N Wild Photofocus Cucumber Setting Spray. The sprayer is goooood.

I wore the Face atelier for a little over 8 hours on day 2. It wore significantly better with different primers—it didn’t get nearly as shiny throughout the day (just some shininess on the forehead as per usual). No touch ups were required, but I would not categorize this foundation as long-wearing—- not a deal breaker for me since it looks SO pretty most of the day and keeps my dryness at bay.

Here are 2 photos of me, one in natural sunlight and the other a little darker light. This was about 5 hours after initial application. (That hairstyle, though 🤣🤣)

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Lesson learned: Primers can make or break you, guys. (Sorry, another first world prob) 

Final Conclusions:

I really, really like this foundation and I’m very pleased with the effect it has on the overall look of my skin. I think it looks beautiful and natural and I’ll definitely continue to reach for it. It is SO wearable for day-to-day and would look amazing on skin of all ages—it is very nice to fine lines/wrinkles. If you are in the market for a new foundation to play with, pick this one up or try a sample from Face atelier’s website. (I also love supporting less-known, cruelty-free brands.) If you have tried this before or plan to, let me know. I’m so excited to hear your thoughts.

*P.S.—– Let me know if y’all would like a more thorough review of the MILK Hydro-Grip primer. It has some interesting ingredients and warrants some further testing…

If you’re curious, take a look at the MILK primer here: Sephora.com

Product Links:

Face atelier Ultra Foundation: https://amzn.to/2Fk2sgI   OR https://www.faceatelier.com/

Maybelline Master Blur Stick (I have light-medium shade): https://amzn.to/2FmaWnL

Wet N Wild Photofocus Setting Spray (Cucumber): https://amzn.to/2W


 

 

 

FTC: This post is not sponsored. Opinions are my own, honest reviews and experiences. Some links are affiliate links and product images are from Amazon.com

Hot Product of the Day🔥🔥🔥

Happy (Skincare) Sunday! 

Today I want to introduce a fun series where I will share a brief post featuring my current “hot” product of the day. This can include a product that I’ve loved forever or something relatively new to me I want to share.

For my first post, I want to share something I’ve loved for several months:

The NuFACE Prep-N-Glow Cloths


**Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2ObKyQe

If any of y’all have been on the search for skincare that actually works lately, this product is SO GOOD. I am the type of person that always feels rushed to wash my face or take my makeup off; It always feels like a struggle I’m not always psyched about doing.

Then I found these gems! 

I love me a good face wipe, so when I found these multitaskers I was thrilled. It is a soft cotton cloth that comes double sided— one side for cleansing first, then the other with the most delicious little micro-dots that gently exfoliate and smooth your skin. Bonus: you don’t have to rinse after using them!!  They also come individually wrapped, so you don’t have to worry about the whole box drying out on you (such a bummer!) The product claims to gently clean and exfoliate, while also adding some hydration to your face. The wipes are loaded with hyaluronic acid and other minerals to help seal in moisture.

After using these for 2-4 weeks pretty consistently, I saw a noticeable improvement in my skin. My acne scars and discoloration had slightly improved, but I really noticed an improvement in skin’s radiancy. These wipes really “shine” (pun intended) 🤣 at adding the life back to your skin–I was dealing with a lot of dullness in my complexion all winter. It just creates a natural, youthful glow. They do not cause any sensitivity, irritation, or redness for me (be gentle around the eyes though–I would not use the bumpy side near the eye-area!). They also make the skin feel refreshed and clean– I don’t feel any tackiness or sticky-ness after using them.

I use these cloths in 2 different ways:

  1. To cleanse/refresh in the AM —-They are great to remove excess oil/makeup on your face in the morning.
  2.  To Double-Cleanse in the PM—-After using a cleanser to remove most of my makeup, I’ll go in with the soft (cleanser) side to remove the excess, then use the bumpy (exfoliator) side to finish off. Apply your favorite serums and moisturizers next, then you’re done! Super quick, super easy, and SUPER effective. 

BTW: If y’all aren’t double cleansing, try it for awhile and be amazed about how much cleaner and clearer your skin will start to look and feel. 🙌

***You can purchase the wipes here (it comes in a 10-count & 20-count box): https://amzn.to/2ObKyQe

Y’all give these a try and let me know what you think!

xo,

Jena

 

 

 

**Not sponsored, I genuinely love, use, and recommend this product. 

*Affiliate link used along with image from Amazon.com