February has been a very busy month for me. With work, looking for a new apartment, and blogging, my Birchbox this month really made my February special. Seriously, it’s the little things – in every literal sense of the word ‘little’ ’cause it’s just samples. Still, I love my Birchbox! If you don’t already know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription box that is curated from your personal beauty profile. Each month, you receive 4-5 samples of deluxe size beauty products. This month, instead of letting Birchbox surprise me, I decided to go with the guest editor box made by Rent The Runway. Here are the products I received: Continue reading
I’ll be the first to admit that I always forget to slather on some sun protection factor (SPF) before leaving the house in the morning. SPF is a sunscreen’s ability to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the skin. UVB rays contribute to sunburns, and at its worst, skin cancer. In an effort to take better care of my skin, I’ve been mindful of incorporating SPF into my beauty routine anytime I can.
If you’ve shopped for SPF creams before than you’ve probably noticed the SPF ratings. Most sunscreen products come in SPF 15, SPF 30, and SPF 45. SPF 15 products block about 94% of UVB rays. I own mostly SPF 30 products, which blocks 97% of UVB rays. SPF 45 products block about 98% of rays. My doctor and most dermatologists I’ve talked to recommend SPF 30 products since the difference between it and SPF 45 are not much different. However, keep in mind that none offers 100% protection.
Here are some products I currently own with SPF, AKA some of my faves:
Sun Si ‘Belle: This is a light and non-greasy sunscreen protector. I love that it’s paraben free, gluten free, chemical and toxin free. It’s a tinted cream but leaves a bit of a white cast so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product to wear under makeup. (SPF 30)
ELF POWDER: This is my go-to SPF product because I always powder my face after my makeup routine in the morning. I love this powder because it goes on effortlessly and I can easily apply more throughout the day without messing up my makeup look. (SPF 45)
SWEET SCIENCE: This one is the tiny, tiny, tiny container in the photo. I got this product as a sample in my Birchbox and absolutely love it! It is a silicon free, tinted moisturizer that works really well under makeup. I also love that it does not leave a residue behind. This can be worn with or without foundation. (SPF 35)
DR. JART: This is my tinted BB cream that I use when my skin is feeling a bit oily in the morning. Extra bonus points that it’s also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Great for wearing with makeup. (SPF 30)
ELF FOUNDATION: I wear very little foundation. I don’t really like covering up my face with makeup unless it’s a special occasion. I probably grab this foundation once a week, on a night when I’m going out or going to an event. I love the light coverage it gives and touch-ups are really not needed with this product. (SPF 15)
MAKE: This primer is one of my favorites! It’s white but dries up translucent, and since it feels light-weight on the skin, it’s perfect to wear under makeup. (SPF 30)
Clearly, I only remember to SPF when it’s a part of my beauty routine.
Do you wear SPF every day? What products do you use? Tell me in the comments section below!
I’ve always stressed skincare on I Sort of Beauty. Better skincare means less makeup. However, if you don’t have a great skincare routine in place and enjoy wearing more makeup than the average office chick, I suggest making sure your beauty tools have a routine of their own. Every week (or every two weeks if I’m feeling lazy), I wash my brushes thoroughly and store them in an area where they aren’t exposed to dust and dirt. Having a system in place for your beauty tools is super important because if you take care of your tools, it’s less likely you’ll breakout or have a bad reaction to the brushes that you are using. Plus, as a rule of thumb, you should always clean anything before putting it on your face.
My new favorite cleanser is one that I use for my beautyblender, but have started using on my brushes as well. Blendercleanser is a clear liquid cleanser that is great for removing foundation and powder from all beauty tools. It’s a lavender-scented cleanser that eliminates bacteria, dirt, and oil that can accumulate over time… or over 2 weeks if you have my cleaning schedule. (Retail: $17.95)
Squeeze small amount of blendercleanser onto soiled areas of the beautyblender/brush. Lather and rinse well. Repeat if needed. Dry with a soft cloth, and let it air dry in a contained area free of dirt and dust.
What are you using to clean your beauty tools? How often do you clean them? Tell me in the comments section below!
Three beauty products I cherish the most are my mascaras, highlighters, and facial masks. I’m a firm believer that if you take care of your skin, you won’t need to slather on extra makeup. I go through different facial masks every week depending on how my skin is looking and feeling.
I started using InstaNatural’s Dead Sea Mud Mask this week. This 16 oz. jar contains organic shea butter, jojoba oil, organic aloe vera and other minerals that help soothe dry and irritated skin. The winter has been really harsh on my skin, so I’ve been moisturizing every night, but it’s beneficial to also follow up with a mud mask.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: There is a ton of product in a 16 oz jar! You’re only supposed to use this mask once a week so there is probably enough here to last for at least 8-10 months. InstaNatural also recommends that this product only be used once a week due to the high concentration of minerals (magnesium, sodium, and bromine). Excessive use may lead to drying out or irritating the skin.
You do not need too much of this product, less is more applies here since it will take forever to dry if you use too much. The texture is a bit strange. A cross between slimy and gooey. It doesn’t smell bad and applies pretty much the same to any other facial masks. However, the drying process is so uncomfortable and itchy! I don’t recommend this product for anyone with sensitive skin. After 15 minutes, my t-zone completely dried up (see before and after photos). According to InstaNatural,
This is due to the mud mask hardening while working to extract toxins and impurities from the skin. The mud mask may leave your face feeling flushed or red after removing the impurities; however this should dissipate over time. For sensitive skin, you do not have to wait until the mask completely dries before removing it.
I love that the mask is easy to remove with warm water. A lot of other masks tend to lather a bit too much making the removal process longer. Another bonus is that I can feel tiny sand-like crystals when I removed it – great for exfoliating! I didn’t notice any redness after removal, but someone with more sensitive skin may have this reaction.
The Dead Sea Mud Mask can be used on the body as well for a full-body detoxifier. It can also be used as a spot treatment on blemishes to help remove excess oil.
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I have always admired women with long and thick lashes. My lashes are naturally straight and not as long or thick as I would like them to be. Last month, I’ve included a lash serum and a lash curler into my beauty regimen, hoping to achieve my desired look.
I’m currently using Galaxy Lash Serum for lash growth. The product promises longer lashes (and brows) within 14 days of use. I’ve been using this product for a couple of days longer than that and have seen a slight progress. There is no distinctive smell, but the product is clear, and also dries up clear. I’m using less mascara and my brows are also looking a bit fuller – which is a good thing because I’m trying to grow these babies out. According to the site:
- Clinical Results And Testing: 96% of Women reported an increase in eyelash length within 14 days, 97% Reported an increase in Fullness, 100% Reported an Improvement in Overall Lash Health (moisture), 98% Said They Needed Less Mascara, 100% Would Recommend to a Friend
- PERMANENT BENEFITS: Nourishes, Moisturizes, Repairs and Protects Lash/Brow Follicles and Skin Around Eyelashes and Brows with Natural Ingredients. If You Stop Using Galaxy LASH, Your Eyelashes Won’t Fall Out-Unlike Other Brands. Live with Luxurious Lashes!
The product costs $99 which is a bit of a hefty price tag, but if you can afford it I would certainly recommend this!
Another tool I have been using is my lash curler. My lashes are naturally pin straight so if I don’t use the right mascara, they won’t curl correctly… or curl at all! I like using a curler because it creates the illusion of bigger eyes and longer lashes. I’m currently using Precision Eyelash Curler by Majestic Bombay. I love that the handle is cushioned and is easy to grip and hold. This is a very simple tool to use that promises no pain. However, be extra careful when incorporating a curler into your beauty regimen. If used incorrectly, it can weaken your roots and potentially pull out your lashes – the complete opposite of what it is supposed to do! This product retails for $12.99, which is pretty standard for a lash curler.
What products are you using on your lashes? Have you tried using a lash serum or lash curler? Tell me in the comments section below!