There’s one drugstore product that I’ve been using for probably 15 years. I buy it in bulk and throw it in every single purse I own. My favorite thing about it other than the low price is that it solves not one, but two of my beauty dilemmas.

COVERGIRL Professional Natural Lash Mascara

Clear mascara! I literally can’t leave home without it for two reasons.

  1. Eyebrow gel- The hairs in my eyebrows for some reason grow down not up. No matter how much I wipe them up with my fingers they just go back down. I started using clear mascara to keep my eyebrows in place before any other eyebrow gel existed. Not only is it cheaper, but it works way better. I got a sample of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel ($22) and it just didn’t hold my eyebrows in place at all. Covergirl’s formula is so much stronger and keeps them in perfect place. Sometimes I’ll put too much and it can look shiny or get a little crunchy, but all you have to do is use a spoolie brush to spread it out. It’s a game changer for my brows. My brows can get disheveled if I’m sweating which is easy to do in this Texas heat so I throw it in my purse for a quick fix.
  2. Flyaways- THIS IS HANDS DOWN MY BEST KEPT BEAUTY SECRET. I told a friend to use clear mascara to tame her flyaways and she said it literally changed her life 😂 I actually discovered this trick by accident. One day years ago I was using my clear mascara for my brows and I had these terrible flyaways as I usually do and I just subconsciously took the wand and brushed the flyaways with it. I was shocked to see not only did it work, but it was the best product to get rid of flyaways I’d ever tried. Every hair product I’ve ever used has either not fixed the problem at all or it did temporarily, but then turned my roots into a greasy mess. Like with my eyebrows it can look shiny if I use too much so I’ll just rub it in with my fingers. Since it doesn’t make my hair greasy, I keep it in my purse for touch-ups. Buy it here and change your life 😉

-V-

I went total Martha Stewart this week and I can’t wait to share. I’m sure some of you have heard of or even have already turned dead flowers into potpourri, but it was my first time and I’m super excited about it! I’ve been telling myself since high school that I was going to turn dead flowers into potpourri with my old corsage’s, but I always thought it was probably too time consuming and would just throw them away. I received this beautiful arrangement of flowers a couple of weeks ago and finally decided to try it out. Surprisingly, it was super easy! Here’s what you need to buy:

  • Flowers
  • Sheet pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Scissors
  • Essential Oils- I bought these
  • Spray bottle- Look through your beauty products before you go buy one. I found several spray bottle products that were almost empty that I could easily use afterwards. I ended up using an empty waterless makeup brush cleaner I was about to throw out (just fill it with water and soap and let it sit while you prep your flowers to clean out whatever was in there previously).

The following is optional. I was having a “just want to use whatever I have around the house so I don’t have to go anywhere” moment so I didn’t use any of these 😂, but definitely will next time.

  • Citrus fruits- lemons, oranges etc.
  • Fresh herbs- thyme, lavender, rosemary etc.
  • Whole spices- cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice etc.

 

  1. Gather any flowers you have. They don’t have to be dead so you can even pick some from your garden. Strong smelling flowers work the best. Here is a list of some. Set your oven at 200 degrees. This is the arrangement I used. They were too beautiful to throw away. Obviously I used them when they were dead.

 2. Use the parchment paper to cover the sheet pan. Cut the flowers either right below the heads or you can pull individual petals and use those. I did both especially since the flowers were dead the petals just fell right off. Lay the flowers and any citrus or other herbs in a single layer on the sheet pan. I ended up using two sheet pans since I had such a large arrangement.

3. Decide which essential oil you want to use. I bought this set cuz it contains 6 different scents.

Lavender- calm and relaxation

Sweet orange- positive attitudes

Lemongrass- relieves muscle pain and aches, boost energy

Tea tree- heals wounds and prevent infection

Eucalyptus- natural anti-inflammatory, clears out cough and heavy congestion

Peppermint- relieves anxiety, medicinal and calms gastrointestinal issues

I ended up going with the lemongrass scent. Combine 10-15 drops of the essential oil with one tablespoon of water (I did 15) in the spray bottle. Spray the flowers before you put them in the oven.

4. Leave the flowers in the oven for at least two hours or until the flowers have become brittle, but before they burn. When the flowers are ready to be taken out of the oven spray them again with some essential oil.

5. Once the flowers have cooled, gently mix the potpourri and place it in a vase, bowel, or a mesh bag. When it’s time to refresh the scent just spray it again with the essential oil. That’s it! Super easy right!

 

-V-

 

I am a huge fan of Botox! I started getting it done when I was 28 (don’t judge) and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m such a proponent of it that I’m on my 5th friend that I’ve gotten to try it out and they all equally love it. I know some people are curious about it, but still have some unanswered questions in order to decide whether they’re gonna take the Botox plunge or not. I’m here to help you with some knowledge I’ve learned and with my own personal experience. Let’s get started.

WHAT EXACTLY IS BOTOX?

Botox is actually a particular brand name for botulinum toxin which temporarily restricts muscles from contracting causing wrinkles. It’s actually said to be preventative because if you get it early enough than your face will never get used to making those facial expressions that cause the wrinkles to begin with! The most common places it is used is to get rid of crow’s feet, frown lines (which are the two lines that show up in between your eyebrows called “11’s”), and forehead creases (the horizontal lines that can show on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows). It’s also been know to be used in armpits to decrease sweating, temple area to reduce headaches/migraines, soften thick jaw muscles, gummy smiles, lip lines, near lips to make them look bigger by preventing the top lip from disappearing when smiling, approve dimpling in chin, and thick neck bands. I’m sure there’s even more that I’m leaving out.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BOTULINUM TOXIN?

Botox- The first to be introduced in 2002 and why everyone just calls all botulinum toxin Botox even if they really mean another product. For the rest of the post I’ll be referring to botulinum toxin as BT and only use Botox if I’m referring to that specific type of toxin.

Dysport (pronounced “diss-port”)- Introduced 7 years later and claims to spread the toxin farther than Botox and to take into affect quicker and last longer (Botox usually takes about a week to see the full results).

Xeomin (pronounced “zee-oh-min”)- This toxin was first launched in 2012, but there was some drama with them stealing some consumer stuff from Allergan (the company that manufactures Botox) so they had to re-launch in 2013. Very similar to Botox except it lacks carrier proteins which claims to produce fewer allergic reactions or resistance to the toxin. Also the only one that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

WHICH BT IS THE BEST?

This is from my personal experience and from opinions from friends. First, I’ve never tried Xeomin. I’ve never even been offered it before. I read that it might be cheaper than the other two because it doesn’t need to be refrigerated and shipped in dry ice like the others so some offices pass on the savings to you. Botox is my personal favorite. It’s what I’ve used 99% of the time. It takes a week for me to see the final results, but I just plan accordingly and make sure I get it done a week before an event. It can last anywhere from 3-6 months. I’ve read that with continued use of Botox you can slowly spread out how often you need it because of long term weakening of the muscle and your face being “re-trained” on the use of your facial expressions. I honestly believe that because when I first got it done it would only last me about 3 months, but now it usually lasts me up to 6 months. My “11’s” are the worst and I noticed that my face was “re-trained” and I don’t make that frown face hardly as much as I used to. I know it sounds weird, but trust me. The only other place I’ve used Botox on is my crow’s feet, but luckily I don’t have them very bad to begin with. FYI you can only treat your crow’s feet with BT and not the wrinkles directly under your eyes. Those wrinkles are actually REALLY hard to get rid of, but can be improved with filler (that’ll be another post soon) or retinol which I’ve posted about before. I recently tried Dysport and I wasn’t a fan. It seemed to only last me two months, but my friend uses it and she loves it. Dysport is supposed to spread farther after injection so it’s better for larger areas cuz you’ll need less injections. Some doctors mix and match toxins. My friend gets Dysport for the larger forehand area and Botox for her smaller crow’s feet area. I was recommended Dysport by a new doctor that I’ve been seeing. Usually when you go to a new doctor they’re not sure how many units of toxin you’ll need because we’re all different and some of us have stronger facial muscles than others. They often go conservative and check on you in a week and if you’re not satisfied they offer you to come back for a touch-up. My advice. ALWAYS GO BACK. I made the mistake of not going back once because at the time my face looked perfect, but soon after the muscles started contracting. The doctors will touch you up for FREE if you go back soon, but after that you have to pay again so trust me just go and get more. I went back to get a touch-up of the Dysport and it STILL only lasted two months which is why I’m going back to Botox.

DO THE INJECTIONS HURT?

It depends. While it’s definitely not a walk in the park, I have a high pain threshold so sometimes I tell them to skip the  numbing cream and just get on with it. Beauty is pain though so I don’t mind at all. Sometimes you can hear the muscle crunching when they inject the toxin which creeped me out at first, but not a big deal anymore.

WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS?

There are all sorts of side effects that are possible as expected with a toxin. Too many to list, but I’ll tell you the most common ones. The first is a headache. I’ve only gotten a headache once and honestly I think because this other new doctor (I’m currently trying to find the best doctor in Dallas right now) was I think insulted that I called him out in front of a resident and told him that my Botox faded quickly from the previous visit so he aggressively injected my forehead. Jerk. FYI he shall remain nameless, but he’s supposed to be one of the top plastic surgeons in Dallas. Anyways, it was just a headache and my face looked fabulous afterwards so whatever (I never went back though). Second, is a droopy or uneven eyelid. I never experienced this with Botox, but I finally did when I tried Dysport. Not sure if it was the Dysport or the doctor’s fault. Mine honestly wasn’t that bad I just realized that when I was coloring in my eyebrows that one of them needed to be colored in slightly higher. For two of my friends though, it was rather noticeable. One of them had one eyebrow arched a lot high than the other. The other friend had one of her eyebrows droop to where she had one arched eyebrow and one straight one. I honestly believe that this side effect is caused by the doctor so make sure you do your research. The last common side effect is bruising. I typically don’t bruise, but if I do it’s usually a small dot where the injection was and can be easily covered up with makeup.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

I say it ranges about $10-$15/unit with $12 being average. 1 unit of Botox = 2.5 units of Dysport. 1 unit of Botox = 1 unit of Xeomin. Some places even do it by area. One doctor I went to would charge $300 for the first area  ( i.e. “11’s”) and $250 for the second ( i.e. crow’s feet). It depends how many units and how many areas you get done. I always just get two areas done so mine is usually anywhere from $450-$550 depending on units. I would say if you’re really lucky and don’t need that many units and only get one area done then at minimum you’ll spend $250. Keep in mind that except that one doctor who charged per area, most doctors won’t give you a total price. They’ll just tell you how much each unit costs ( usually you have to ask) and then they just start injecting away. The doctor won’t stop injecting until they get it perfect which could be $300 or $500 later and you won’t know until you get to the checkout desk. If you’re budget conscious then your best bet is to let your doctor know you want to start off with your area that bothers you the most and ask them how many units they used when they’re done to figure out the cost and whether you want to move on to another area. Some manufactures’ or offices will run specials too. I had one doctor who if you paid $1,000 for an entire bottle you would pay only $10/unit instead of $12 or $13. They would keep the product for me and keep track of how many units I had left, but I made note of how many units I had left too just in case.  Yes I know it’s expensive and you may want to bargain shop, but please don’t. This is your face for god’s sake! I’ve only ever been injected by medical doctors. Two dermatologists and two plastic surgeons. There are some med spa’s where some nurse’s do the injections and though that personally still makes me nervous, I’ve heard some wonderful things about nurse’s. JUST DO YOUR RESEARCH.

HOW TO FIND THE BEST DOCTOR?

Ask around. If you see someone who’s face looks fabulous ask them who they go to (if they admit to it). I’ve seen some really horrible frozen faces around town so I wouldn’t just trust reviews. I’d make sure you see a patient in person. My favorite doctor ever was a dermatologist in Los Angeles (supposedly she’s Jennifer Lopez’s doc) and I was referred to her by a friend who looked amazing. She really was a big difference. Mainly with filler (I promise that post will come), but I also never had any side effects with my Botox  and just looked fantastic. I was so bummed when I moved to Dallas and had to find a new doctor. My LA doc actually recommended someone, but it ended up being that doctor who aggressively injected my forehead 😳 He really may not be a bad doctor, but I just didn’t like his bedside manner. Who knew doctors could be so sensitive?  Anyways, ask around, look at pics or a patient in person and DON’T  be cheap about it unless a possible droopy eye is worth saving several hundreds of dollars to you.

CONCLUSION

So should you do it? Well first, can you afford it? It’s actually kinda addictive because once you get it and you see how young and amazing you look then you’ll want to just keep doing it. On the other hand, nothing happens if you just stop doing it or take a break from it. If you don’t have the funds to do it consistently then you can just do it around special occasions as long as you don’t get addicted to it. I personally think that BT and fillers mixed with great skincare products (retinol!) are the key to looking young forever! 😍 Feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments or any doctor recommendations (especially in Dallas)!

-V-

Today is Amazon Prime Day (well it actually started last night) and there are tons of great deals that you don’t want to miss. I didn’t participate in prime day last year, but from what I’ve read the best way to get what you want before it sells out is to download the Amazon app and start a watchlist for all the items you’re interested in so you can be notified as soon as the deal starts. I also discovered Camelcamelcamel and Fakespot which are two websites you have to check out if you’re shopping on prime day. They both require you to copy and paste the link of the product you’re looking at and to check all the prices it’s been at to make sure you really are getting the best deal (Camelcamelcamel) or to see if the reviews are actually from real people and not bots (Fakespot).  There are wayyyy too many deals to go through and post so I personally looked through the beauty category and found the best products (some I’ve written about before in other posts).  You won’t know the sale price until the deal starts so keep in mind that the price will be lower. I’ll also link other websites that breakdown the best products in other categories. Click on any of the red print to purchase the product or read my prior post about it.

 

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

I wrote about this once prescription and now OTC retinoid that will help with not just acne, but also wrinkles. This was on sale when I initially wrote this, but has since been recently claimed. Join the waitlist and if someone doesn’t purchase it in 15 minutes they’ll notify you to buy it.

Radha Beauty Retinol Moisturizer Cream for Face and Eye Area 1.7 Oz

Another retinol product I’ve written about that is less potent than Differin so would cause less irritation. The sale starts at 12:35pm.

Best Blow Dry Round Hair Brush with Natural Boar Bristles for Blowout

This brush is similar to the one I used in my volumizing post. I have a 2 inch brush. The sale starts at 1pm.

Paula’s Choice SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant for Blackheads and Enlarged Pores

I mentioned this salicylic acid exfoliant in my pores post to help unclog them. Sale starts at 4:20pm.

Jerrybox Trifold LED Lighted Makeup Mirror

I have a similar LED mirror and I’m obsessed with it! It makes sure that my makeup always looks even. It’s so convenient for travel and I never leave home without it. I wrote about this mirror and how important lighting is in this previous post.  Goes on sale at 4:25pm.

L’Oreal Paris Root Cover Up Temporary Gray Concealer Spray

I don’t get grays yet (knock on wood), but a friend of mine does so I bought her this to try out. She said she really liked it in between her trips to the salon and it washes out after one wash. It looks like the prime deal may only be for the 2 pack. The dark brown color goes on sale at 5:05pm and the black at 7pm. I couldn’t find any info. on any of the other colors so not sure if they’ll be on sale too.

Peter Thomas Roth CC Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Complexion Corrector 

I love Peter Thomas Roth products! I own almost every single face mask they make. I haven’t tried this particular product, but I love that it’s a sunscreen, moisturizer, complexion corrector, and anti-aging cream in one. Sale starts at 5:35pm.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme

I always get post-acne marks that linger for what seems like forever. My favorite products to use to get rid of them are anything with glycolic acid. I’ve written about acids before and love how quickly they work. Look for this sale to start at 6:25pm.

StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream

I wrote a post about taking care of your neck and hands because most women forget about those two areas and they’re very important. This neck cream is a great alternative to the pricey Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D and has great reviews. At Ulta it’s priced at $95 and $79 currently on Amazon. The sale is supposed to begin at 7pm, BUT right now it says it’ll take off 30% off at checkout making it around $55! Not sure if there’s an error and the prime deal on it has already started or if it’s going to be even cheaper at 7pm. Either way it’s already a great deal at $55 because that’s $40 less than retail.

Here are some websites I’ve found that have the best deals on other categories:

Business Insider– Updated frequently and has different categories to go directly to.

CNET– Tech deals that are updated often.

Gamespot– Gaming deals for any of you ladies who have boys or husbands who act like boys 😜

The Wirecutter– Lots of home and tech stuff. Claim to scan thousands of items and find only the best deals. Updated frequently.

 

My white suitcase that I love and took to the derby is on major sale too! Right now it’s $116 with 30% off at checkout making it $81. It’s been as high as $320 and I bought it for $98 so it’s a great deal right now. Buy it here before it sells out!

 

Happy shopping!

-V-

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to be in great shape. By now I’ve finally learned how to workout and eat healthy so that being fit isn’t very difficult for me. I get asked all the time how I stay fit so I’d love to share how I got to where I am now. First, let me give you a little background about my weight.

 

I was always naturally thin (115 lbs.) when I was in high school. In college, I gained the good old freshman 15. My weight would yo-yo a lot, but I was still only a size 6 so didn’t do much to lose the weight. In my mid 20’s I started dating my now ex-husband and got all the way up to 160 which was a size 12 for me (i’m 5’3). It finally hit me that I was unhappy in my own skin so I started working out. I lost 20lbs on my own then hired a personal trainer who taught me how to lift weights and helped me lose the last 25 lbs and get back to 115. I’ve always had issues with food because I didn’t really know how to eat right. My trainer helped me get started on how to eat healthy, but it was still an ongoing struggle for me to stay thin. I would eat somewhat healthy during the week then I’d gorge on the most unhealthy food on the weekends. I’d gain about 5 lbs on the weekends then spend the whole week trying to lose it. It was a vicious cycle. At one point I was so determined to be even thinner that I got down to 108 lbs by eating lots of smoothies and working out sometimes 11 times in a week. Yes 11. I looked great, but I was starving and it just wasn’t something I could obviously keep up so I went back to my typical vicious cycle.

 

Fast forward to last year. I was going through some personal issues and started skipping the gym and eating unhealthy. Before I knew it, I was up to 140. I was determined to lose the weight at the beginning of this year, but I refused to go back to my usual “workout like crazy during the week and eat like crap on the weekends” cycle so I started to look at alternatives and I discovered the book that changed my life. Natalie Jill’s 7 Day Jump Start

I actually discovered Natalie Jill on Instagram. There are tons of women in great shape with books and advice on how to lose weight on Instagram, but I chose to buy Natalie Jill’s book for one simple reason. She’s in her 40s. I believe 45 to be exact. All the other girls were in their 20s and I thought “Well shit, who ISN’T thin in their 20s?!” 😂 I knew I needed someone who’s metabolism had slowed down like mine. This book is all about teaching you how to truly eat healthy so that being fit isn’t a struggle anymore. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent because it’s been the easiest way to not only lose weight, but maintain it. In her book she talks about eating gluten-free (it’s not that hard I swear), organic, and unprocessed foods (anything that ISN’T in a box/bag). She also shows you some workouts you can do at home. I lost 15 lbs in a little more than two months plus more! Here are some useful tips on how I personally lost the weight:

  1. The first 7 days are the hardest of this book. After that the recipes in the back are a lot more delicious and easy to stick with. I followed the 7 day eating plan about 99% of the time for the first week.
  2. The workouts in this book are great if you’re not a gym person, but I am. I go to the gym and lift weights 5 days a week and do cardio for 3 days out of those 5 for 20 min after I get done lifting weights. Sometimes I go in to the gym once on the weekend and just do 45 min of cardio. I swear by the stairmaster because I have bad knees so it’s the only cardio machine I use. Remember earlier how I said I got up to 160 and lost the first 20 lbs by myself? Well that was by doing the stairmaster for a month and that was before I even started eating healthy. Start slow with the stairmaster if you need to, but make sure you build yourself up. Currently I warm up for 3 min at level 5 then I alternate every minute between level 14 and level 5. When I go up to level 14 I hold on for 15 sec then I let go for 30 sec and then hold on again for the last 15 sec. I do this for a total of 20 min if I lifted weights right before or 45 min if I didn’t. I know not everyone knows how to lift weights. I learned a lot from my trainer so I can lift weights by myself now. If you can afford a trainer then I highly suggest it. Even if you just hire one for a few sessions and pay close attention and remember what he/she shows you so you can do it later on your own. If you can’t afford a trainer, there are tons of different exercises you can learn how to do online or even on Instagram. A great app to download is JEFIT. It shows you tons of workouts and has a log so you can keep track of how much you’re lifting. Also get a gym buddy so you have someone else to hold you accountable.
  3. I didn’t drink for the first 30 days. I actually think it was 33 days. I know this is going to be a tough one for some of you, but drinking adds so many unnecessary calories that will either prevent you from losing weight at all or make it VERY slow. Just suck it up for at least a month, longer would be even better. If and when you go back to drinking try vodka soda with a crap load of limes or splash some grapefruit in there.
  4. CONSISTENCY IS KEY. I was sticking to this for a good 4-6 weeks and got down to 120 lbs and a size zero again! I actually wanted to post about this for awhile, but wanted to wait til I got some abs and attach an amazing photo of myself 😂 At the rate I was going I was 100% sure I’d have abs by summer. Unfortunately, that never happened. Why? Well I started dating someone and the consistency went out the window. I started going out more and drinking and eating out too often. I don’t blame him. I blame myself for not making better decisions. I’m not saying you need to be a hermit and never go anywhere or see anyone, but try as best as you can to stick to this new way of eating because that’s what this is.
  5. This isn’t a diet, but a new way of eating and a different way I think about food. As long as I eat gluten-free, organic (try your best), unprocessed food then I don’t yo-yo on the scale anymore and it’s just easier to be and stay thin. The recipes in this book really are delicious and filling and if you get tired of them then discover new ones on Pinterest. Just make sure that they meet the general guidelines.
  6. Make losing weight your priority. Earlier I said this book is the easiest way to lose weight, but that’s only if you make it a priority and are dedicated. A lot of people say the same thing about losing weight. “I just don’t have time”. Whether they say they don’t have time to workout before work or don’t have time after work to go grocery shopping and cook. Well if you’re one of those people I hate to break it to you, but we ALL have time. Some people just don’t prioritize losing weight like others do. When I first started this eating plan, it was at the very top of my priority list. Instead of going out for drinks with my friends on the weekends I would go grocery shopping and cook for hours to have meals ready for the week. Having meals already prepared for the week is perfect for you guys out there that say you’re too tired after work. You may think you don’t have time, but I bet there are a lot of things you could skip or put on the back burner to focus on losing weight. Skip the baseball game or concert that your friend invited you to and go grocery shopping and cook something healthy. Pass on happy hour and go to the gym.
  7. Don’t rely so much on the scale. There were times that I’d weigh myself and I was shocked that I’d only lost a couple of pounds considering how healthy I’d been eating and how hard I was working at the gym. When I first started this plan, I tried on an old pair of shorts that used to fit me. I struggled so much to get them over my thighs that I was sweating and they definitely wouldn’t button. Every 3-4 weeks I’d try on the shorts to see my progress and soon enough those shorts fit me perfectly despite what the scale said!
  8. Don’t be discouraged. Have I fallen off sometimes? Of course. No one is perfect, especially around holidays 😬 In fact I’m currently a few pounds heavier than I’d like to be because I’ve been veering off what I should be eating, but I’m getting back to it and after a about a week of being consistent I should be back to where I was. So don’t get down on yourself if you fall off the wagon. Just make sure you get back on it.

 

Remember that you didn’t gain weight overnight so you won’t lose it that quickly either. The time is going to pass no matter what so just stick with it and before you know it you’ll be at your goal weight that you can easily maintain! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Good luck!

Natalie Jill’s 7-Day Jump Start: Amazon

-V-

I bought Sephora’s Sun Safety Kit awhile back in search of the perfect sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that wouldn’t leave my face shiny or break me out…and I found it! The kit also came with some other great items, but first I’ll start with my least favorites then I’ll move on to my top picks. Click on any of the red titles to purchase the products.

PRODUCTS TO SKIP

JOSIE MARAN Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47

I was excited about this because of the argan, but it left my face pretty shiny.

PETER THOMAS ROTH MAX Sheer All Day Moisture Defense® SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Light, but left me greasy.

CLARINS UV PLUS Anti-pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50

This is a high SPF which is great, but I didn’t think it was anything special. It just went on like regular sunscreen. You could probably find something similar and cheaper at the drug store.

 

SUPERGOOP! Defense Refresh Setting Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50

I don’t have a strong sense of smell. In fact I always read product reviews where people complain about smell and I’ve never had that issue…until now. This spray has a REALLY strong and chemical-like smell. I’d pass.

PRODUCTS TO CONSIDER

NEOGEN DERMALOGY Day-Light Protection Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++

I love that this has such a high SPF, but unfortunately I have oily skin so it left me a little too shiny for my taste. It might work for someone who doesn’t have oily skin though.

SHISEIDO Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Water Resistant (80 Minutes) Suncreen WetForce

The cream came out white on my face, but easily blended in and looked alright. It actually kinda brightened my under eye area, but at the time I was slacking on my spray tan so if I would have had my usual tan it may have been too white for me. This may work for someone with fair skin.

AMOREPACIFIC Resort Collection Sun Protection Cushion SPF 30+

This is great for touch ups since it comes in a small compact and you don’t have to get your hands messy because of the applicator. It goes on white, but leaves a matte finish. It’s a little pricey though for the amount of product.

 

PRODUCTS TO BUY

COOLA Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30

This is my 4th favorite SPF product in this kit. It’s a primer, but you could use it alone too. It went on white, but surprisingly melted into skin leaving somewhat a matte finish.

MDSOLARSCIENCES  Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30

My 3rd favorite. This creme went on very matte and is similar to my 2nd favorite, but it came out kinda liquidy. Make sure you shake it well before each use. It’s tinted, but not enough to cover any red or dark spots.

MURAD Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++

This is my 2nd favorite over the MDSolarSciences because it was equally matte, but this is more of a gel consistency which makes me like it better. The MDSolarSciences is cheaper so if you don’t prefer the gel then you might buy that one instead.

COVER FX Clear Cover Invisible Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30

This is my favorite! This sunscreen is more expensive than the MDSolarSciences, but cheaper than the Murad. It’s also a gel-like consistency like the Murad so it’s my top choice. It went on very light and I could feel the mattyifying of the gel seeping into my skin. I’ve been wanting to write about this product for some time, but it’s been out of stock on their website and at Sephora both in store and online for months now! I seriously couldn’t find it anywhere, but FINALLY the product became available on the Cover FX website. Hopefully Sephora will get it back in stock soon. I ordered 2 of them because I’m worried it’ll go back out of stock again and now i’m wondering if I should have ordered more 🤔

DR. BRANDT Skincare Pores No More® Multi-Performance Stick SPF 45

This would be my honorable mention. It goes on matte and is tinted. I’m a very all or nothing type of makeup girl. I’m either wearing full on foundation or nothing at all. I don’t like anything in between that’s tinted because I feel like anything with color always mixes with my sweat at the gym and makes me breakout (my face is very sensitive to breakouts though.) This did come in handy one week when my face was so terribly broken out that I almost skipped the gym because of it. I used this and it covered enough of my breakout to be confident enough to be seen in public 😂  I didn’t notice any new breakouts after wearing it to the gym, but I was already looking pretty awful so it was hard to tell. I wouldn’t wear this everyday since it’s tinted, but I might buy it and use it the next time my face looks like a hot mess. If you like a decent tinted coverage then this product is for you.

FRESH Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15

I always forget to put SPF on my lips so I love that this has sunscreen and color to it. This lip treatment glided on my lips and the nude color has this really pretty peach shimmer color. Perfect for when you want just a hint of color.

 

VITA LIBERATA Body Blur Instant HD Skin Finish

I love this stuff! When I spray tan I usually cover my face so this is perfect to get my face to match the rest of my body or to just use all over when I’m slacking on tanning in general. I got the medium color and it’s a perfect natural bronze color that doesn’t look orange. I also love that it doesn’t have any shimmer or glitter to it so you can wear it anywhere. It comes off after every wash so you don’t have to worry about any permanent streaks.

 

PRODUCTS UP FOR DEBATE

 

 

ST. TROPEZ Tanning Essentials Gradual Tan Everyday Tinted Body Lotion

Unfortunately, I completely forgot that this was in the kit so I’m still testing it. I tried it on my skin and it’s not as tinted as the Vita Liberata, but it is self tanner so it’s supposed to gradually give you a bit of color. I haven’t left it on my skin yet so I’ll update you guys on how the color turns out.

 

The kit is no longer available at Sephora (at least it isn’t online) so you’ll have to buy each product individually. Hope you find your new go-to daily SPF like I did!

-V-

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve recently come across two products that I’m obsessed with that I just have to share. I mentioned recently that I met a new esthetician friend who  gave me some great tips. I told her about how my makeup seems to get cakey after awhile and how it settles into my fine lines. She said that I must be using a face powder with talc in it. At the time I was using Laura Mercier’s translucent loose setting powder so I went home and looked it up and sure enough it contained talc. After doing some research on talc, it turns out it also clogs your pores and some even say it can cause cancer 😳 I went on a talc-free face powder hunt and here’s what I found.

COVER FX Matte Setting Powder

This powder from COVER FX is talc-free and EVERYTHING! I could tell such a difference in the look of my makeup using this powder instead of my talc containing Laura Mercier. I have oily skin so I always thought that the oil from my face would mix with my makeup and that’s why it would get cakey, but I was wrong. My makeup no longer gets cakey and doesn’t sit in my fine lines when using this powder. It comes in light, medium, and deep. I got the light and you can get it at Ulta or Sephora.

COVER FX Mattifying Setting Spray

During my search to find a talc-free powder I ran across this new mattifying setting powder also by COVER FX. It’s alcohol-free and makes my makeup stay on perfectly all day. I usually get oily pretty quickly and have to touch up my makeup or use a blotting sheet after just a few hours, but with this setting spray I don’t have to. My makeup looks like I just applied it after 8 hours! After I’m done with my makeup (I have eyelash extensions, but if you don’t I’d apply it before mascara), I give myself a good 6 sprays about 8 inches away and I’m oil-free all day! Do yourself a favor and buy it at Sephora if you’re oily like me.

-V-