Influenster : Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift

Skincare wasn’t something I was serious about until my early 20s and then all I really did was use a moisturizer with SPF. Now that I’m 38.5 (eep!), I know taking care of my skin is important. I’m not opposed to a few laugh lines here and there. What I don’t care for is the way my eyes look when I don’t get enough sleep (thanks to my little monsters). The puffiness, tiredness and overall blah-ness is not cute.

Cue Dermalogica Stress Positive Eye Lift! This amazing cream-gel eye mask promises to visibly reduce the signs of stress, lift, de-puff and brighten your eye area. I’ve been using it daily for the past month and I’m loving it!

PROS :
lightweight
soothing
easy to apply
cooling affect
moisturizing

CONS :
expensive
can get messy
feels a little greasy
scented

OVERALL :

I don’t usually use any eye serums or wrinkle treatments in my skincare routine but, this product has totally changed my mind! I love the way it feels on my skin as I massage it in with the metal applicator. The coldness of the metal feels so good! I can see how this would help with swollen eyes.

I leave it on for about 3-5 minutes (sometimes longer) and spread/blend in the rest of the product. It absorbs well and leaves my skin feeling soft and firmer. I’ve noticed an overall reduction in my under eye puffiness especially if I use it at night. It probably won’t work for severe cases but, it may help combat the evidence of any late night shenanigans.

For 65$ it’s pretty expensive but, it’s about average cost for most dedicated eye serums. On the plus side you don’t need to use much, just a dot under each eye is fine. If you’re looking to improve the look and feel of your eye area, the Stress Positive Eye Lift is worth looking into!

[ I received this complimentary from @influenster in exchange for an honest/unbiased review. ]

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For the Love of Perfume

I’m a bit of a perfume collector. When given a choice, I’m the one that chooses perfume samples over skin or haircare products. Scent is one of our strongest senses. A scent can trigger vivid memories, remind you of people you love (or loathe), and mentally transport you to exotic locales.

My mother told me once when I was little (grade school age), I wore Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel and L’Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci religiously. To this day I can still recall those two heady, powdery, über-floral infused scents. Funnily enough, I stay far (far!) away from those fragrance families but, I sure did love it back then.

In high school (the late 90s!) I was usually surrounded by a cloud of Cool Water cologne (worn by almost every male on campus, even my ex-boyfriends, ha), mixed with Tommy Girl, Gap’s Heaven and/or Dream sprays, and of course, Calvin Klein’s CKOne. Other scents in my teenage rotation included the super popular Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon.

Side note : I purchased the Cucumber Melon set right before a trip to NYC back in ’98 and the scent has always reminded me of that month long December getaway. I graduated June of ’98 and I decided I wanted to celebrate by going to NY, by myself, to visit family. I stayed at my sister’s because she had just given birth to my niece so I was able to help her out with babysitting her two older boys. I even got my first tattoo there! It was a gift from my sis and her husband but, that’s a whole other topic for another day. Needless to say, I will always have a soft spot for Cucumber Melon.

In the early 2000s I was *all* about Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue (in fact, I still have a small bottle to use when I’m feeling nostalgic). It was my daily scent. I even wore it for my wedding and honeymoon!

Naturally, my tastes and personality have evolved as I’ve gotten older. I’m no longer drawn to florals, vanilla or sweet scents. Instead, I love most anything that leans toward being androgynous. I look for scents that are woodsy, herbal, spicy, earthy, smokey and leathery notes.

Have I mentioned how much I love patchouli? It’s got that dirty, earthy herbally thing that I love. However, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea so I use it sparingly or omit it altogether when I know I’ll be in close quarters with people. The last 5 years I’ve used straight up patchouli perfume oil (from Rachel Ballard/Below The Oak) by itself or layered with other oils/perfumes in my collection. I like how it deepens the base notes of any scent I pair it with. It also has the added perk of making the scent last longer – at least in my experience.

Over the years, I’ve accumulated several sample and travel sized bottles in my seemingly endless search for my HG scent. Recently, I went through and whittled down my collection. I got rid of old bottles I’d been hanging on to for sentimental reasons, gifts from well intentioned people and deluxe samples.

The following are the staple scents I have on rotation.

• Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
Top: violet accord
Middle: sandalwood
Base: vanilla
— Yes, this has vanilla BUT it doesn’t smell like powdery old lady! Honestly, I’m surprised at how much I like it given the notes. Perhaps it’s the sandalwood that minimizes the vanilla?

• Gucci Premiere (discontinued?)
Top: bergamot, orange blossom
Middle: white flowers, musk
Base: leather, wood
— This is totally a date night kind of scent. The leather and wood notes play so well with my patchouli oil!

• Jo Malone ‘Wood Sage & Sea Salt’
Top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, buchu leaves.
Middle: sea salt, mineral accord, dry fruits.
Base: driftwood accord, guaiac wood, white musk, sage.
— This scent is a classic for those who love Jo Malone colognes. I tend to wear this with my patchouli perfume oil to dirty it up a bit.

• Tocca ‘Cleopatra’
Top: bitter grapefruit, lush greens, cassis bud.
Middle: white jasmine, peach nectar, tuberose.
Bottom: warm patchouli, golden amber, rich vanilla musk.
— My favorite of all the Tocca ladies. The dry down is super sexy. The amber and patchouli is what makes this amazing.

• Maison Margiela Replica ‘Lazy Sunday Morning’
Top: aldehydes, pear accord, lily of the valley accord. Middle: iris accord, rose absolute, orange flower accord. Base: white musk accord, Indonesian patchouli oil, ambrette seeds absolute.
— This one is oddly similar to Cleopatra (at least from what I can smell). I love combining them for a unique scent.

 

As you can see, I invest in the travel sized bottles. Over the years I noticed I never really go through a full size bottle of perfume as I end up tiring of the scent. Plus, I often throw whatever I’m wearing that day in my bag to apply on the go. It’s way more convenient and I don’t have to worry about breakage.

With all that said, I’m open to add another to my collection. I like to test fragrances several times before I make a decision to purchase. Test samples are my jam!

In fact, I’m auditioning a couple scents as I type this. I’m leaning heavily toward one in particular but I want to make doubly sure it’s “the one” before investing. Stay tuned for that!

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Influenster : Julep Boost Your Radiance

When I received the Posh VoxBox from Influenster I was excited to try out the Julep Boost Your Radiance Reparative Rosehip Seed facial oil. Some say this helped their skin tremendously while others had adverse reactions (breakouts, redness etc.). After using it for over 2 weeks I can say I’m happy with it.

When I was pregnant with my second son my skin underwent a drastic change. I went from super oily to combination to flakey, dry and sensitive. I drank lots of water, tried and slathered on all the lotions and creams but, it was a losing battle.

I gave birth to my third son a few months ago AND I’m currently breastfeeding both babies (23 months and 5 months old). You can probably imagine how moody and hormonal I can get, ha. Slowly but surely my hormones are regulating back to my combination skin (oily t-zone). Not sure if I should be happy about this or what but, I definitely did not enjoy having dry (often itchy!) skin.

PROS :
clean, floral scent
packaging (glass bottle, sturdy dropper, cap seals tightly)
absorbs well
lightweight
moisturizing
multi-purpose use
great for dry skin
a little goes a long way
reasonably priced

CONS :
scented
be wary if you have sensitive skin
may not be for those with very oily skin
not travel friendly

OVERALL :

After washing my face, I apply two drops on my fingertips and dab it along the areas where my skin is dry; usually on my cheeks and jawline. The oil absorbs well and there’s no greasy residue. I enjoy the clean, floral scent. It’s not overpowering and it doesn’t aggravate my allergies.

In the morning my skin feels hydrated and smooth. I haven’t noticed any clogged pores or milia which is a fear of mine when trying out any new skin product. It didn’t make me breakout either. What I did notice the first couple of times is it made my T-zone and chin extra oily and a bit red. Now I avoid those areas when applying.

As a bonus you can use this oil on your elbows, knees and cuticles. I feel adding a couple drops to my body lotion has really helped with keeping my skin hydrated and “glow-y” all day. Do note there isn’t any SPF so you will have to apply sunscreen.

As far as the claims of reducing hyper-pigmentation and fine lines, the jury is still out. I haven’t yet noticed a difference in the weeks I’ve used it. Perhaps it will take a month or so to really make a difference.

•[ I received this complimentary from @influenster for review/testing purposes but, as always, my opinions are my own. ]•

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Influenster : Aqua Brow Powder + Pencil Duo

We can all agree well groomed brows are important, yes? They frame your face and complete your eye makeup. I’ve been using the ABH Dipbrow Pomade (ash-brown) and the NYX Micro Brow Pencil (ash-brown) interchangeably. However, I’m always willing to try a new product.

PROS :
pigmented
buildable color
looks natural
a little goes a long way
pencil glides smoothly
innovative
travel friendly
stays put

CONS :
wipes off easily
no brush/spoolie to blend out powder

OVERALL :

I was skeptical about the LASHFOOD Brow Food Aqua Brow Powder + Pencil Duo at first. It’s a challenge for me to find just the right ash-brown shade for my brows. Most dark brown shades have far too much red and the black shades are well, too dark. I need something that has a bit of grey in it to tone down the red in most browns.

Directions say to first outline define your brows with the pencil, then fill in with powder. What’s different about the powder is it’s a powder to cream formula. It feels cool to the touch when applied. The pencils glides on smooth and the powder blends quite well. Both are well pigmented. As far as the color, Taupe, it worked well with my hair color as it’s just a bit lighter.

Staying power is great so long as you don’t accidentally wipe your forehead. But that’s not really a con to me because I normally try not to mess with my brows once they’re done.

Additionally, you will need brow brush or spoolie and a clear brow gel (if you use it) to finish your bows off. I didn’t find any other negatives about this product that would prevent me from purchasing. At 25$ a pop, I feel it’s a great all in one product.

* I received this complimentary from @influenster for review/testing purposes but, as always, my opinions are my own. *

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Influenster : Sigma Aura Powder

When I want to look less sleep deprived (read: human) I wake up my face with blush. Today I tested out the new Sigma Aura Powder Blush in the shade ‘Nymphaea’ (a majestically subtle coral) with their Sigma F40 Large Angled Contour Brush.

PROS :
blends easily
buildable
large pan size
available in skin flattering shades
compact includes mirror

CONS :
dusty fallout when swiped with brush

OVERALL :

The Aura Powder can be used all over for a touch of highlight and color; as if you spent a few minutes in the sun. I love the generous size of the compact and mirror.

This is the first time I’ve used a Sigma brush, too! I found the bristles to be soft and it applied product well.

Nymphaea is such a pretty shade! It reminds me of NARS ‘Angelika’ Blush which is one of my all time favorite. The color showed up well on my skintone and it lasted for about 8 hours or so without any touch up.

* I received this complimentary from @influenster for review/testing purposes but, as always, my opinions are my own. *

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