skin-care-routineanti-aging-products

If there is one thing worth investing in, it’s your skin.  You only get one, and the way you take care of it in your 20′s and 30′s will directly affect how it appears in your 40′s, 50′s, and so on.

Over the years, I’ve focused most of my skin-care efforts on fighting breakouts, but over time many anti-acne products have left my skin very dry and unnourished.

Keeping skin hydrated is crucial for preventing fine lines, wrinkles, and retaining overall radiance in later life.  I knew that continuing my routine the way I was could ultimately damage my skin in the future.  That’s why I completely revamped my skin-care routine and wanted to share it with you all!

1.) Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Pads

Glycolic Acid is gentler than many other cleansers, but penetrates deeply making it the perfect exfoliant for those who are sensitive, while sloughing away dead skin and unclogging pores.

2.) Eye Cream

The skin around your eye area is very thin and should be given extra special attention, even as early as your 20′s.  I was recently given the opportunity to try Valentia’s True Glow Eye Cream and I love the way it tightens my eye area, de-puffs, and brightens up my dark circles.  It’s almost like an all in one- formulated with Vitamin C, Organic Rosehip Oil, and several antioxidants.  Upon application, I immediately notice how dewey and bright my under-eyes look.  Another thing that I love about this product is the price!  It’s exactly like a high-end product with natural and high quality ingredients, but half the price at only $25.00.

3.) Face Masks

Face masks are another really important part of any early 20′s skin-care routine.  I find that using my Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask once or twice a week really improves the overall moisture of my skin and makes it appear so radiant.  The product smells amazing and goes on almost like a watery jelly.  After a minute it starts to tingle and you can really feel it setting into your face.  Especially after waking up in the morning, the extra boost of hydration makes my makeup look so much better on.  I also love that the mask has natural oils in it, which I personally feel like have really helped to combat my acne prone skin.

4.) Sunscreen

If there is one secret to keeping skin youthful, it’s to sunscreen on the regular.  It sounds simple, but it’s actually one of the most overlooked things in many people’s skin-care routines.  Take into consideration that even when you are riding around in the car, your skin is being exposed to the sun.  Use a moisturizer that has sunscreen in it on your face and neck every morning before applying makeup in the morning.

5.) Oils and Nighttime Moisturizers

Applying a good moisturizer at night before bed is key to a healthy glow.  I rotate between using face oils such as Grapeseed Oil and Avocado Oil and a water gel moisturizer.

I hope this helps some of you who are looking to “up” your skin-care routine and as always thanks for reading! 

Love,

Nicole ♡

fall-outfitfloppy-felt-hat-fallfall-fashionfall-styleankle bootiesfall-hat-outfit

Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar) // Vest: Sears (alternative) // Pants: Target (similar) // Hat: Old Navy // Booties: Nordstrom Rack (similar) (only $25!) // Sunglasses: Target // Bracelets: Forever 21 // Lipstick: Revlon “Black Cherry”

I don’t know about you, but I am so guilty of impulse buying clothes, especially during the fall.  Sometimes it’s hard to resist the trends, even when you know they can only be worn for a short time before it gets cold (front button skirt I’m looking at you!).  That being said, you want a closet full of clothes that will carry you from season to season, not just pieces that are ideal for a few weeks at a time.  That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are stocked with the essentials.  Four pieces that I can’t go without are a vest, a gingham or plaid button up shirt, a floppy hat, and some ankle booties.  Not only can you mix and match these items in a countless number of ways during the fall and winter, but they can also be worn year after year without going out of style.

TIP: To get the most out of your closet, try to purchasing as many of these pieces as you can in a neutral color so that they go with everything.  You’ll never have that, “I have nothing to wear!” moment again.  What are your fall essentials?

Side note: I’m totally loving the vampy lips for fall.  Revlon “Black Cherry” was the perfect color to match this burgundy hat!  This lipstick is normally glossy so I dusted some translucent powder over it to create the matte effect that I love.

Love,

Nicole ♡

clear-skin

get-clear-skin

I’ve struggled with acne for as long as I can remember.  It can be so frustrating and really takes a toll on your confidence.  Over the years, I have tried just about everything from topical products to antibiotics and while some have worked better than others, I was never totally happy with them.  After visiting a new dermatologist office a few months ago, I was finally prescribed a few products that ACTUALLY work and have been total skin game changers.  If you struggle with acne, I highly recommend that you visit a dermatologist and see if some of these products are right for your skin because they have really helped mine!

Here is what I am currently using on my face…

1.) Clean & Clear Morning Burst Detoxifying Facial Cleanser

No dermatologist necessary for this one!  You can find this product in almost any skin care aisle.  I’ve tried so many cleansers and this one has by far been my favorite for years because of how gentle it is.  I find that any cleansers with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide just break me out more, so this one has been  great because it doesn’t have any of that.  I use it once a day at night after wiping my wakeup off with oil-free wipes.

2.) The Konjac Sponge (c/o)

Exfoliating is so important, but it’s essential not to go overboard because you can irritate your skin causing even more breakouts.  That’s why I love the Konjac Sponge Co.’s Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sponge!  Made of 100% vegetable fibre, it’s natural, soft and gentle on my sensitive skin.  I’ve been using it 1-2 times weekly for about 3 months now and all of the tiny blackheads that I used to get on my chin area have disappeared!  To use the sponge, just run it under water for a moment and then simply put a little bit of face wash on top.  Then, gently massage your skin with the sponge for a minute or two.  

3.) Acella Pharmaceuticals Sodium Sulfacetamide and Sulfur Cleanser

This is a product that was prescribed to me by my dermatologist and I love how well it works!  It really helps to dry out oily skin.  I wash my face with a small amount of this at night after cleansing with my face wash.  The only negative that this product has is the smell.  However, you really won’t smell it anytime other than when you are washing your face.

4.) Retin-A Micro Gel 0.08%

Last, but certainly not least is my favorite product of all, the Retin-A Micro Gel 0.08%.  This above all has transferred my skin.  The gel essentially uses Vitamin A to peel layers of the skin from your face (don’t worry very small amounts) and thus, helps to get rid of existing pimples faster and prevent future ones.  I use a small amount on the breakout areas of my face every night.

I hope this will help your skin the way it helped mine!  Leave a comment below if you have any questions about skin care in general or these products! (:

Love,

Nicole ♡

Maybelline-Better-Skin-FoundationFoundation-Review-and-Tips

Hi friends!  A few months ago, I was using a foundation that was breaking me out terribly and to say the least I was extremely frustrated.  When Influenster reached out to me asking that I test the new Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation, the timing couldn’t have been better.  When it comes to acne, I’m usually willing to try almost anything, and with a name like, “Better Skin” I was practically counting down the days until it showed up at my doorstep.

As it turns out, the shade, “Porcelain” is just a little too light for me, but I ended up loving this foundation so much that I actually went out and bought it in the next shade up, “Classic Ivory”.  The formula glides on so smooth and blends seamlessly with my moisturizer.  Unlike some foundations where I feel like I have to use a million pumps to look even on my whole face, this one can cover everything with just one.  Most importantly, it didn’t break me out any further and within a few weeks I noticed my skin had actually improved!  I had much less redness overall and far fewer blemishes.

Here are some of my personal tips to get the most out of your foundation:

1.)  Prevent breakouts.

If you have acne prone skin make sure that you are using a foundation that is oil-free!  This is so important.  I cannot tell you how many times I have purchased a foundation that said “great for oily skin”, only to later really read the ingredients and see some kind of oil listed.  If it doesn’t say “oil-free” right on the front it probably isn’t.  Always check the ingredients.

2.)  Increase the staying power with one easy fix.

Making your foundation last all day long is as simple as this: oil and water don’t mix.  When you are using a water based primer or moisturizer, make sure that your foundation is water based as well.  Silicone based or oil based foundations need to be mixed with silicone or oil based primers and moisturizers.  A foundation that wipes off mid-day could be due to a bad primer combination so again, check those ingredients.

3.) Remove oil for a better finish.

By lightly ridding your face of any excess oil, you will not only decrease shine, but your foundation will last significantly longer throughout the day.  Place a tissue lightly on top of your skin like a blanket and gently pat off the oils from your t-zone and chin.

4.)  Apply powder.

Post foundation application, apply a powder to set everything in.  I find that even just a little really makes a difference in my foundation routine.

5.)  Use a setting spray.

A setting spray is designed to better adhere foundation to your face and while some work better than others, there are a couple that REALLY do the job.  One of my personal favorites is the Ben Nye Final Seal Matte Makeup Sealer.  Not only is it used by many professional makeup artists, but it’s super affordable at around $10.00.

Hope these tips helped and thanks for reading! (:

Love,

Nicole ♡

We recently said goodbye to another year, and to celebrate I wanted to share some of my favorite drugstore beauty products of 2013.  I currently wear 1.) Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream everyday because it’s so light and natural.  It also doesn’t break my acne prone skin out.  2.) Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Spray is an awesome sea salt spray.  When I want to be lazy with my hair this is my go-to!  You may have seen 3.) Queen Helen Mud Pack Masque in my skin care post.  The clay in this product works amazing to unclog pores.    When I do wear foundation, 4.) Almay Truly Lasting Color Makeup has been my favorite for years.  I really like how it doesn’t cake on my skin.    I highly recommend 5.) Maybelline’s Cover Stick if you are looking for something high-coverage under your eyes.  However, if you breakout frequently I would not use it to cover blemishes, as it tends to have an oily consistency.  Applying my 6.) eos lip balm in the flavor, “Strawberry Sorbet” is an obsession right now.  This product is not only all-natural and mostly organic (which I love), but it’s way too much fun to put on due to that adorable egg shape.  I like 7.) Maybelline Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil because it comes with a small comb on the end of the brow liner and the color goes on very smooth making it look less harsh  than other brow liners.  8.) Revlon’s PhotoReady Powder really does it’s name justice.  I always think my skin looks a little more fresh when I wear this in pictures.  I can’t say enough about 9.) CeraVe Moisturizing lotion.  I go to sleep at night with this on and when I wakeup in the morning I can still feel it on my skin, (but without that sticky/wet feeling). It is such a must-buy if you have sensitive skin!  I use 10.) Aussie 3 Minute Miracle instead of conditioner once a week and it makes my hair so soft and removes a lot of those annoying knots.  I don’t think I go a day without wearing Revlon Just Bitten in “Smitten”.  It’s like a lip stain, but way less drying.

Let me know what your favorites of 2013 were (: !