The BEST facial exfoliater I have ever used

I am so excited to write about this product because it is almost unbelievable how well it works. If you have read any of my posts in the past you know how much I love LUSH cosmetics. I have been using Ocean Salt and Herbalism as my daily facial cleansers and exfoliants for over a year now. I firmly stand behind these products because of their natural ingredients, smell, how they make my face feel etc. etc. To have found a better product is bittersweet for me. 

I came across the Clarisea brand on Hautelook, a website which offers brandname items for discounted prices. Always on the look out for things I haven’t tried, I bought a set of charcoal products on a whim just because I have been interested in the charcoal trend in facial products.

 The set included a small charcoal soap bar, a charcoal powder mask and a charcoal exfoliater. I don’t like the soap, the mask works very well, but the exfoliater is hands down the star of the show. 

   
It took a couple of weeks for the set to come only due to Hautelooks ridiculous lag in shipping. In the time between ordering the set and when it came I had been to the beach and I had had a cold. When I finally got the package my face was a disaster. I was peeling in random areas from the sun, my nose had cracked open and was peeling, and I had a pimple like rash stretching from the sides of my nose to the corners of my mouth all from blowing it too much while I was sick. I had exfoliated as usual, mousturized like crazy, used my moisturizing sleep mask, but nothing seemed to be working. 

I used the Clarisea exfoliater purely because I was excited to have gotten a new product, almost forgetting the state that my skin was in. 

After one use my face was back to normal and then some.

Seriously, I got out of showered and looked at my skin and really couldnt believe it. My rash was gone, I was no longer peeling, my pores had been zapped close, any trace of acne, bumps or blackheads were minimized to nothing, and I felt as smooth as a baby’s behind. 

The exfoliater comes in this cute little container which looks like a salt shaker.  

 
To use turn the top, pop open the container and pour out about a table spoon of salt into your hand.  

 
The more water that is added to the salt, I feel, the less it does its job. With just barely wet fingers, work the salt into a thick wet glob and begin applying.

 
 The thing about this exfoliater is that while it worked for me, I would absolutely not use it if I had delicate skin. I thought that Ocean Salt was rough but this stuff has twice the exfoliating power. 

As soon as it is rinsed off you will be able to feel and see the difference in your skin and pores.

One odd downside to the salt is that I do not like the sensation that I feel when it is above my lip and below my nose. My breath causes the salt to become strangely heated.
The Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant can be found on clarisea.com for $18. The set is offered on the website also but I only think the exfoliant is worth it. 

I am dying to try other products from this brand.

Have you ever used Clarisea or charcoal products before? 

Sephora Haul

I recently stocked up on a huge amount of products from Sephora that are both new for me and some of my favorites from the past.

Here they are!

Bumble & Bumble Repair Blow Dry

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I got this creamy serum as a sample size in a Sephora package and wrote about it a in a post a few months ago. I squeezed literally every drop out of the sample size and I am so excited that I have a huge one to last me longer now! I have used a lot of pre blow dry products and this is hands down my favorite. From the smell, to the texture, and how well this stuff repairs my hair I am in loveee. It is a little pricy at $30 a bottle but I think it is so worth it. This is a must have in my book.

Do you have any favorite B&B products? Im dying to try more.

Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Luminizer (01-Stardust)  & Benefit Watt’s Up! Cream to Powder Luminizer 

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Ok, so, I haven’t gotten a chance to use the Sephora brand luminizer ($14) on my face in a look yet because I am obsessed with Watt’s Up! ($30)  but I’ve tested it on my hand and it seems ok. Sephora’s is much more subtle than Watt’s Up! and is more loose, thin, and less pigmented than Benefit’s but I guess that could have been expected. My first luminizing shimmery product was NARS’s Orgasm illuminator, and then I moved on to the very highly rated & recommended Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal. I have used and loved those two products many a day but in my opinion they don’t hold a candle to Watt’s Up! Unlike Orgasm, which can be too rosy, and Opal, which I feel can really enhance blemishes and pores, Watt’s Up! just does exactly what it is supposed to do. I am not sure where exactly the makers saw the cream to powder transition but how blend-able the stick is is certainly noticeable. This is also the perfect luminizer because of how the stick makes placement specific as opposed to powders or creams (even though this is both??). Watt’s Up! is a little pricy for a product you definitely could go a whole life time without using but is about mid range as far as luminizers go (the most expensive on Sephora’s website is $63). Bottom line this is the perfect product to make you feel like a shimmery summer goddess and perfect if you’re into the new “strobing” trend.

Sephora Collection Smart Liner ($14)

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I have tried many a liquid eyeliner but always revert back to my favorite L’Oreal Infallible liner. This one may break me out of my habit. It is clear that I bought the liner for the shape of the bottle. I refuse to believe that any first time purchaser of this product picked it up for any other reason. However, as soon as I put it in my hand to use it, it no longer made sense to me why any other liner was not shaped as this one. It perfectly fit into my hand and it kind of makes me feel invincible as far as not messing up my wing goes. The liner itself is also really good. Not too runny and wet and it stays in place rather well. There are definitely many products like this one that draw consumers in by their outward appearance. This one actually has purpose.

Smashbox Photo Finish  Foundation Primer ($16)

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I have a bunch of primers much cheaper than the full sized version of this one, and I could never really bring myself to buy it for some reason. I tried a sample packet and liked it enough to finally take the plunge. I still only got the travel size but I think it will do for now. The product works really well, it smooths away pores and I will admit it really kept my makeup in place throughout the day. This primer is in almost every youtube beauty bloggers videos and I couldn’t run from it anymore but I am glad I’ve stopped.

Has anyone tried the other kinds?

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Chocolate ($21)

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 I have tried every medium of brow makeup and can’t really ever choose a favorite product. I do like the Brow Wiz for a more natural look and for the summer. It is lighter feeling as opposed to dip brow or liquid eyebrow corrector which makes it perfect for the warm weather.

Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Fair/Light ($23)

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My sister had this concealer and I borrowed it and loved it. I go through concealer more than anything else I feel like and went straight for this one when I realized I needed a new one. I guess I was wrong about the color that I thought she used because I was pretty disappointed when I first used it. I think a big problem at first is the applicator. The container is similar to a squeeze lip gloss and because the concealer is on the thinner side it is very hard to get the product to move anywhere. The second time around I think I had better luck and generally liked how it looked. Overall not my favorite thing ever but ok. I think I am going to use this concealer to try baking. When I do I will post about it!

Josie Maran Argan Creamy Concealer Crayon in Medium 2 ($20)

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Anyone who knows me knows that I am hugely into contouring. I have used cream based products and powders and I have seen a bunch of people using concealers and pencils in the process so I had to try it out. I was really disappointed because the pencil is really not even close to being darker than my skin when applied and it doesn’t work very well for contouring (hopefully in the winter!). I might use it as a base before powder for now but along with not being the right color it doesn’t blend very well. I don’t think I will buying it in the darker shade.

Bite Beauty Frozen Berries Matte Creme Lipstick in Plum ($24)

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LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. love.

I have pretty fully completed my collection of Maybelline lipsticks so I am trying to move my attention to some other brand. Eventually I am thinking I will go with MAC but for now I will be buying all of the colors of this lipstick. Unfortunately there is only 5 =( . This lipstick is extremely long lasting, highly pigmented. Just perfect. Now if only they would make liners…

Sephora Collection Full Action Waterproof Extreme Effect Mascara ($12)

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I am really annoyed with myself for getting this mascara in the waterproof version because I hate waterproof and this mascara happens to be awesome. I think I like lengthening mascara more than a volumizing one, and while this one is the latter it is great.

New Urban Decay Naked Smoky Pallet Swatches

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The Urban Decay Naked Pallets, as I am sure most if not all of you know, have been super popular. I use one almost every day. So, when I found out that there would be a new pallet I was so excited. The shadows fit the “smoky” description and are much darker collectively than any other pallets. I do wish that one of the lighter shadows, High, was a little lighter or that Combust, another of the lighter colors had some sparkle. Other than that I can’t complain and love the pallet as usual.

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Here are the swatches:

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And I missed one (OOPS!)

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Slanted

Perfect Products for the Summer

For me the summer means having to pay extra attention to my skin, the products I use, and my routines. In the winter we are faced with cold weather that undoubtable takes a toll on the condition of our skin, but the summer is different. We must consider sun burns, sweating, the possibility of a surprise storm, showing more skin, wearing (and removing) more makeup for special events, shaving more often, etc. etc., you get the idea.

I have found myself using three products, in particular, so often and I realized how greatly they have helped me during the summer months that I had to write about them.

The first is the SEPHORA COLLECTION Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation ($28)

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I first saw this product being used in a youtube video and I was baffled at how much product the blogger used, but also the result. The foundation seemed to give really good coverage so I wanted to give it a try. When I first used it I felt like I was really way too matte looking so I blended some Maybelline FitMe over the airbrush foundation. The texture was more to my liking and I did not feel too cakey. I was content with my final look but not ecstatic, so put the foundation on the back burner for a couple of days before trying it again.

Now, I unfortunately (or maybe not) am one of those people who finds it really hard to leave the house without at least some makeup on. So one can imagine how difficult it is for me to get ready for the beach and have to walk right past my makeup table in fear of later having runny, sweaty makeup and clogged pores.

If you, like me, have any of these fears this is the foundation for you.

Last week, it was time to head to the beach. It was well into the 90’s that day and i packed my beach bag and sadly started to creep past my table and out the door when the foundation caught my eye. I thought, lets just give it a try.

I try my hardest not to tan my face. In fact, my face is one of the only places I put sunblock. So I prepped it with tons of Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion (You can get it HERE!), rubbed it in good and then I sprayed the foundation all over my face just a little bit. I evened it out with a blending brush. I saw how even, covered and natural my face looked now that I was using the foundation for a different purpose. I added some lip balm with SPF in it and I felt ready and not makeup naked for the beach. I found that by the end of the day the foundation had stayed in tact. I had sweat at the beach but my face had not run and although my face had got some color it did not look strange when having had a foundation a shade lighter on over it.

I would highly recommend this foundation if you are looking for something natural looking, fast, and if you are going to be in the sun. It is also key to play with how much you use because you will get different results. The only bad side to this foundation, which is to be expected, is that it kind of gets everywhere. Make sure to check your ears, pay special attention to your hair line, and don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want it on.

Next is Buffy Body Butter ($6.95-22.95)

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This body bar from Lush is one of the most effective products I have ever used. It is made to smooth, exfoliate and moisturize skin and it does all that and then some. LUSH’s website also says that this product can be specifically used to soften your backside, although I use it for everywhere. When I get out of the shower I feel smooth, soft, slick and like I don’t even need to put lotion on. It is an odd sensation that could only be understood having tried it. This product is great for the summer for so many reasons. Again, it keeps you moisturized, and it keeps you so soft that having to shave my legs can be extended a day or two. My favorite feature is that when it is used particularly in areas where I have stretch marks/cellulite they become almost invisible for the day. They appear to be buffed out (Haha pun intended). Call me crazy but it works!

Buffy can be a little rough but not in a way that it has ever hurt me. However, I would NOT use this if I had a sun burn. The other down side is that I go through this stuff sooooo fast. I use relatively big bars and in about a week they are through =[.

The last product is Makeover Essentials Refresh Me Cloth ($19.99)

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My boyfriend’s mom (Thanks Lynn!) gave me this magical thing. She told me that a lady in the mall had given her a bunch of products for a cheap price and this was one of the things that were included and she thought I might like it. I was unbelievable skeptical once I read the instructions which are literally 1. Wet 2. Wipe your face. I was even more skeptical when I took the cloth out of the box and saw what looks like one of those rags that you attach to a mop. I brought it home and forgot about it for a while.

During the summer I definitely find myself going out more because the weather is nice, because there are more parties and so on. This, of course, requires more than just a natural makeup look sometimes and therefore more makeup. On a day where I had a more dramatic look on I decided to really put this thing to the test. I followed the instructions, wet and wipe, first over my eye. I was absolutely amazed. The cloth took all of my makeup off in one swipe. I still exfoliate after I use it because I don’t feel like my face is completely clear, but the cloth gets the hard part out of the way.

I would recommend this to anyone with a face that wears makeup. The only down side is that it needs to be machine washed quite frequently.

My favorite Lip Gloss EVER

It seems to me that the big lip, Kylie Jenner phase is not over yet. 

I don’t blame the beauty world, the look is one of my favorites. Most days I overline my lips with my favorite nude liner and lipstick. When I’m feeling like my lips need to be extra Angelina Jolie/Kylie Jennerish I add Buxom plumping lip gloss in White Russian.

  
I had used this gloss in other colors before, and got a sample size of it in White Russian in a Christmas gift box full of samples. Since then I literally scrapped every last bit of gloss out of it and NEEDED a new one. 

The gloss comes in a bajillion colors, but I love White Russian because of how it perfectly blends my liner and lipstick and how its not too light or too pink if I want to wear it on its own. I also love the tingly plumping feeling that the gloss gives that lasts for a very long time. 

This gloss is a product I would give a 10/10 to. And I will definitely be stocking up on it in more shades.

The gloss goes for $19 and can be found here: http://m.sephora.com/product/P174213

The Deal with Summer Hair

Its no secret that I have fallen out of blogging for the past couple of months. Recently, my inspiration returned and I have a bunch of new and old products I will be talking about. 

I have been going through a strange phase with my hair. In the past, I have limited myself to washing my hair twice a week. I would do my hair according to how dirty it felt throughout the 3-4 days between washes and tried to prolong the process as much as possible. My hair, which can be a frizzy disaster, could never handle the intensity of the heat that it takes to tame it after a wash. Even still my hair would break, split and thin. So I would wash it less frequently and therefore blow dry and/or straighten it less frequently. 

I havent figured out why exactly I started, but I have been washing my hair almost every day. And as a result, I have been using different products and also going through times when I do nothing. 

Lets start with doing nothing. 

I have read extreme instances where people stop washing their hair for months. For a few weeks they suffer with disgusting hair and then magically, their hair transforms into silky smooth healthy hair. This is really intriguing to me and deep down I really want to try it. While I am sure the end result could be worth months of non-washing, I dont think that I could get through the smelly grossness of it. 

So, personally (and much less extreme) I have been washing my hair more frequently and letting it dry as it pleases with no product. I did this every day for 5 days (a lifetime record for me). 

Eventually my hair worked itself into a wearable, natural wave/curl and on the 6th day I decided to use some product.

  
Now that my hair was less frizzy, thicker feeling, and my split ends were less visable I used John Frieda Sea Salt Spray. I sprayed about 15-20 sprays all over my hair. The first time I used it I was pleased because the spray got the parts of my hair that were more straight and wavy to curl. It looked better and more even than if I had just air dried it. It also smells really, really nice. 

The next day I was feeling extra beachy and thought I’d use a little more. I parted my hair into sections this time and sprayed each section 2-3 times each… I learned quickly that a couple of squirts all over as I had done the day before was more than enough. Too much and my hair was crunchy, dirty feeling, and started to smell more like the bottom of the ocean than a breeze on the beach.

I wouldn’t give this product a 10 out of 10, but I definitely like how helpful it was in making my hair a more desirable texture. It will definitely be a staple while getting ready and in my beach bag this summer.

The bottom line is: Its summer and indoubtably the most difficult time for our hair. Try something different to keep it healthy, it may surprise you. 

What are your hair routines in the summer? Have you tried this product or one like it? What did you think? 

Sephora Beauty Insider Peter Thomas Roth Best Face Forward Box

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Hi everyone! So my aunt recently gave me this Peter Thomas Roth goodies box which she got using 500 of her Sephora Beauty Insider points (she’s the best).

As I have made it very clear, I am super addicted to LUSH products, so I am always skeptical to try anything else on my face. But I have heard of Peter Thomas Roth before and I wanted to give the items in the box a try… And it turns out that I fell in love with two products (the other was a bust).

First off, I was really excited about the box just because it seems like your getting a lot for 500 points. The front of the box shows the products which all work together. When I opened it I realized it was too good to be true as always and that the products were super sample sized. I don’t know why I always hope for full sized products even though I know there no way that would happen haha.

The box includes a cleanser (Anti Aging Cleansing Gel), a peel (Firmx), and a detox and sooth product (Cucumber Gel Mask). The order they are listed here are the order in which they are to be used.

So here’s my review:

Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel

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The products description is that it is an anti-aging daily cleanser that helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Ok wow, do I love this stuff. The cleanser is super thick and just kind of a little different feeling to me. The directions say to apply to a wet face after working into a rich, foamy lather… and it is. Theres no exfoliant in the cleanser and thats something that I usually don’t like. I like to feel like I am working the dirt out of my pores and I often do not feel that happening with gel cleansers. This one how every made my face feel so smooth and like there was not one bump on it. I was amazed. My face also did not feel dry, which I admit to feeling with my LUSH products. The sample size is perfect for traveling, a little bit goes a long way and I am absolutely bringing it with me to Italy this week. I can’t wait to see the result of the product after an extended period of continued use.

Found in both full or travel size HERE!

P.S there is an anti aging cleanser with buffing beads that I will be looking into.

Firmx

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This product’s description is that it is a gentle exfoliating peeling gel that effectively peels and helps uncover a smooth, fresh, new complexion, without drying, irritating or causing undue stress to skin.

I really did not know what to expect with this product because I was slightly confused by the description and the directions. To use you must apply a generous amount on clean dry skin. Gently massage in a circular motion to roll, lift and sweep away dead skin cells. Is it a peel? Is it a wash? I followed the directions obviously, even though the description made me want to wait for it to dry to peel it off. Again, wow. If my face was smooth before now it was baby bottom smooth. I applied the gel as directed and worked in circular motions. For a couple seconds nothing was happening, but then little balls started to appear. I guess the best way to describe what happens is that unlike a traditional peel which you wait to dry and peel off, this one is instant. I would like to assume that the little balls were my dead skin and dirt being removed and that it was not just the product. This peel takes anything that the cleanser did not get and pulls it right out. My nose, which can sometimes feel bumpy from black heads was completely smooth and my pores looked smaller. I am completely impressed by this product. The sample size offers so little but I am 100% taking it on my trip and I will squeeze every last drop out of it. If there has ever been a product that a sample size made me want to buy its this one.

I could only find a travel sized one on the website 😦 HERE!

Cucumber Gel Mask

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Last and definitely least

This products description is that it is an ultra-gentle gel that helps soothe, hydrate, and detoxify dry, irritated skin with botanical extracts of cucumber papaya, chamomile, pineapple, sugar maple, sugarcane, orange lemon, bilberry and aloe. May be used under the eye area to help reduce the look of puffiness. Excellent to calm and soothe irritated skin after sun exposure, peels, waxing facials, extractions, etc.

No. Just no. This stuff irritated the hell out of my face. I kept it on for 10 minutes as the directions say and I just wanted to take it off so bad. It did not make it red or itchy like when I sometimes get hives on my face but made me feel like it was making my face so dry it was going to crack open. My experience and the description of the product are so far apart so I am really disappointed. I really don’t want to try it again but maybe I would in a smaller dose as a spot treatment or just under my eyes. The only thing I did like was the cooling sensation it had when I was washing it off with cold water. Granted, this product must work differently on different people. According to the website it has been mentioned on a bunch of websites and blogs, although the website does not offer a section for consumer reviews.

This mask can be bought at full size for a price of $45 L-O-L.

Before I go, I wanted to talk about something very close to my heart for a moment. I have lost countless people to cancer. It is truly becoming astonishing to me that at 20 years old I have lost count of how many people I know who have and who have passed away from cancer. Most notably in my life I have lost my grandfather to brain cancer after a two year battle, when he was just 59 years old. I am sure that many of you reading this right now have sadly been affected in some way by cancer.

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My sorority and I are raising money for the American Cancer Society through an event called Relay for Life. Last year we raised $10,000 and we are trying to surpass that amount this year. Please donate if you feel so inclined. Every and any donation big or small counts and is so greatly appreciated.

You can donate and make a difference HERE.

Thank you in advance ❤