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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Sephora VIB Sale Haul and Recommendations 2017

November 10, 2017

Sephora vib sale 2017

It’s my favorite time of the year–Sephora VIB sale! This sale happens once a year in November and it is 15-20% off all items sold at Sephora. I keep an ongoing wishlist so that once the sale approaches, I know exactly what I want and won’t purchase too many items I don’t need. Here are the sale details:

  • VIB Rouge 20% off – Nov 3-6, Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20FORROUGE
  • VIB 20% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code 20forVIB
  • Beauty Insider 15% off – Nov 10-15 – Coupon code INSIDER15

Every year, I stock up on my favorite Drunk Elephant products. I have been using the DE C-Firma Day Serum and DE T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum for years. I always wait for the holiday limited edition because the kit includes a few sample sized items for about the same price as purchasing the full size items separately. I also stocked up on Beauty Blenders and PMD Replacement Discs. I have been searching for a new foundation and decided to get the Milk Makeup Blur Liquid Matte Foundation after receiving a sample to try out a couple weeks ago. I love the coverage and it keeps my face matte the entire day. This foundation is also silicone-free, which is something I’ve been trying to eliminate from the beauty products I use. There are two items other bloggers have raved about, so I decided to pick them up as well: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and Tata Harper Purifying Mask. My first impression have been positive, but I will post a review on these two products in the future.

Though I did not splurge on too many products this year, I do have some product recommendations for those who are shopping the sale this week. In addition to the products I mentioned above, these are my top 5 makeup and skincare recommendations:

Makeup:
Skincare:

Let me know what products you’re picking up from the sale!

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

September 2017 Beauty Discoveries

October 10, 2017

september 2017 beauty discoveries

Hello! I took a month off from blogging because I needed time to focus on other priorities but I have been planning my content calendar and I am excited to start working on them. Even though I have not been blogging, I have been trying out lots of beauty products every month. I’m excited to share these new product discoveries that I have been using the entire month of September:

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

CosRX is a Korean skincare brand that focuses on fewer ingredients and customized products based on specific skin type. The products are very affordable yet effective. I’ve had a chance to try out several products from CosRX and I am pleased with the result. A new favorite is the Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser. I was intrigued by this cleanser because of the low pH. Cleansers often strip our face of natural oil because of the higher pH. This gel cleanser is gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves my face refreshed and clean in the morning.

Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner

I have always used toners after cleansing because it removes any left over residues. This toner is alcohol free and leaves the face well balanced. Besides this, there are no other added benefits so I am going to try something new after I’m done with this bottle.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

I received a sample size of this in one of the Sephora Play boxes so I was excited to give it a try. The first time I used it, it was a bit painful because I had to wait for the mask to dry before peeling it off the face and a bunch of facial hair got pulled in the process. I thought this charcoal mask did a much better job of clearing my pores than my mud masks. It leaves my skin dry afterward, so I have to apply serum and moisturizer immediately.

GLAMGLOW Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

This is typically what I apply after the Boscia black mask. I also love applying this pre-flight because the hyaluronic acid locks in moisture. This would be a great mask in the dry winter months or for anyone with dry skin.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush – Unstoppable

This is an exclusive shade that I purchased during the holiday sale last year. It is a great fall color that goes well with my medium skin tone. I am a fan of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes and have them in several shades. The colors are long lasting and blends well with liquid and powder foundation.

MAC Cosmetics Crystal Glaze Gloss – Love Your Body

This gloss was part of the “Work it Out” limited edition. I typically don’t like glosses, but I like how this formula is not sticky or shiny. It isn’t long lasting but does hydrate the lips. While the packaging is nice, I don’t like jar packaging because it is unsanitary to keep dipping my finger inside.

I would love to hear what products you have been trying out. I have been testing out a lot of new products so I will be posting an updated morning and evening skincare routine soon!

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

July 2017 Beauty Discoveries

August 3, 2017

july 2017 beauty discoveries

I know I say this every month, but I cannot believe another month has gone by. Yesterday I overheard someone say their kids are going back to school next week! It feels like summer just started. Those poor kids. July was an extremely busy and eventful month for me. I still have not gone through my Alaska pictures, but I promise to post about my trip on the blog soon. Here are the products I tried the entire month of July:

FARSÁLI’s Rose Gold Elixir

This serum, along with the unicorn essence, went viral on Instagram months ago. This is a 24-karat oil infused with vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids to reduce the appearance of fine lines and discoloration and to improve skin radiance. It leaves my skin soft and plump after application, but I did not see any results after one month. The packaging and smell are luxurious, but I personally think this item is overhyped.

Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30

I only wear mineral sunscreen because it does not clog up my pores. This is an organic non-nano bb cream for all skin type. It does not cause issues with liquid foundation on top. I love everything about this product except the extra time need to evenly spread out the product. I purchased this in sheer, but it does apply white so I have to spread it out well to not leave any white cast. I dislike pulling on my skin to get rid of the white cast so I plan to try a different SPF moisturizer after I finish with this bottle.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum

This contains 0.75% salicylic acid, vitamin C, antioxidants, and aloe. It is gentle and does not dry my skin like many other acne treatments out on the market. I only use this to spot treat and I apply it before my night time serum and moisturizer. Juice Beauty has a great summer deal right now. Use this link to receive a summer box worth $125 with any $100 purchase. This deal ends August 7.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I’ve read many reviews of this product tightening and smoothing skin. People have seen results when applied to their arm, thigh, stomach, bum–anywhere. I purchased this primarily for the smell though. It smells like coconut and tropical vacation, and the smell lasts all day! I recommend purchasing the smaller size to try out first to see if you like the smell and result.

MAC Shadescent Candy Yum Yum

MAC released 6 scents inspired by their most iconic lipstick shades. This candy yum yum is fruity with the scent of guava. This is a great scent for summer.

innisfree no sebum primer

This primer reduces the appearance of pores, controls oil, and keeps my face matte throughout the day. It is very similar to the Benefit Porefessional. It doesn’t require time to dry or settle on the skin–I can apply makeup immediately. I’ve become a big fan of innisfree, which is a top beauty brand in Korea.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

June 2017 Beauty Discoveries

July 5, 2017

June 2017 Beauty Discoveries

I am currently in Alaska on vacation! I’m having a great time and will do a post on my trip, but right now I want to share with you some beauty discoveries from June. Every month, I select a couple new products to try out and use it for the entire month to provide a fair review. Here are my June 2017 beauty discoveries:

Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack – I purchased this product when I was in Taiwan. It is a popular item on Sephora but much cheaper in Asia. This mask is made from egg white and egg yolk, which should instantly transform rough, dull skin into a smooth, radiant complexion. I did not notice any of this, but this does moisturizes my face and keeps it plump and soft. I would recommend this on dry, problem-free skin because it won’t do much except add hydration.

MAC Strobe Cream Goldite – This product is lightweight with antioxidants and the claims are skin clarity, radiance, hydration, and skin smoothing. While I liked this product, I do not have space for it in my skincare routine. This product is best used in the morning, but I require my morning moisturizer to have SPF protection. Since this does not have SPF protection, I had to apply a second moisturizer with SPF protection on top of this one. This is too many products prior to makeup application. I would only recommend this on people with dry skin because it provides hydration and improves complexion.

MAC Mascara Extreme Dimension 3D Black – Great lengthening, smudge-free, long lasting mascara. However, it does not provide extra volume.

Two Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer – I received this in a Sephora Play box and I absolutely LOVE this bronzer. The chocolate shade is perfect for people with medium to tan skin but there are two other shades available. The bronzer is easy to apply and stays on all day. Like all Two Faced products, it also smells amazing (like chocolate).

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer – I have been a long time user of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Whiz, so I decided to try out this brow definer. It is not as easy to apply as the brow whiz, but after a few tries, I prefer this over the brow whiz now. Since this has a triangle tip and the tip is larger than the brow whiz, it takes half the time to do my brows. It is easy to outline and fill, and the spooley makes everything look natural and blended. The price is very similar to the brow whiz but has double the product, so it is a much better value. I would recommend the brow whiz to beginners, but I’d highly recommend switching to the brow definer once you’re more comfortable doing the brows.

Ole Henriksen Complexion Sponges – This was a favorite discovery and is the best product to remove masks. Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued and I cannot find it anywhere online. Please let me know if you know of a similar product!

I hope you had a wonderful July 4th holiday. Follow @ditchtheheels on Instagram if you’d like to see some Alaska photos. I look forward to posting about my Alaska trip.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare, Travel

Summer Travel Makeup and Skincare Essentials

June 30, 2017

Summer Travel Makeup and Skincare Essentials

We are leaving on vacation today and I wanted to do a quick post on summer travel makeup and skincare essentials. I like to pack light when I travel, but there are definitely essentials especially during the hot summer months. Here are some of my must-haves.

SPF Protection

SPF protection is needed on face, lips, and body, and should be reapplied every couple of hours. It’s easy to reapply on the body and lips, but people find it inconvenient to reapply on the face especially if they are wearing makeup. The easiest way is to apply a SPF spray such as the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray, which won’t move around previously applied makeup, or Colorscience Loose Mineral Sunscreen, which can be applied on top of makeup and will keep the face matte and protected.

My favorite routine is wearing a tinted moisturizer with SPF such as the Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30 and applying Colorscience Loose Mineral Sunscreen throughout the day. I always protect my lips since lips burn very easily. I love the Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30 and Fresh Sugar Lip Sunscreen SPF 15.

Exfoliating Treatment

I often break out when I travel and one of the reasons is because I stop my regular skincare routine. I can’t pack all of my skincare products, but one important step to never skip is exfoliating. The skin is constantly growing new skin while the old skin pile on the surface, leaving the skin dull and clogged. You can either pack an exfoliating cleanser such as the Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Cleanser that you can use daily, or pack an exfoliator such as the Exfolikate to use twice a week.

Mattifying Primer

My face is often a greasy mess in the summer, so a mattifying primer is crucial. This minimizes the oil buildup throughout the day and I often don’t need to use oil absorbing sheets during the day when I have a great primer on.

Face Palette

I am all about palettes when I travel. The perfect travel palette includes blush, bronzer and highlighter. My two favorites are the Becca Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette and the Tom Ford Soleil Palette. I can also use these as eyeshadow colors for simple eye looks.

Dry Shampoo

Shampooing too frequently dry out hair and cause breakage. Unless you’re traveling to a humid place or/and exercising daily, there is no need to shampoo daily. I usually just wet my hair and clean it with conditioner, or will apply dry shampoo. Dry shampoo absorbs the oil and grease in your hair to give it a cleaner appearance and will also add volume. A long time favorite is the Living Proof Dry Shampoo–it removes odor, absorbs oil, and gives my hair the most amazing volume.

What’s in my travel bag

I try not to pack full size products when I travel because the total liquid volume has to be under 3.4oz and I also hoard travel size products. These are the products I packed for my week long trip to Alaska.

Skincare

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm // Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser // Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum // Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30 //  Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation // Pixi Glow Tonic To Go Exfoliating Toner Pads // Coola Luxlips Firecracker SPF 30 // L’Occitane Hand Cream Delightful Rose // Drybar Dry Shampoo

Makeup

Innisfree No Sebum Primer // Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation // Maybelline Instant Age Remind // Tarte Smooth Operator Powder // BECCA Chrissy Teigen Palette // Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color Rosegold // Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer // MAC Mascara Extreme Dimension 3D Black // Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon Peche // Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

May 2017 Beauty Discoveries

June 2, 2017

may 2017 beauty

Happy June and Friday! I cannot believe it is almost summer. I’m so excited because I have some fun trips and activities planned this summer. It has been 3 months since I posted my last beauty discoveries. I took some time off from trying new products because I wanted to use up all of my current products. I love the feeling when I finish a product and can toss it into the trash! I was able to try out some great products in May. Some of these are perfect for summer!

SW Basics Toner

I always look for toners that are alcohol free and pH balancing. This toner caught my attention because it only has five ingredients. It is ideal for oily and blemish-prone skin, but also does not dry my face. My only negative is the strong apple cider vinegar smell.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

I purchased a bunch of skincare from the brand Missha when I was in Taiwan. This has snail slime extract, which has healing benefits. When used in skincare, it firms and restores skin by replenishing moisture and supporting cell regeneration. It is extremely hydrating yet does not feel heavy on the skin. I have been using this every night with the Missha Treatment Essence.

Derma E Skin, Hair, Nail Oil

I received some products from Derma E to review. This oil is the only one I’ve tried so far but I’m looking forward to trying the other products. This product contains organic argan, jojoba and kukui oil. It is lightweight and does not look greasy on the skin. During daytime, I apply this before sunscreen to help the sunscreen go on easier, and during nighttime I combine it with a moisturizer. It has a thin consistency that quickly absorbs onto the skin. I have also used this on my cuticles. The price is amazing–only about $15 for the organic oils. I would highly recommend trying this product out first before spending too much money on other oil.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30

This product was sent to me from Coola to review. I used to never wear sunscreen because I don’t burn easily. If I spend a lot of time outside, I only put sunscreen on my body and often neglected my face. A couple years ago, I read an article that sun damage could take 20-30 years to show up on the skin and I saw pictures of damaged skin (wrinkles, sun spots) which really freaked me out. Since then I have put sunscreen on my face every day, rain or shine. I’ve been using the Coola Sunscreen Spray for years, so I was excited to try this matte tint sunscreen. Even though there is a tint, it does not show up on my skin at all, so it will not replace a regular CC, BB or Tinted moisturizer. The formula goes on smoothly and leaves my face matte. It has SPF 30 and the ingredients include natural rose hip oil, flax seed oil and shea butter and did not break out my sensitive skin.

Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

The lips is another area that needs sun protection. The liplux is formulated with organic cupuacu butter and mongongo oil, which offer incredible creaminess that promotes softness and smoothness and improves the appearance of aging and thinning skin. I LOVE the Coola liplux in the shade firecracker, which is a vibrant red/pink. I gave one to a friend who has super sensitive lips and cannot wear most lip products, but this did not cause any irritation.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation

This is a great long-wearing foundation that is perfect for photography because it keeps the face matte and does not cause any flashbacks. It is lightweight, easy to blend and looks natural. It has medium coverage, so concealer is still needed to cover up imperfections.

MAC Lipstick James Kaliardos Collection

I received this product in a PR package from MAC. There are 4 shades in the James Kaliardos collection and the one I’ve been wearing for Spring is in the shade coral bliss. It is a light coral with soft sheen. The color is gorgeous but unfortunately emphasizes the lines on my lips. Since it is a light coral shade, I think this would work best on people with fair to medium skin tone.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

This does everything a mascara should do–volumizes and lengthens without clumping or flaking. Non-waterproof mascaras often give me panda eyes after a few hours of wear, but I did not experience it with this mascara.

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