Spoil Me Sunday: Tighten Up

Hey, y’all!

We’ve finally been getting some much-needed rain here in Orlando. Rainy days are perfect for curling up on the couch, getting some writing done, and being a little lazy. For this Spoil Me Sunday, I decided to use one of the items from my April ipsy Glam Bag!

Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask

from Biorace

Photo of sample size Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask from Borate
$25 for 3.88 oz.; Biorace

This mask claims to tighten pores, reduce excess sebum, and deep cleanse. The pearl extract in it brightens and evens your complexion (I assume that’s what the black flecks were). I’m a June baby, so Pearl is one of my birthstones (the other is Alexandrite), so this was made for me! I only  applied it to my T-Zone and the apples of my cheeks, where I have the most obvious pores. As it dried, it visibly tightened my skin to the point where it visibly pulled, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. I rinsed it off somewhat easily after 15 minutes, and my pores did in fact look smaller and my skin felt smoother. I’m curious to see what results I’ll get with regular use (they recommend 1-2 times a week). Considering how little I need to use at one time, this sample will last me a while. I would absolutely recommend this mask!


My full April 2018 ipsy Glam Bag review will be coming soon, so keep an eye out! What do you think of this mask? Would you try it?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 4

Hey, y’all!

Sorry I was a little delayed in getting this post up. I ordered online again, and my order arrived right before I went out of town for a wedding, but here we are. Let’s get to it!

Samples

Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask

from Redken

Photo of Color Extend Magnetics Mega Mask sample from Redken
$29 for 6.8 oz.; Ulta

I don’t color my hair, so I wouldn’t normally seek out products like this, but I got a sample, so why not give it a shot? It’s a 2-in-1 treatment + care extender that comes in dual chamber packaging; it’s intended to extend the vibrancy of your hair color for up to 4 weeks, according to their website, when used with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

The directions say to shampoo your hair, towel dry it, apply the mask, let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse. I just shampooed, wrung out as much excess water as I could, applied it, and let it sit while I finished showering. The scent was was fine, nothing noteworthy. The mask left my hair soft, shiny, and smooth after blow-drying. I have to wash my hair more frequently than I’d like because I work out rigorously six days a week, so I’m all about deep conditioning. Luckily there was a healthy amount of product in the packet, and my hair is only shoulder length, so I can get a few more uses out of the sample. So far I can’t decide if I like it better than the Saphira Mud Treatment. I do like the Saphira scent better, but we’ll see.

Maracuja Creaseless Concealer

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of Maracuja Creaseless Concealer sample from Tarte Cosmetics
$26 for .28 oz.; Tarte Cosmetics

This sample came with four colors:

  • Fairly Light Neutral
  • Light Medium
  • Medium
  • Tan-Deep

I used Fairly Light Neutral. Tarte’s Shape Tape concealer is incredibly popular; I own it and like it, but I just might like this better. It’s a little bit thicker, so a little goes a long way. They both settle into the small creases under my eyes a little bit, even after baking. If you apply the Shape Tape with a brush instead of the wand, they both behave about the same, though. One big difference I notice is that the Shape Tape has a strong fragrance, while I don’t notice any fragrance with the Maracuja. It blended easily with a concealer brush and the coverage was buildable. When I use up my Shape Tape, I just might have to switch to this! (PS: it’s cruelty-free!)

Beauty Steal

Eyeshadow Primer Potion Anti-Aging

from Urban Decay

Photo of Anti-Aging Eyeshadow Primer Potion from Urban Decay
$24 for .33 oz.; Urban Decay

This has been my ride-or-die eyeshadow primer for years. I was glad when they went from the bottle to the squeeze tube because the bottle wasted so much product. I was eh about going from the squeeze tube to the tube with the applicator wand. It’s nice to not have to get my fingers dirty applying it, but I have to blend it with my finger or a beauty sponge anyway, so it doesn’t save much time. As an experiment, I put this primer on one eye and the Too Faced Shadow Insurance on the other eye. By the end of the day, I honestly couldn’t tell a difference between the two, so I’ll probably just go with whichever is on sale at any given time. This time I got it half price! It’s nice to have choices. 🙂 (PS: Vegan & cruelty-free!)

Bonus Purchases

I picked up a couple of other items that weren’t on sale.

Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

from Neutrogena

Photo of Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Refill Pack from Neutrogena
$6.99 for 25 ct.; Neutrogena

I don’t use makeup remover wipes regularly because I prefer cleansing oil. I sometimes use them when I travel, but I tend to use the Clinique ones because they’re gentle enough to use on my eyes. These are a little more affordable, and they’re good to have on hand when swatching, so I went ahead and picked up a refill pack.

Double Entendre Eyeshadow Palette

from ColourPop

Photo of Double Entendre Pressed Eyeshadow Palette from Colourpop
$16; ColourPop

I’ve gotten a couple of ColourPop eyeshadows in past ipsy bags, and I’ve loved them both. They have good pigmentation, smooth application, and no fallout. Considering the high quality, I was pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable ColourPop’s products are. Cruelty-free, too? I’m in love! Needless to say, I was super excited when Ulta started carrying the brand. A girl can never have too many neutral eyeshadows, so I picked up this lovely little palette. It’s 12 gorgeous colors–8 matte, 3 metallic, and 1 satin. So far I’ve only tried a couple of looks with this palette, but I’m looking forward to continuing to play with it! Totally worth purchasing.


What was your favorite purchase during this 21 Days of Beauty? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Hope your week is going well.

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Spoil Me Sunday: Detox

Hey, y’all!

Just got back from a super fun wedding weekend in Tampa. I was part of the bridal party, and we all did our fair share of eating delicious foods, drinking too much, and having a blast. Like the rest of my body, my face could use a good detox right about now.

Daily Wonders Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Mask

from Leaders Cosmetics USA

Photo of Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Mask from Leaders Cosmetics USA
$9 for 2; Ulta

I’m thinking next weekend will be perfect for head to toe pampering, but with the unpacking and laundry and such, I just wanted a quick boost for my skin today. I figured I’d give this sheet mask a whirl. It’s black (not too surprising), but the serum on it is still clear. The activated charcoal and volcanic ash work to draw out impurities, while the green tea extract and chlorella hydrate the skin. The active ingredients also help remove dead skin cells. I do prefer the gel sheet masks over the fabric ones, but this did leave my skin feeling a little fresher when I took it off. I got a 2-pack for half price, so I’ll use the other one at some point, but I probably won’t repurchase.


How do you like to reset after overindulging? Leave me some ideas in the comments!

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Cuckoo for Coconut & the Great Goat Adventure

Hey, y’all!

This past week was ROUGH. Pulled some extra long hours at work, tensions ran high, and I didn’t sleep enough. You know the drill. Add all that to the fact that I don’t think my skin liked that Stila foundation that I sampled, and you’ve got a recipe for an irritated, broken out complexion.

I did a few things this weekend to combat some of the stress.

  1. I got some much-needed sleep.
  2. I went to an aerial yoga class yesterday.
  3. Enjoyed brunch this morning at Se7en Bites with my husband and some family friends visiting from Texas.
  4. I did yoga with baby goats this morning at Wildflower Farm and managed to convince my husband to come along! A friend of mine had posted about it on Facebook a few weeks ago, and when I saw it was less than 5 miles from my house, I had to sign up! We did yoga for about 45 minutes with the goats running around and climbing on people (they gave us “goat bait” aka foliage to entice the goats to come play with us.) Afterwards, we got to bottle feed them. The way their tails wagged during the bottle feeding was absolutely adorable!
540ffdf3-eba5-41b4-936b-907841ac6de2
Of all the photos Jeff took for me this morning, I think the one with the goat in downward-facing dog on top of me in downward-facing dog is probably my favorite. 🙂

Despite all the stress-relieving activities, my skin is still unhappy, so I decided to give this sheet mask a shot:

7 Wonders Caribbean Coconut Calming Mask

from Leaders Cosmetics USA

Photo of 7 Wonders Caribbean Coconut Calming Sheet Mask from Leaders Cosmetics USA
$6 ea. or $58 for 10; Leaders Cosmetics USA

I’ll start out by saying that when it comes to sheet masks, I’ve found that I prefer gel ones like this that come with a protective film on both sides. It’s gratifying to pull the film off, but more importantly, it stops the mask from sticking to itself when you take it out of the package but allows it to be sticky enough to adhere to your face. These gel sheet masks work better for me than the cotton or bamboo ones I’ve tried. This one stuck really well, and I didn’t have any tenting around the bridge of my nose. It also fit well and didn’t stop way short of my hairline.

The coconut and witch hazel in this mask were very refreshing for my skin, and it didn’t leave my face feeling super sticky when I took it off. Hopefully using this mask and going to bed at a decent time tonight will mean a calmer complexion tomorrow. I think I might have found a sheet mask I’d actually repurchase…say what??


What do you do to de-stress? Have you ever done yoga with baby goats? Some other animal, maybe? Tell me about it in the comments!

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 3

Hey, y’all!

Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 ends today. I’ve got one last package coming next week, but this arrived yesterday!

Samples

I ordered online in a hurry and completely forgot to ask for samples, but if you purchased $40+ of Too Faced products, you got a free gift consisting of an adorable rainbow cosmetic bag that came with two deluxe samples inside:

Better Than Sex Mascara

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Better Than Sex deluxe sample from Too Faced Cosmetics
$23 for .27 oz.; Too Faced Cosmetics

I don’t wear mascara except for the rare occasions where I wear my magnetic false lashes and want to give them a little more to grip onto. I’ll probably give this away to a friend, but I’ve heard great things about this mascara, it’s cruelty-free, and it’s very highly reviewed.

Shadow Insurance 24+ Hour Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Shadow Insurance 24+ Hour Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer from Too Faced Cosmetics
$20 for .35 oz.; Too Faced Cosmetics

I love my Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (spoiler alert: that’s what’s coming in my fourth order!), but I’m looking forward to trying this out. They’re both cruelty-free, so who knows? Maybe I’ll end up with a new favorite…

Beauty Steal

Melted Matte Liquified Lipstick

from Too Faced Cosmetics

Photo of Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick from Too Faced Cosmetics in "Sell Out," "Suck It," "Queen B," and "Child Star"
$21 for .23 oz; Too Faced Cosmetics
DSC01077
left to right: “Sell Out,” “Suck It,” “Queen B,” and “Child Star”

I prefer liquid over regular lipstick because I find it more comfortable, and it lasts longer. Of all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried, this is probably my favorite. I prefer a matte finish over gloss, so this is perfect. The pigmentation is fantastic, the formula lasts for hours, and it’s comfortable to wear. I was super excited when I saw it was one of the beauty steals on March 30th–half off!

I wanted to pick up some neutrals and pinks that are more work appropriate (womp womp). I already had a sample of “Queen B” and loved it, so I bought the full-size. The other colors are new for me, and I’m looking forward to taking them for a test run!


Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great weekend!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Ulta 21 Days of Beauty March 2018 Pt. 2

Hey y’all!

I noticed that I’m not buying as many products from 21 Days of Beauty as I did last time. I think it’s partly because I’ve tried more products and brands than I had 6 months ago and partly because I’m better stocked and don’t want anything to go to waste. I had hoped to pick up the Marvelous Mauves Eyeshadow Palette from Dose of Colors on April 1st, but apparently I slept in too late, and they sold out. Whoops! It looks like this will just send up being a 4-part series of posts instead of 5. Let’s jump into part 2!

Samples

I ordered online again, so I chose the Skincare Sampler this time.

Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer

from Stila Cosmetics

Photo of Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer sample from Stila Cosmetics
$40; Stila Cosmetics

The full-size product consists of 1 fl. oz. of the foundation and .04 oz. of refillable full-coverage cream concealer under the cap. This sample came with 4 shades of foundation (no concealer):

  • Fair 2 (Warm undertones)
  • Light 3 (Golden undertones)
  • Buff 7 (Warm undertones)
  • Tan 13 (Golden undertones)

My skin has neutral undertones, so I’d most likely be a match for Porcelain 0 or Hue 5, depending on how tanned I was. You can find your match here. Fair 2 worked pretty well for me.

The texture was kind of thick and made me a little nervous at first, but it held up really well over the course of the day. Even after a 12 hour day plus a workout, it wasn’t showing any signs of breaking up. Not sure if I’d purchase full-size because it felt a little heavy, yet I had to layer it on quite a bit to build up coverage. It’s also a bit pricey for me, but I would be curious to see how my supposed color match looks on me.

Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

from Hask Beauty

Photo of Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner sample from Hask Beauty

I’m not really sure what shampoo and conditioner have to do with skincare, but I digress… It turns out chia seeds are just as good for your hair as they are for the rest of you, thanks to the proteins, antioxidants, calcium, and omega-3s inside.

You can’t buy directly from the Hask website at this time, so it directed me to Ulta’s website, but when I looked, the only Chia Seed Oil product I could find was dry shampoo. Maybe this shampoo and conditioner are so new that they haven’t rolled out yet? Have you tried the dry shampoo? I’m curious what you think of it.

The shampoo and conditioner were ok; they smelled nice without being overbearing. They gave my hair volume but left it feeling a little coarser than normal after blow-drying, even after using all my normal styling products. I probably wouldn’t purchase this for my hair (if I could even find out where to purchase it!)

Beauty Steals

Photo Finish Primer Water Set & Refresh Spray

from Smashbox Cosmetics

Photo of Photo Finish Primer Water Set & Refresh Spray from Smashbox Cosmetics
$32 for 3.9 fl. oz.; Smashbox Cosmetics

I love my current primer and my current setting spray, so I was mainly curious to try this out as a makeup refresher during the day. It was one of the Beauty Steals on March 21st, so I got it for half price! I love, love, loved it! The scent was very fresh and not too strong; I loved how hydrated my skin felt and how quickly it absorbed the product. I can’t decide if I like Too Faced’s Hangover 3-in-1 Setting Spray better. I’ll get back to you on that one…

Pérsona Identity Palette

from Pérsona Cosmetics

Photo of the Identity Eyeshadow Palette from Persona Cosmetics
$32; Pérsona Cosmetics

This palette had high reviews, and it was another Beauty Steal on March 21st, so it was half price. Why not give it a shot? These shades were created with brown eyes in mind (mine are hazel), but they’ll work with any eye color.

The palette has 6 shimmer shades:

  • Sassy
  • Goal Digger
  • Seductive
  • Bombshell
  • Goddess
  • Bossy

And 6 matte shades:

  • Humble
  • Charming
  • Maverick
  • Audacious
  • Chic
  • Fearless

When I first swatched these with my fingers, they were sooooo buttery smooth. I couldn’t wait to try them on my lids! They went on just as smoothly with brushes, and the pigmentation was to die for! To test out some of the shimmer shades, I used Goddess as my transition shade, Bossy to deepen, Goal Digger on my lids, and Sassy to highlight. I was so distracted by the beauty of these colors that I completely forgot to put on eyeliner! To test out some matte shades, I put a look together consisting of Maverick for transition, Fearless to deepen, Chic on my eyelids, and Humble to highlight. The matte formula was just as great as the shimmer. So far, I love them all!

This was the only eyeshadow palette I saw on the Pérsona website, but I can’t wait to see what else they come out with! It’s an excellent product, cruelty-free, and even made in the USA. Definitely a brand to keep an eye out for in the future!


2 posts about 21 Days of Beauty down, 2 to go! Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Spoil Me Sunday: 2-in-1

Hey, y’all!

Happy Easter or Passover to those who celebrate! Yet another weekend is almost over. Where does the time go?? A short post today about one of my new favorite masks:

7th Heaven 2-in-1 Charcoal Masque

from Montagne Jeunesse

Photo of 7th Heaven 2-in-1 Charcoal Masque from Montagne Jeunesse
$1.99; Ulta

When you’re short on time and your to-do list is long, who doesn’t love accomplishing two tasks at once? I received this masque as a stocking stuffer from my mother-in-law at Christmas, and it does just that! Not only does the charcoal work to draw out impurities, but crushed black lava and walnut seed exfoliate your skin while you’re applying and removing it. It has a nice thick texture, so it’s easy to apply without making a mess. I also love that Montagne Jeunesse is 100% cruelty-free (they’re vegan, too). The only drawback about this product for me was that the scent is pretty strong and bordered on overpowering. Despite that, I’d still repurchase because it left my skin looking and feeling so good afterwards.


What are some of your favorite multi-tasking skincare products? I’d love to hear about them!

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!