There is a lot to cover in this post! I have been testing products like crazy lately, partially thanks to my Sephora obsession (and Amazon Prime). But my skin has never looked better and I can’t wait to share the products that have really stood out to me. So let’s get to it!
bosnia exfoliating peel gel ($34). I’m obsessed with this stuff. It’s to the point where I can’t stop texting people to tell them about it, and trying to persuade my friends to come over and peel their faces off. (Wait, did that sound creepy?) Kidding! Sort of. I would be lying if I said I hadn’t invited people over to try it though! I’ve never gotten a professional chemical peel before so I can’t compare it to that – but this stuff does almost as good of a job exfoliating my skin as professional microdermabrasion. But it’s incredibly gentle. I use it on clean, 100% dry skin (it’s important that your skin isn’t damp because it will stick to it if it is!), and I massage it on my entire face and it literally lifts the top layer of my skin right off. The dead skin, that is. It’s crazy effective and seeing the skin coming right off is equal parts gross and satisfying. I then wash everything off with water and my skin is soft and ready for a moisturizer and makeup application. It’s ahhhh-mmaaazzzinng! Seriously. Go buy this stuff NOW.
Bosnia Exfoliating Peel Gel, $34, available at Sephora.
OSEA eyes and lips ($60). At least once a day, I use this cream under my eyes, on my lips, and sometimes on my entire face if it needs a little extra tightening. It’s especially effective on freshly exfoliated skin after the peel I described above. It’s a fantastic moisturizer that visibly firms and tightens my skin while hydrating it at the same time. I’ve seen such a noticeable difference in my skin since I started using it, especially under my eyes and on my lips. I discovered the brand OSEA when they reached out to me a few months ago and sent three products to try (with no obligation to write about any of them.) I was completely blown away by all three products and honestly use them every day. In addition to this moisturizer, I highly recommend and will absolutely be re-purchasing the OSEA face oil (use it under moisturizer) and gentle cleanser.
OSEA Eyes and Lips, $60, available through oseamalibu.com and Amazon.
neutrogena hydro-boost gel cream ($13.84). I honestly love the entire Neutrogena Hydro-Boost line of products! They’re comparable and often better than their department store competition. This eye cream is super light and super gentle. I have really sensitive skin, and it’s the only cream that has never made the skin around my eyes red or irritated at all. I love this for hot days when thicker creams feel like they’re melting on my face. It gives my skin that extra boost without feeling thick or heavy.
Neutrogene Hydro-Boost Gel Cream, $13.84, available on Amazon.
donna karen cashmere mist deodorant ($25). Sorry if this is TMI, but I have had a heck of a time finding a deodorant that works for me. At this point, I feel like I have tried everything under the sun. This Donna Karen deodorant kept coming up in the top rated deodorant lists online… But $25 for deodorant? It sounded ludicrous to me. Finally, after trying so many drugstore deodorants that failed me and I was unable to return, I bought this stuff figuring I’d just take it back to Sephora and get my money back if it didn’t work. In fact, I was extremely skeptical and actually planned to return it. Then I tried it. And to my surprise, it works so, so well. I only need a tiny bit and I’m dry all day and it even works through the night. The smell is subtle but really lovely and feminine. I’m actually considering buying the cashmere mist perfume to go with it. But is it weird to buy a perfume to match your deodorant? Probably. But do I care? Meh.
Donna Karen Cashmere Mist Deodorant, $25 at Sephora and Nordstrom.
hydrocortisone cream ($6.49) + tend skin ($10.82). After my last bikini wax from Angie at The Wax Shack, I discovered that regular application of hydrocortisone cream and Tend Skin is the perfect cocktail of products to prevent ingrown hairs and irritation after waxing and shaving. Ingrown hairs and red bumps have always been a big issue for me so I swore off waxing years ago. I’m excited to be embracing waxing again now that I know what products to use, because waxing really does do so much better of a job than shaving. Directions for use: Apply Tend Skin a couple times a day leading up to your wax, to prevent ingrown hairs from forming. Then the night after your wax, apply hydrocortisone cream to relieve the irritation and red bumps. Apply hydrocortisone cream the following day as well. And then for the days after that, until you have no sign of irritation or ingrown hairs, use Tend Skin followed by hydrocortisone cream.
Hydrocortisone cream 1%, $6.49, available at Target.
Tend Skin, $10.82, available at Amazon.
colorscience sunforgettable® loose mineral sunscreen brush broad spectrum spf 50 ($25 for travel size). We all know SPF is important. And when you’re going to be out in the sun for more than a few hours, it’s especially important to re-apply. But I hate messing up my makeup every few hours to re-apply sunscreen. That’s where powder sunscreens come in handy! You can apply it directly over your makeup and it’s matte and keeps your makeup intact while giving you that extra protection you need on a sunny day. This one even has pigment in it so you get a re-application of foundation. I bought the travel size to take when Carter and I go to Asia at the end of the month, but I’ve found myself using it regularly in Portland because it’s just so dang convenient.
colorscience sunforgettable® loose mineral sunscreen brush broad spectrum spf 50, $25 for the travel size at Sephora.
Nars ‘Amour’ blush ($30). I’ve been a longtime fan of the cult favorite Nars ‘Orgasm’ blush. But ever since the lady who did my wedding makeup explained to me that shimmer blushes are rarely flattering (think about it – would you ever put a shimmer highlighter on the apples of your cheeks?), I’ve been searching for a replacement for the shimmery Orgasm blush. So I was absolutely delighted to discover the Nars ‘Amour’ blush – which is pretty much the exact same color as Orgasm, but without the shimmer. Score! Check out the comparison of Orgasm (on the left) with Amour below. Nars ‘Amour’ blush, $30 at Sephora and Nordstrom.
mac pro longwear liquid lipstick in ‘unchanging’ ($25). This is pretty much the perfect Kylie Jenner-esque color (and I mean that in a good way!) It’s nude-ish without being pale enough to wash you out. The lipstick really is long-wear – it even lasts through a meal! The issue with most long-wear lipsticks is that they’re incredibly drying, but this one comes with a clear gloss on the other side that helps rectify that problem. I have a couple other colors from this line of lipsticks but this is the one I reach for regularly because it really compliments any makeup look and outfit. I’ve also lent this color out to a handful of my friends and it somehow manages to look good on everybody!
MAC Pro Longwear Liquid Lipstick in ‘Unchanging’, $25, available at Nordstrom.
batiste dry shampoo ($7.62). I’m always on the hunt for an effective and affordable dry shampoo. Although I’ve repurchased Tresemme’s in the past, but I’ve never been in love with it. I’ve tried a handful of others, some salon-quality and some drugstore, but nothing was ever worth reporting back about. Then I discovered this one by Bastise and fell in love! The price is right, the texture and consistency is spot on, and it makes my hair look clean after days of not washing it! Since going through my first full-size bottle, I’ve ordered three travels sizes (pictured above) and another full size bottle in various scents. They’re all yummy but my favorites are the cherry and the original scent.
Batiste Dry Shampoo, $7.62, available through Amazon.