I’m Saving Up to 25 Gallons of Water, Just By Skipping the Sink While Washing My Face For 5 Days! Here’s How…


Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

As a resident of California, it’s impossible to turn on the news in the past year without seeing a story about our dire drought situation, and it’s only getting worse. Our local and state government agencies are putting conservation policies in effect to try to turn it around — but guys, it’s really bad. They can put these policies into effect all they want, but if we’re not doing our part, it’s completely pointless. And some people are taking it more seriously than others.

I never realized how much water I was using until I made the effort to cut back. We take measurably shorter showers, we turn faucets off when they are not absolutely necessary, and we let our cars get pretty dang dirty before they visit the car wash. We could definitely be doing more, but it’s a step in the right direction — every little bit helps.  [Read more…]

I Switched to Paula’s Choice Skincare for 3 Weeks. Here’s What Happened.


paulas choice skincare

Like you, I believe that it’s better to invest in great skincare, than to spend a ton of money on cosmetics to cover things up. Over the years though, I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to have great skin. A few great basics, paired with some active treatment products will do the job, so I turned my skin over to Paula’s Choice for a few weeks and journaled about the changes that took place — here’s what happened!

I’ve known Paula Begoun to be a heralded industry expert for ages, but recently I realized she was the brains behind so many great products some of my friends are raving about. Paula is a cosmetics ingredient expert to the nth degree, and she’s a strong advocate for consumers burned by products in the past (often marketed with outrageous promises of extreme, seemingly overnight results). I’m sure you’ve seen her book, Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me. She takes this stuff very seriously, meticulously breaking down products by the efficacy of their ingredients like no one else I’ve ever known. It’s serious business to Paula, so I had to try her products to see what would best treat one of my biggest skincare concerns.

Paulas choice earth sourced perfectly natural hydralight shine free daily mineral complex

A few days before my product test drive began, I had a brief telephone consultation with one of Paula’s skin experts to help find out which products would be best for me. (I highly recommend doing this! There’s no additional fee, and you can even ask product questions on via live chat on the Paula’s Choice website.) Since I wanted to see quick results for this trial, I narrowed it down to just one specific targeted skincare concern. I told her that my pores easily become congested, and I’d like to whip those blackheads into shape — STAT! I also told her that my skin doesn’t love Vitamin C, and tends to become irritated by it. Taking this into consideration, she came back to me with a regimen that was 100% ready to fight that battle!

Let’s start off with the daily basics…

Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel — I used this both am/pm for gentle cleansing. It’s a gel cleanser, that lathers nicely without stripping my skin. Since I went pretty gentle on the cleanser, I was able to really amp up the active ingredients my treatment products without experiencing irritation. (You’ll see those in the second part below!)  [Read more…]

One of My New Product Crushes: Waxelene — An Amazing Petroleum Jelly Alternative


Waxelene

A few weeks ago, I went to the Natural Products Expo, and it was like the massive yearly Consumer Electronics Show, only it was for natural/eco-friendly products and food. I spent a fair amount of time in the beauty area, and found some new (to me) products I just love, and this is one of them!

Waxelene is a natural alternative to petroleum-based products like Vaseline. While I personally do not object to Vaseline, I know there are a lot of people who do — so I wanted to share it with you. Plus, I’m kinda hooked on this myself! Waxelene contains just four simple ingredients: organic soy oil, beeswax, Vitamin E oil, and rosemary oil. That’s it!  [Read more…]

L’Occitane Shea Butter Comforting Skincare Collection Review, Photos


loccitane shea butter skincare collection

Please join me in welcoming back Dilara! She’ll be here periodically reviewing her favorite products. She’s a mom of two from the Midwest, and she’s very, very cool! You’ll enjoy getting to know her. — Amber

It seems like every year I talk about how cold and dry the Ohio climate is and how much my skin is suffering. I hope you haven’t grown tired of those posts because guess what? It’s cold, dry and my skin is suffering yet again. When Amber handed me the new L’Occitane Shea Butter Comforting Skincare Collection, the timing couldn’t have been better.

I feel like I’ve seen shea butter products popping up recently as natural way to moisturize and protect your skin. Shea butter is a natural substance that contains plenty of Vitamin E and acts as an anti-inflammatory, which makes it perfect for multiple skin types. My skin is dry-to-normal pretty much year round. In the winter, it gets especially parched. Cold weather, hot furnaces and wicked winds beat me down to a dry, cracked, flaking mess. Shea butter has been called “the superfood for your face” and well, it’s time to put it to the test.

loccitane shea butter cleansing oil

Shea Butter Cleansing Oil

Sounds a little risky, slathering your skin with oil isn’t exactly the top beauty approach on most peoples’ list. But for me, I had nothing to lose. First of all, it is luxurious. The Shea Butter Cleansing Oil has a deep, silky texture that removed all of my makeup. I preferred to rub it all over my face first, and then I added a little water to create a milk on my skin. After massaging that all over my face, my eye makeup was completely removed, as was my foundation, powder and mostly everything else. I normally wear a very long-wearing lipstick which is difficult to remove. This product removed it effortlessly. It rinses off clean with no residue, and left my skin feeling supple and smooth.  [Read more…]

Perfectly Pretty in Pink Valentine’s Day Gifts


perfectly pretty in pink valentines day gifts

I like to ditch the candy and flowers for Valentine’s Day—they’re pretty overpriced for the holiday! Don’t fall into that trap (unless you really want to), go for these gorgeous pink gifts instead. They’ll be around long after your chocolates and flowers are gone…

clarisonic sonic radiance

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution Kit

I often have people ask me if I think a Clarisonic is worth the splurge, and my emphatic reply is always—YES! If I get a little lax on using mine, I can definitely tell a difference in the way my skin looks and behaves. Last summer, the Sonic Radiance set was introduced as an easy way to cleanse your skin to its brightest complexion yet. Since you’re cleansing your skin (or at least you should be) both morning and night anyway, take advantage of that time with a special dedicated cleanser for the morning, and a dedicated cleanser for evening use. When combined with use of the included Brightening Activator Serum, you’ll remove skin impurities, encourage faster cell-turnover, and brighten skin discoloration in just minutes a day. (The new Radiance brush head is super luxe and plush, too!) $249 ($314 value), sephora.com  [Read more…]

Give Your Skin the Celebrity Treatment at Kate Somerville


Kate Somerville lobby

Think that getting the red carpet treatment for your skincare needs is out of the question? I’ve got great news for you, it’s not! If you can make the trek to Kate Somerville’s incredible skincare clinic, it’s tucked away in an adorable, old-time Hollywood building with a lot of industry history behind it—just off of Melrose Place.

Can’t make it in to Kate Somerville? No worries! I’ve got some great Kate skincare recommendations for you, and they’ve made my skin a very happy camper since my visit over a week ago.

Kate Somerville treatment room

Kate Somerville Treatment Room

At first glance, the location is incredibly inviting and beautiful. I sincerely wish I could afford to hire their interior decorator! Everything is top-notch, no details were missed, and the textured wallpaper is to die for! Every wall has a texture that makes it seem like it belongs in the most lavish of celeb homes, as if it cost a fortune. (Except, you’re at Kate Somerville, and you’re about to get your skin pampered!)

I met with my skin therapist, Laura, and she told me that in her expert opinion, I was best a candidate for their DermaLucent™ Red Facial. With this being my first light therapy facial, I wasn’t sure what to expect—but please know I’m glad I went with her expertise, because I left extremely satisfied. I’m in my late 30’s, with some congested pores, lines that need firming, and could stand to have my collagen production levels shaken wide-awake.  [Read more…]

Neutrogena Retinol 7-Day Road Test / Win a Year Supply Giveaway of the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Collection!


Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Line

You know I’m always up for a time-lapse challenge! When Neutrogena asked me if I would be game to take several days of photos to see how their Rapid Wrinkle Repair Collection delivers, I knew I had to do it. Both to show you the product efficacy so you can decide if it’s worth your hard-earned money, and also because there’s a chance for you to win a year of the products for yourself. So keep reading!

So what’s so special about the Rapid Wrinkle Repair Collection, anyway?

This skincare collection from Neutrogena combines a few really beneficial anti-aging/skin repair ingredients along with an exclusive, accelerated, sustained-action type of retinol that works around the clock. (Hyaluronic acid, Retinol SA, and Glucose Complex.) Over the years, I’ve spoken to countless dermatologists, and a majority of them have told me that incorporating retinol in your skincare regimen is worthwhile when it comes to taking care of aging skin. Retinol truly is an investment in your skin’s future that shouldn’t be overlooked—so I think this collection from Neutrogena is an affordable, effective alternative to pricey prestige skincare lines.

As a whole…

Consistently using products with retinol have been shown in studies to help reduce fine lines, wrinkles and skin creasing. (Maybe not eliminate them 100%—let’s be real!) But it can also improve skin tone, elasticity, and skin texture over time. I could go on and on about this, because skincare is such a passion of mine, but I’m going to try to cut to the heart of the matter here! I’m 38, without too many wrinkles yet (luckily), but I have some some sun damage and fine lines/creasing I’d like to minimize. I’d also like to help smooth and brighten the texture of my skin, and potentially lighten some of the dark spots.  [Read more…]

When in SoCal — Customized Facials at Beauty Collection


Beauty Collection Facials

A good facial is hard to find, and finding one in Los Angeles that’s not exorbitantly priced, is like finding a diamond in the rough. Tucked inside Beauty Collection in West Hollywood however, I found a great facial, and more!

I met with Carol Behrens, their skincare therapist on a sunny afternoon, and we discussed what my skincare woes are. I’m currently fitting in the “all of the above” category; I want a facial that focuses on preventative aging, adds hydration, decongests pores, and brightens my skin. It’s kind of a tall order to fit in a single session, but with Carol’s magic hands—I was sure we could make it happen.  [Read more…]

Perricone MD — No Makeup Skincare — No Lipstick Lipstick & No Blush Blush Review, Photos, Swatches


perricone MD No Blush No Lipstick

Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup

Sometimes I don’t want to wear makeup at all, but at the same time I want to look polished and not like I rolled out of bed. I’ve figured out a few tricks by now, but these new products from Perricone MD make it so easy. Their No Makeup Skincare line at Sephora is already a big hit, and I recently tried two of the products out to see if they live up to the hype. Let’s go!

Perricone MD No Lipstick Lipstick

No Lipstick Lipstick

First up is No Lipstick Lipstick. It really isn’t a lipstick (hence No Lipstick)—but it’s actually an anti-aging lip treatment that lends a glossy, smooth finish in a shade that’s like your lips—but better. I find it to be very nourishing and hydrating, and it almost feels like a lip butter. Perricone MD is known for their luxe skincare products, so it’s only natural that they’d include some of those innovative ingredients in their color cosmetic offerings.

It’s a solid-to-serum product, and contains hyaluronic acid and tocotrienols to add suppleness. It also contains a non-chemical mineral-based SPF 15 to protect against UVA and UVB rays, so you know I’m happy about that. (Sunscreen for LIFE!)   [Read more…]