My Top 7 Beauty Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – Steals & Deals

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The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one of my absolute favorite times of the year for beauty product shopping. You can score some really great deals, especially from the Beauty department. If you are unfamiliar with the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, let me lay it out for you.

Once a year, Nordstrom as a huge sale store wide for their Anniversary. Many brands not only offer discounts on their products (and this is usually the only time you can get discounts on Beauty products at Nordstrom) but they always have some sort of free gift with purchase during this time as well.

This year the sale runs from July 20 through August 5th but if you are a Nordstrom cardmember you can gain access to the sale right now! Below I’ve selected some of my top picks from the sale. These are brands and products that I love and would definitely purchase during the sale.
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I love Jo Malone’s fragrances and this little set is a great way to be introduced to the brand. The Jo Malone fragrances and body products are great to layer over each other to create your own unique scent. This set includes English Pear & Freesia, Peony & Blush Suede and Blackberry & Bay. All beautiful scents by themselves but can make some wonderfully interesting scents when combined.

$60 value for $45

Jo Malone London Discovery Collection

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I just love the beautiful shades of this lip set from Charlotte Tilbury. In this set you receive one Matt lipstick shade, exclusive to Nordstrom, in Rose Kiss, a hydrating lipstick in a rosey satin finish, also an exclusive, called Blushing Dream and a long wearing, smudge proof liner called Pillow Talk. This pinky nudes will be create the perfect pout for any summer look. Plus, the rose gold packaging is adorable.

$90 value for $60

Charlotte Tilbury The Pretty Pink Lipstick Set

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Diptyque candles from France are some of my favorite, but with the price of an individual candle they are more of a treat. This set is such a great deal as you receive an assortment of five smaller sized candles. The set includes mostly florals such as Roses Candle, Tubereuse Candle, Figuier Candle, Feu de Bois Candle and my favorite the Baies Candle.

 

$75 value for $55

diptyque Candle Set

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Anastasia of Beverly Hills is the queen when it comes to brow shaping and brow products. I love these two and have used them frequently, so this set is a great deal. This scent includes the retractable Brow Wiz pencil with spoolie and the Clear Brow Gel for achieving those perfect brows.

 

$43 value for $28

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duo

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Now I have to admit that I’ve never tried any of the skincare from Herbivore but I’ve been dying to. I see them all over Instagram and they just look amazing. This three piece set includes their most popular (and most Instagrammed) products: the Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Crème, the Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Glow Mask and the Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Hydrating Face Mist. This super hydrating set is perfect for all skin types and is vegan and cruelty free. I absolutely have to get my hands on this set.

 

$76 value for $52

Herbivore Botanicals Rosewater + Gemstone Trio

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Ok, I’ll be totally honest and say I picked this one just because of the supercute cupcake pouch. This set includes a Glimmer Balm and a Glossy Boss gloss. I’ve never heard of this brand before but had to include it because of the pouch alone. I mean, come on, it’s a cupcake. This brand is also cruelty-free.

 

$42 value for $26

Windy Lux Sweet Set

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Now this last pick is actually a brand I used to work with. Elemis has amazing skincare that utilizes Mediterranean marine algae. This cream is amazing at smoothing, firming and revitalizing skin. It is truly an amazing anti-aging moisturizer. Elemis is also a company that does not test their products on animals. This set is almost a 50% savings on the cream. This is definitely a steal!

 

$256 value for $172

Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Duo

Let me know in the comments if you are going to hit the Nordstrom Anniversary sale what you plan on picking up!

 

 

*All photos are from Nordstrom.com and I have used them here for educational purposes. Links are non affiliate links.

 

June 2018 Favorites – A Francophile’s Favorites & A Giveaway

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Favorite videos and posts are well…some of my favorites. They are my favorite to make and to watch/read. As July 14th is Bastille Day, a big holiday and celebration in France, I thought I would make my June and July Favorites all about my favorite country, France. So for these two months I will share some of my favorite French products that I’ve been loving and obsessing over.

Beauty Products

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L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Eye Balm

What they say: The Precious Eye Balm offers a velevty, soft formula to help smooth and firm, and visibly reduce dark circles and puffiness.

My Review: This is one of the best eye creams I think I’ve ever tried. The texture is very light, somewhere between a heavy balm and a milky cream. It glides on the skin very effortlessly and instantly brightens. I have definitely felt that after using this for two weeks my eye area seems smoother, more lifted and much brighter.

L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

What they say: Cleanses softly and helps to hydrate and nourish the skin all-day-long with almond oil.

My Review: This is heaven in a bottle! The oil turns to a foaming cleanser when it makes contact with water so it takes the place of shower gels that can often be too drying. You can even use this to shave in the shower. The scent is sweet and warm, leaving your skin soft and smooth all day long. The scent is light enough to be there without being overpowering. This is going to be a holy grail bath and body product now.

www.loccitane.com

Guerlain Blurring Active Primer

What they say: Blurring Active Base, the smoothing primer by Guerlain, instantly blurs the appearance of pores and allows skin texture to look more refined day after day, while mattifying the complexion for perfect skin all day long. Its fresh and non-greasy texture allows the skin to breathe while prolonging make-up hold. Its formula contains an antioxidant for an anti-pollution effect*, and improves the appearance of the skin and helps to preserve it** against daily aggressions.

My review: I’m not someone who wears foundation but I do like my skin to look it’s best. I’m a big fan of skincare and using great skincare to make our skin look incredible, instead of covering it up with a bunch of makeup products. However, there are those days where we just want a little something extra to help our skin look flawless. On these days where maybe my skin texture looks off, or I’m a little red, I like to use blurring primers.

I recently discovered this one from one of my favorite Beauty brands, Guerlain. The texture is a little thick, but glides on the skin easily. It really minimizes the appearance of pores and fine lines, giving me a more even textured look. It is great at helping to matify the skin as well, keeping me shine free all day long. I’ve used BB creams and bronzers over this and those products apply nicely and stay put pretty much all day. I even like wearing this alone to give a more flawless look to skin.

Guerlain Blurring Active Primer

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Guerlain Shalimar Eau de Parfum

What they say:  Inspired by the passionate love story between an emperor and an Indian princess, Shalimar, which means “temple of love” in Sanskrit, symbolises the promise of eternal love forevermore. It is a fragrance of desire. With its smouldering and slightly impertinent character, the star oriental fragrance in perfumery embodies skin-caressing sensuality with a hint of the forbidden. “Wearing Shalimar means letting your senses take over,” Jacques Guerlain would say.

In 1925, the Shalimar bottle designed by Raymond Guerlain won first prize at the Paris Decorative Arts Exhibition. Its curves were inspired by the basins of the famous Shalimar gardens. The fan stopper with its sapphire transparency recalls the garden’s eternally gushing water.

My review: This perfume is a classic and I think we all maybe grew up with one woman in our life that had this on her vanity. My grandmother used this fragrance and the scent always evokes memories of her getting ready.

I find this to be a very unique and beautiful fragrance, unlike any other I’ve ever smelled. At first the scent is strong but it does dry down to a beautiful, powdery incense like scent. The top notes of flowers and bergamot give a crisp freshness to the scent. The heart of Shalimar includes powdery florals like iris, jasmine and rose. The base notes lend to the softness of the scent on the final dry down. These include tonka bean and vanilla. Truly a beautiful fragrance.

Shalimar by Guerlain

Lifestyle

Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer 

My review: I’m really not a fan of carrying a bunch of stuff in my pockets, which is usually why I carry a bag of some sort. This goes for wallets too. I hate having a bulky and heavy wallet in my pocket.

I’ve always been a Louis Vuitton fan and when I came across this pocket organizer I knew I had found the perfect wallet for me. This slim organizer has just enough slots for me to carry a little cash, my ID and a few credit cards. I keep it pretty close to empty so I don’t overpower it’s slimness. It fits easily in a bag or even my pocket, without being bulky and annoying.

Also, I try not buy too many leather products, and this is a waxed canvas, so I feel better about this purchase. My Pocket Organizer is in the Monogram Eclipse pattern, which to me looks very chic and manly.

Louis Vuitton Pocket Organizer Monogram Eclipse Canvas

Books

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The Private Life of Marie Antoinette by Madame Campan

I don’t know why I have this obsession for Marie Antoinette, but I’ve had it for years. In fact in sixth grade, I did a report on her. But she is one of my favorite people in history. I do think she is one of the most misunderstood people in history and sadly was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

This book is the memoir of one of her ladies in waiting, Madame Campan, who details Marie Antoinette’s arrival at Versailles and all of the struggles she endured while reigning as the Queen of France. It’s a fascinating read as it’s from a first person point of view of someone who actually lived beside Marie Antoinette during this time. I learned a lot more about her through this book. If you are interested in Marie Antoinette, the French Revolution or French History in general, I highly recommend picking up this book.

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

Another favorite person in history that I adore is Yves Saint Laurent. I’ve been fan of his and the brand for years. He was such an interesting person and created some new and unusual trends for his time.

This book is well researched and details the friendship between the two rising stars of French Fashion, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. Their relationship is what we would now call “frenemies”. It’s interesting to learn more about these two amazing designers and how they broke into international fashion fame.

Documentaries

Versailles 73

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Battle at Versailles

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Both of these documentaries were ones that I discovered on Netflix and Amazon Prime. The funny thing is that they are both about the same event in history. In 1973, fashion influence, Eleanor Lambert decided to host a Fashion Battle at the Versailles Palace.

At this time the palace was falling down and in desperate need of repairs. The Fashion Battle was to be a fundraiser to raise the funds to help restore Versailles to it’s former splendor. The Fashion Show pitted American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, Anne Klein and Bill Blass) against French designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Emmanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Hubert de Givenchy).

Both documentaries have amazing footage and interviews with people that worked on the show, with the designers and even some of the models. While both are interesting, I actually preferred Battle at Versailles because it has more in depth reviews with the people who were there.

That is what I’m loving for the month of June. I’ll be doing a Francophile’s Favorites Part Deux as I share what I’m loving for the month of July. Coming soon! But for now, you can hear more about my thoughts on these products in the video below. I am hosting a small giveaway as well, so make sure to watch the video for the details about how to enter the giveaway.

au revoir!

Pacifica Beauty Full Brand Focus & Review

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At the beginning of this year, I set a few goals for myself. One was to go back to being Vegetarian/Vegan and another was to move towards using more cruelty free brands in my beauty products. While on the hunt for some great cruelty free skincare I stumbled across Pacifica Beauty.

I had always thought of them as that company who makes the fun perfumes that you see sold in Whole Foods. However, while casually shopping around in Ulta one day, I came across a whole skincare set up from Pacifica. They make skincare? Who knew?!

I don’t know if I had missed that they made skincare, or if there was a recent launch of skincare? However shortly after discovering them they released a ton of new products. So, I spent hours pouring over everything on their website to learn more about the brand and their products. I created a list of what I wanted to try and quickly purchased my whole list. No seriously, I bought almost everything! Check out my haul videos on YouTube. As well as my Top Five Pacifica Beauty Products.

About Pacifica Beauty

The company founder started Pacifica Beauty because of her love of aromatherapy and working with essential oils. They make 100% vegan and cruelty free products without any of what I call “the nasties” such as SLS, sulfates, parabens and petroleum. In addition to perfumes and skincare, they also make hair products, makeup and bath products like bath bombs.

I’m easily drawn in by cute packaging and Pacifica has some of the prettiest, Instagram worthy packaging I’ve ever seen. But more than just being pretty, their products are amazing and really work well. The company also has a loyalty rewards program and a recycling program, so there are many reasons you can feel good about supporting this brand.

I want to share a few of my favorite Pacifica Beauty products with you. I can’t share them all, otherwise we would be here all day, because I mostly use their products exclusively now. However, you can find out more about the company and hear my thoughts on the products in the video at the end of this post.

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Coconut Dissolve Cleansing Oil Rehab

This little beauty right here has to be my absolute favorite from Pacifica Beauty. I’m a huge fan of the oil cleansing method and have been doing it for decades now. I’ve always used plain Sweet Almond Oil or the Rose Cleansing Oil from Badger Balm but this is now my go to cleansing oil.

What Pacifica Beauty Says (from their website):

A natural oil-based skin cleanser that removes makeup gently and effectively and rinses clean while restoring the look of healthier skin. Stress and late nights wreak havoc on your beautiful face. Dissolve away the day (or the night) and melt it all away. At least you will always have your memories.

My Thoughts:

First off the scent of this amazing! It’s like cleansing your skin with cake frosting. The coconut scent is so beautiful. I really love the texture of this as well. Most cleansing oils can be…well… too oily. However, this one is so light in texture that it doesn’t feel too heavy on the face. It is great for all skin types, so you don’t have worry about it being too much for your skin.

It leaves the skin feeling super soft, well hydrated and leaves a beautiful glow to the skin. I use this as my nightly cleanser and sometimes I do the Korean cleansing method where I will follow this up with a foaming cleanser. This is incredible at removing makeup too, even waterproof mascara. Yes, I tried it out! I love this so much that I decided to try all of the Pacifica products with Coconut…

Pacifica Beauty Coconut Dissolve Cleansing Oil Rehab

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Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash and the Coconut Essence Hydro Mist

If you are lover of coconut and that delicious scent, then Pacifica has you covered. They carry a whole line of Coconut products. I use the Coconut Dissolve Cleansing Oil, the Coconut Shave Whip, the Coconut Cream to Foam Face wash and the Coconut Essence Hydro Mist.

What Pacifica Beauty Says (from their website):

Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash – Party then, clean it up now. Clean skin is your first step in recovery from stress and late nights. Our cream to foam formula starts off like a creamy lotion cleanser, but as you massage it in, big bubble action lifts dirt and debris to the surface for easier removal.

Coconut Essence Hydro Mist – Aromatherapy and skin love unite in this light, hydrating mist infused with coconut water designed to help tone and balance the look of skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and dewy. Use anytime for a pick me up.

My Thoughts:

The foaming face wash is one that I don’t use everyday, but still love it. A little bit goes along way with this one, and it foams up really nicely. It leaves the skin definitely feeling deeply cleansed but without being drying or stripping.

The Coconut Essence Hydro Mist is another must have. It has the same incredible scent of the cleansing oil. I like to use this as my toner and as a refreshing skin moisturizing pick me up throughout the day. The mist is light and leaves the skin soft and glowing.

Pacifica Coconut Milk Cream to Foam Face Wash

Pacifica Coconut Essence Hydro Mist

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Alight Mulit-Mineral BB Cream

I don’t often wear any type of makeup product, but there are days where my skin is just not having it. I can be prone to breakouts and redness due to stress. So for these days, I wanted something light enough to cover the redness but without being too heavy or looking like I was wearing makeup. Enter the Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream.

What Pacifica Beauty Says (from their website):

Think sheer moisturizing tint with benefits. A true multitasking miracle that hydrates, primes, illuminates, and perfects, leaving a sheer bare skin finish. Specialized mineral pigments that instantly adjust to your skin shade allow one color to work for many. The sheer application can be built up for just the right amount of coverage, while helping diminish the appearance of pores, fine lines, and uneven tone.

My Thoughts:

This is such a beautiful product. In fact, I’ve raved about it in numerous videos of mine. It is very light weight, so a little goes along way, and it blends beautifully into the skin. I do find it works well with MOST skin tones as well. It has a sheer tint that helps to cover redness, minimize fine lines, evens out skin tone and leaves the skin glowing. Seriously, this is like your skin but BETTER! It’s absolutely gorgeous product that I will always keep on hand.

If you are someone who wants flawless looking skin without wearing a ton of makeup products such as concealer, foundation and powders, then you need this BB Cream from Pacifica!

Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

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Tahitian Gardenia Body Butter and Tahitian Gardenia Perfumed Hair & Body Mist

I’ve always been a Bath and Body Works boy! That was until I decided to go cruelty free. So I’ve been looking for some good dupes for my Bath and Body Works shower gels and body lotions in fun and unique scents. I decided to give the body products from Pacifica Beauty a try – I bought the Body Butters and Perfumed Hair & Body Mists in Tahitian Gardenia, Indian Coconut and Island Vanilla. Although, I have to say that the Tahitian Gardenia has surprisingly become my favorite.

What Pacifica Beauty Says (from their website):

This heady, vintage-inspired blend showcases the sacred Tahitian gardenia bloom, a symbol of love, unity, grace and strength. Its sweet, smooth and slightly citrusy aroma is reminiscent of jasmine, sweet orange and tea leaves.

My Thoughts:

This is such a gorgeous scent. It really takes you away to a mental tropical vacation. The notes are citrusy and lightly floral. It is definitely a tropical floral scent that is perfect for Spring and Summer. The body butter and spray have an amazing scent throw that lingers gently on the skin throughout the day without being over bearing.

My only complaint is that I wish they would do soaps or shower gels in these scents instead of just the body butters and sprays. I really like to layer scents, usually using shower gel, lotion and body sprays in the same scent to extend the wear of my scent. For some reason I am having trouble finding a cruelty free brand that does these all in the same scent in their body ranges.

Tahitian Gardenia Perfumed Hair & Body Mist

Tahitian Gardenia Body Butter Tube

I hope you enjoyed this review of Pacifica Beauty and if you want to hear more about the  brand and my thoughts on some of their products not mentioned in this post, make sure to watch the video below. If you have tried any of the products, I’d love to hear your experiences with Pacifica Beauty, so leave me a comment below.

 

  • This post is not sponsored by Pacifica Beauty and all products featured in the post and accompanying video were purchased with my own money. The post does include affiliate links to some of the products, meaning if you click and purchase I receive a small percentage of sales.

My Holy Grail Moisturizer – Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate Review

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When it comes to beauty products I tend to avoid overhyped products, but every once in awhile there is a product that comes to my attention that I just have to try for myself. Such was the case with Lait Creme Concentrate from the French brand, Embryolisse.

This amazing product has been a cult favorite of makeup artists, models and celebrities for years. It’s certainly lived up to the hype in my opinion. I now call this plain looking tube my holy grail of moisturizers. If you have seen any of my videos on YouTube, you’ll will know that I rave about this product pretty much all the time.

About the Company

Embryolisse was founded in Paris in the 1950s when a French dermatologist specializing in skin disorders created the first product, Lait Creme Concentrate, to offer to his patients. The brands simple and no frills packaging offers many great products that have now become the “beauty secrets” of many makeup artists.

Embryolisse products are a favorite of shoppers at French pharmacies but fortunate enough for us, they are now sold pretty much globally.

embryolisse_lait-creme-concentre_ls_1500x1500
Image from Birchbox.com

What They Say

24-Hour Miracle Cream The must have product for makeup artists, models and celebrities. A cult favorite that has found its way onto countless photo shoots, television and film sets internationally. This creamy lotion is three products in one: primer, moisturizer, and make-up remover. Its formula remains extremely simple and effective with nourishing ingredients that restores the skin’s natural glow and gives a boost to tired dehydrated skin.

Ideal for these Skin Types: Dry Skin
Aging Skin: Fine Lines and Wrinkles, Loss of Firmness
Ingredient: Aloe Vera, Shea Butter
Skin Care: Treatments and Serums
Application Area: Face
Treatments and Serums: Wrinkle Cream
* from Embroylisse’s website.

My Review

I can see why this is a cult beauty product. My skin is super soft and hydrated feeling all day. A little bit of this goes along way, the texture is rich and glides effortlessly onto the skin. It absorbs quickly, without any greasy feeling, but leaves skin hydrated all day. It even helps to plump the skin a little, minimizing the appearance of fine lines.

It leaves a pearly glow to skin that looks beautiful but not shiny or oily at all. It works well under makeup as both a moisturizer and a primer. I love using this as my daytime moisturizer as it is light enough to wear during the day.

This is definitely my holy grail moisturizer and will forever be in my skincare routine. In fact, I often purchase multiple tubes so I never run out. I have even tried a few of the other products from Embryolisse and loved every single one of them.
Grab your own tube at the link below and let me know what you think!

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate

Anti-aging Skincare – Retinols, AHAs & BHAs OH MY!!

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In my recent post on The Importance of Skincare, I mentioned using a Retinol product and a chemical exfoliating product as part of your anti-aging skincare routine. With so many products on the market, it can be hard to sort through whats what, am I right? In today’s post I want to clarify the difference between Retinols, AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids).

So What Are They?

Retinol, AHAs and BHAs are chemical acids, usually with some added benefits that help to refine the skin’s texture, minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhance collagen production and reduce discoloration such as sun and age spots to leave more radiant and youthful looking skin.

These are chemical exfoliants as opposed to a manual exfoliant. A manual exfoliant would be a facial scrub. You know the kind, usually with ground almonds or something similar. I prefer, and recommend, chemical exfoliants over manual ones.

Are manual exfoliators bad then? Not necessarily. The problem is that sometimes the exfoliating granules can be too harsh on the skin, especially if someone is heavy handed in using the product. Being too hard with manual exfoliators can cause micro tears in the skin’s surface leaving it more susceptible to irritation, infection and sun damage.

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Retinol, Retinoid and Retin A – What’s The Difference?

Well actually there is no real difference, yet there is. These products are a Vitamin A derivative. The difference is usually in the strength of the product you are using. Retin A is the strongest, which is why you need a prescription from a Dermatologist to obtain it. The Retinols you can get over the counter are a more gentle form of the product. Often these have other added ingredients to help hydrate the skin. Some Retinol products are even  placed in creams to make them gentler for sensitive skin types.

It’s a myth that Retinol products exfoliate. What they actually do is work deep at the cellular level of your skin to speed up the process, enhancing collagen production, smoothing skin’s texture and help to even out pigmentation and discoloration. I recommend that if you have super sensitive skin or conditions like eczema or rosacea that you avoid using a Retinol product.

Product Recommendations:

emerginC Complexion Perfection

CeraVe Skin Renewing Retinol Face Cream Serum

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane

So Then What Are AHAs and BHAs?

These are typically acids that are found naturally in certain foods:

  • Citric Acid – found in citrus fruits
  • Glycolic Acid – found in sugar cane
  • Lactic Acid – found in milk and tomatoes
  • Salicylic Acid – found in Willowbark which is also where aspirin comes from

These chemical exfoliants help to refine the skin’s texture by exfoliating off the dead skin cells on the surface, allowing for new cells to come forward, revealing younger looking skin that glows. AHAs and BHAs can also improve the appearance of acne scars, reduce dark spots and discoloration and help to smooth, tighten, firm and brighten your skin.

These are similar to the “peels” you may have heard of that are done in Dermatologists  and Esthetician offices. However, the over counter versions are gentler and safer to use on a regular basis.

AHAs – Alpha Hydroxy Acids

AHAs are water soluble and great for normal to dry skin types. The two most popular ones are Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid peels.

Glycolic Acid is the strongest and most effective AHA. It works to help with cell turnover, stimulate collagen production and minimize fine lines and wrinkles.

Lactic Acid is gentler and better suited for sensitive and drier skin types. This AHA actually helps to hydrate the skin as it exfoliates; sometimes Hyaluronic Acid is added to help with maintaining the skin’s moisture levels. Lactic Acid helps to increase the skin’s firmness, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce discoloration such as age and sun spots.

Product Recommendations:

Reviva Labs 10% Glycolic Acid Cream
Reviva Labs Pomegranate Lactic Acid Exfoliant

No7 Advanced Renewal Glycolic Peel Kit

Pixi Skintreats Peel & Polish

The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% with Hyluaronic Acid 2%

BHAs – Beta Hydroxy Acids

BHAs are more oil soluble, so they are better suited for normal to oily skin types. BHAs, because they are oil soluble, are able to penetrate deeper into the pores to breakup dirt and oil. This makes them great for acne prone skin and preventing breakouts. They can also be great for some sensitive skin conditions like rosacea. Salicylic Acid is the most common BHA sold and used on the market today.

Product Recommendations:

Obagi CLENZIderm M.D. Pore Therapy – Salicylic Acid 2% Acne Treatment

Miss Spa Clear Blemish Patches

Acure Incredibly Clear Acne Spot

Yes to Tomatoes Daily Repair Treatment

pexels-photo-286951

Usage Tips

First, make sure you pick the right one for your skin type and your skin’s needs. I recommend starting with a lower strength and working up to something more powerful over time. Retinol in a cream would be more gentle than a more active Retinol serum for instance. Pay attention to how you skin reacts to the products and cease usage if your skin becomes inflamed or is peeling too heavily.  Also, keep in mind that with Retinols it can take up to 12 weeks for you to see a noticeable difference. So stick with it! Consistency is key in skincare.

I personally use both a Retinol product and Lactic Acid in my skincare routine. I prefer to use these at night while your body is at rest and your skin is repairing itself. However, you can not use these two together on THE SAME NIGHT! You must alternate the products nightly and I like to give my skin one day off a week. So my skincare routine would like something like this:

  • Monday – Retinol
  • Tuesday – Lactic Acid
  • Wednesday – Retinol
  • Thursday – Lactic Acid
  • Friday – Retinol
  • Saturday – Lactic Acid
  • Sunday – Skin’s Day Off – Hooray!

My nightly routine is Cleanse, Tone, Serum (Retinol or Lactic Acid) and follow up with a lovely moisturizer. I wake every morning to glowing, smoother and more younger looking skin. Remember, that these products can make your skin more prone to sun sensitivity so always wear your SPF during the day!

I hope this post cleared up some of the questions you may have had on these types of products. If you have any further questions or would like recommendations for your skin, please comment below or reach out to me on social media.

The Importance of a Skin Care Routine

skincare, skincare routine, importance of skincare, mens skincare, anti aging skincare, cruelty free skincare, beauty, beauty products, how to take care of your skin, beauty blog, beauty blogger, beauty youtube, beauty vlogger, beauty blog,In today’s world of Instagram filters and YouTube beauty “gurus”, the overdone makeup look is  everywhere. No matter where you look, so called beauty “gurus” are using tons of makeup products to achieve these perfect looks. Often with results that look less like themselves.

I’ve always been a member of the “less is more” school of thought. I much prefer to focus on the benefits of a great skincare routine. Using good skincare also means using less makeup. I’m not dissing makeup either,  but think of your skin like a canvas. Having a perfectly primed canvas, meaning great skin, assures that your makeup will go on better and you’ll probably use less product as well.

So why is skincare so important?

Your skin is your most exposed organ. This leaves your skin susceptible to sun damage, environmental damage, early signs of aging and even certain skin diseases. Now I know what you’re thinking…”What about aging gracefully?” Putting vanity aside, skincare isn’t just about beauty or appearance, it is about protecting your skin.

Utilizing great skincare can also help with problematic skin like clogged pores or acne breakouts. It can even help prevent future problems like sun damage and skin cancers. Prevention is key as our skin is in a constant state of growth and change. As skin cells die off, new ones are formed and brought to the surface. This is also why consistency is important in your skincare routine; to treat and protect the new skin cells.

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The Basics of a Great Skincare Routine

Just as we are all individual and different, so is our skin’s needs. Make sure to pick products based on your skin’s needs. You don’t need a ton of products to take care of your skin either. Below are the basics of a great skincare routine. I recommend some products that I’m currently loving and using. I have combination skin and am more concerned with anti-aging and protecting my skin, so you may have different skin concerns. If you have any questions about product recommendations for your skin, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to help.

Cleanse

Cleanser is important to remove dirt and impurities. Look for a product that is gentle, without harsh cleansers that can dry out the skin and strip skin of it’s natural oils. A lot of cleansers on the market today can pull double duty by having added benefits of anti-oxidants, vitamins, hydration etc.

My favorite cleanser is the Pacifica Beauty Rose and Kombucha Flower Powered Face Wash. I am also a huge fan of the oil cleansing method and typically use plain sweet almond oil or the Pacifica Coconut Dissolve Rehab Cleansing Oil.

Tone

Many people think that toners are an unnecessary step in a skincare routine. However, I think they are a very important step. Toners help to prep the skin for treatments and moisturizers. Most toners on the market are also great at helping to balance the PH levels of the skin. I recommend looking for toners or facial mists that are alcohol free. I personally  love facial mists that are moisturizing and calming to help reduce redness and irritation on the skin. I also love to keep these with me throughout the day for a hydrating pick me up.

My favorite toners right now are the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender or the Pacifica Beauty Rose Flower Hydro Mist

Prevent/Treat

Again, as we have individual skin needs, what you choose to treat your skin will depend on your skin’s needs. Serums are targeting treatments with the most active ingredients to help with correcting, repairing, brightening, etc. Retinoids and Vitamin C are two that I highly recommend. A Retinoid is a great anti-aging treatment that helps refine the look of skin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals. Free radicals are usually caused by the sun’s UV light, air pollution, etc that cause damage to the cells.

I also really love using a chemical exfoliant on my skin such as lactic acid. These also help to refine the skin’s texture, leaving skin glowing and radiant.

The treatments I’m currently using include The Ordinary’s Lactic Acid 10% and The Ordinary’s 2% Retinoid in Squalene, as well as the CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum.

Moisturizer

Moisturizers are an important step for flawless skin. Contrary to popular belief, all skin needs hydrating, even an oily skin. Skin can be both oily and dehydrated. The key is finding the right moisturizer for your skin’s needs. If you are more oily, try an oil free, gel moisturizer. If you are more dry, look for a cream moisturizer with a richer texture.

Also, don’t fall victim to the claims that some moisturizers make. This is really just about hydration but with the added benefit of antioxidants and vitamins. No moisturizer is going to fill or repair fine lines and wrinkles.

My favorite is the Embroylisse Creme Concentrate, which I use for day. For night, I prefer a richer, more hydrating cream and I use Guerlain’s Orchidee Imperiale.

Protect

In my opinion, protection is the best anti-aging ingredient you can buy. Skin is very easily damaged by the sun’s harmful rays; causing premature aging, sun spots and even skin cancer.

Look for products that you can use daily with a sun protection range of SPF 15-30. There are individual products you can use over your skincare and makeup, but now a lot of moisturizers and even foundations carry a great sun protection factor (SPF).

For sun protection I love the Coola Classic SPF 30 Makeup Setting Spray and the Guerlain Orchidee Imperiale Brightening and Perfecting UV Protector SPF 50.

I hope this post has given you some tips to take great care of your skin. Remember, you only have one face. Take care of it now! If you have any questions or comments please sound off below. Also, check out the video below for a bit more information on a great skincare routine and a little bit more about the products I use daily.

With Love,

Christopher

Klorane Peony Shampoo & Conditioner

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I don’t know if it is the warmer weather here in Florida or the shampoo and conditioner I’ve been using recently, but my hair and scalp has become very dry and irritated after our move down here.

I decided to go back to using some of my favorite haircare products from Klorane. Klorane has been one of the top haircare companies in France for decades. They use pure botanical ingredients including pure plant and flower extracts; without all the nasties like SLS.

The Peony line is wonderful at soothing irritated scalps. So I’ve gone back to using those products and it has been a huge help.

Here is what Klorane has to say about the products.

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The Shampoo with Peony for Irritated Scalp:

Klorane Shampoo with Peony

A calming and soothing pH balanced Shampoo that provides immediate & 24-hour scalp comfort to dry, irritated and itchy scalp.

Benefits include:

  • Scalp is soothed, comforted and hydrated
  • Cleanses while respecting scalp balance
  • Enriched with detangling agents
  • pH balanced, ultra-gentle formula
  • Hair is soft, shiny and easy to detangle
  • Biodegradable formula. Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic

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Gel Conditioner with Peony:
Klorane Gel Conditioner with Peony

A lightweight, moisturizing pH balanced gel conditioner that provides an immediate & 24-hour soothing sensation directly on the scalp while hair becomes soft and shiny.

Benefits Include:

    • Provides an immediate soothing sensation to scalp
    • Innovative applicator tip to apply directly onto scalp
    • Maintains an optimal scalp balance
    • Anti-irritant efficacy lasts up to 7 days
    • Moisturizing gel texture
    • Hair is soft, shiny and easy to detangle
    • Hypoallergenic. Biodegradable formula. Vegan.

My thoughts:

I definitely find that both of these products have been very soothing for my scalp. I’ve had less dryness and itchiness since returning to using these. I find the scent is very lovely, but it is light and not overpowering at all. Peonies are actually my favorite flowers so I love the light floral scent of this line.

Seeing how the shampoo is formulated without SLS, it does’t foam up a ton. However, it creates a very light sud that does a nice job of cleansing without drying or stripping natural oils from the hair/scalp.

The conditioner is a unique gel texture, unlike most conditioners we are used to. The gel is very light and does not weight hair down but still leaves a very soft feeling to the hair. I also find a get a lot of shine with the gel conditioner.

Overall, I really love both of these products and they have been amazing at soothing my dry and irritated scalp. Check out Klorane for any other hair or scalp concerns that you may have. I highly recommend this line and they usually include free samples with purchases.

Klorane USA