Spoil Me Sunday: So Fresh

Hey, y’all!

My skin has been a little red and uneven the past few days (probably not enough sleep or water), so I finally got around to trying this green tea mask that I bought a few months ago.

Green Tea Detox Mask

from Teami

Photo of Detox Mask Green Tea Blend from Teami
$29.99 for 4 fl. oz.; Teami

Before I even peeled the foil off the top of the jar, I could already smell the fresh, clean scent of this mask–perfect for a lazy, sunny afternoon. I used my mask spatula to apply, and the coolness of the product was soooo soothing on my skin. Popped it on for 15 minutes, then gently rinsed it off with a washcloth. It would have been a lot more difficult with just my fingertips. My skin felt clean and refreshed afterwards, and the redness was visibly reduced. I went ahead and used my skin scrubber on my nose afterwards–definitely productive.

Key Ingredients:

  • Organic Matcha Green Tea–detoxes skin, reduces redness, and gives your skin some yummy antioxidants that help with reducing and preventing signs of aging
  • Lemongrass–brightens skin
  • Betonite & Kaolin Clays–soothe and nourish your skin

This mask is great for all skin types, and I love that it comes in a jar, which I can re-purpose when I use the product up. If you’re looking for a clay mask to try, I recommend this one.


How often do you use products that contain green tea? What are some of your favorites? Do you see a difference in your skin afterwards?

Hope you 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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

ipsy: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10. You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

Obsessed

Hey y’all!

I got a new skincare product that I’ve fallen in love with and wanted to share!

Oil Obsessed® Total Cleansing Oil

from bareMinerals

Photo of Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil from Bare Minerals
$30 for 6 fl. oz.; bareMinerals

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t really paid much attention to bareMinerals until recently. There was no particular reason; I think I just assumed it was another hyped up brand with a cult following. As I’ve tried their products here and there, some have been “eh” and some have been “wow.” This one falls into the “wow” category.

I started double cleansing probably about a year and a half ago now. The practice comes from Korean skincare, and it involves using a cleansing oil, balm, or micellar water to remove makeup, dirt, and debris before you cleanse your skin in the traditional sense with a water-based cleanser. Before I tried it, the term “cleansing oil” seemed like an oxymoron. The whole point of washing my face was to get the makeup and excess oil off my face. Why would I intentionally add more? After reading more in-depth about it, the idea made more sense, and I decided to give it a shot.

I started out using Love Your Bare Face Hydrating Cleansing Oil from Julep, a Korean skincare brand. (I figured a Korean brand was a good place to start.) I enjoyed it–it smelled really nice, and it left my skin feeling great. It was a little pricey, though, and it was no match for some stubborn makeup, especially some of my liquid liners. Once I used it up, I moved on to Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil from Derma E, since I love rose scented things, it’s cruelty-free, and it had a lower price point. Unfortunately, this one was even less effective at removing my makeup, but I still used it up (I hate wasting products.)

After using up the Derma E oil, I thought about going back to Julep. It gets the job done, more or less. Then I came across this bareMinerals oil that was then on sale at Ulta. I figured, why not? At that time it was cheaper than Julep, and it was very highly reviewed. On top of that, I was getting almost twice the amount of product that I would from Julep (6 fl. oz. vs 3.5.)

I tried it for the first time last night, and we’ve found a winner. The instructions say to use 3-4 pumps, so I used 3, but it seemed like too much, so next time I’m going to try 2. The smell is really fresh and not artificially perfume-y. I massaged it into my dry skin, and my makeup didn’t stand a chance. Even my waterproof Urban Decay liquid liner (probably the most stubborn one I own) was no match. Once I had broken up all the makeup and debris, I wet my fingertips and kept massaging my face. That turned the cleansing oil into a cleansing milk emulsion. It was really easy to rinse off, and my skin felt so soft and clean afterwards. Confession: I was lazy and didn’t even follow it up with a regular cleanser. I did my regular skincare routine, and even the next afternoon my skin feels softer and more hydrated. I’m curious to see how long a bottle lasts.

Key Ingredients:

  • Bilberry, Borage, Cucumber, and Sunflower Oils–hydrate and nourish your skin
  • Sea salts–provide minerals that help refine and cleanse

If you’re looking for a cleansing oil, I highly recommend this one.


Do you double cleanse? What are some of your favorite products? Leave a comment to let me know.

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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

ipsy: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10! You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

Yes, Oh Yas! January 2019

Hey, ya’ll!

Lots of pretty things in my first Yes, Oh Yas! box of 2019! Let’s get right to it.

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites at the time of posting. Retail values below my descriptions are what was listed by Yes, Oh Yas! based on the information they received from the individual partner companies.

Longwear Matte Lipgloss in “Kiss Me”

from Beauty Creations Cosmetics

Photo of Long-Wear Matte Lipgloss in "Kiss Me" from Beauty Creations
$4.99; Beauty Creations

I knew I liked Beauty Creations’ eyeshadow formula, but it seems their matte liquid lipstick is a winner, too! (I don’t know why they call it a gloss, but I digress.) First of all, the color is super flattering. More importantly, though, it lasts all day! After eating beef chili for lunch, I only saw the tiiiiiniest bit of fading around the center of my mouth, but it wasn’t bad enough to warrant a touch-up. For the price point, I’d definitely recommend giving this a shot if matte liquid lippies are your jam.

Retail Value: $8 USD

10-Color OMG Eyeshadow Collection Palette

from Crown Pro

Photo of 10-Color OMG Eyeshadow Collection from Crown Brush
$9.99; Crown Pro

I was really torn about whether or not to keep this palette, but then I saw the richness of the colors and found it hard to resist. I’ve been receiving so many neutral and warm tone palettes lately that they’re getting a little boring. While those are useful for everyday looks, the jewel tones in this palette are difficult to turn down! I can’t wait to take them out for a test run on a weekend look. There’s a nice mix of matte and shimmers, and the pans are a pretty generous size. I did experience a little fallout with some of the more neutral shades. Sigh.

Retail Value: $10

Universe’s Star Highlighter in “Twilight”

from Inmo Beauty

Photo of Universe's Star Highlighter in "Twilight" from Inmo Beauty
$10; Inmo Beauty

While I’m generally a lover of highlighters, this one was too orange for my taste, and I’ve already got so many to get through. This one’s going into the giveaway bag! It’s a nice subtle finish–not glittery at all, just a little glow.

Retail Value: $10

Charcoal Pigment

from Appeal Cosmetics

Photo of Charcoal Pigment from Appeal Cosmetics
$21 for .08 oz.; Appeal Cosmetics

Loose pigment eyeshadows seem to be a popular beauty box item this month, since I got one in my ipsy bag, too. This charcoal is stunning, with just the right amount of shimmer to take your classic smoky eye to the next level by adding more dimension. Even though I tapped the excess of my brush before applying, I still ended up with some fallout on my cheekbones. I guess it’s not too surprising with a loose powder eyeshadow.

Retail Value: $21

Luxury Gold Glitter Nail Lacquer

from NCLA Beauty

$18 for the duo; NCLA Beauty

Just because New Year’s has passed doesn’t mean glitter season is over (is it ever, really?) Anyone who uses nail polish can always use a good gold glitter in their collection. You can use a single coat over your favorite color to make your nails pop, or you can use multiple coats alone to amp up the bling. (What you see in the picture above is one coat.) Only time will tell how the durability fares. This color is called “This is Hollywood,” but I think you can only get it as part of the Hollywood Glam duo (one silver, one gold.) It’s also currently on sale. 🙂

Retail Value: $21

Total Value: $70*

*If you go by the current website prices, the total comes out to $54.98. For $14.99 + shipping, you’re missing out if you’re not a subscriber!


Any beauty products you’re determined to try in 2019? Leave a comment to tell me about them! Maybe I’ll have to add some of them to my list. 🙂

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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

ipsy: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10. You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

ipsy Glam Bag Review: January 2019

Hey, y’all!

2019 is here and already speeding along. The bag itself looked a little to springy or summery for January in my opinion, but here’s what was inside!

Heavy Metal Eyeshadow in “HE-04”

from Naked Cosmetics

Photo of Heavy Metal Eyeshadow HE-04 from Naked Cosmetics
$14.99; Naked Cosmetics

I tend to shy away from loose powder eyeshadows, but I have to admit that this coppery bronze is really pretty. (The color is much brighter than it looks on the Naked Cosmetics website.) There was a little fallout onto my lashes, but I dusted them off without too much trouble. This line of shadows comes in 6 shades, and the bottom of the pot is threaded to screw onto something. I assume you can take the lids off of them and just screw them together in one neat column. That could help with storage, rather than having individual pots lying around.

My Rating: 3/5

Nail Lacquer in “Feverish”

from Color Club

Photo of Nail Lacquer in "Feverish" from Color Club
$8.50; Color Club

I’m enjoying the last of winter before central Florida starts heating up again, so I had no qualms about using this gorgeous vampy red when I got a pedicure this past week. Professionals always do it better, so we’ll see how well this polish holds up. I probably would have only done one coat if I were doing it myself, but the nail tech did two (maybe that’s why professional pedis last longer…) I love that this company was founded by women and creates everything in NYC. Get it, ladies!

My Rating: 5/5

Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask

from Yensa

Photo of sample size Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask from Yensa
$45 for 2.5 fl. oz.; Yensa

I tried this mask for a Spoil Me Sunday recently and fell in love. You can read all out it here.

My Rating: 5/5

1010 Small Contour Brush

from Luxie Beauty

It’s odd that I can’t find this brush anywhere on the Luxie website. Based on the other brushes in the Pro Tools Collection, I’m going to guess this one would run somewhere around $30-$35. It’s cruelty-free and vegan, and the bristles are super soft. I prefer my e.l.f. brush for applying contour, but this smaller brush is great for highlighting.

My Rating: 4/5

Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15 in “Light Neutral”

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation in "Light Neutral" from Tarte Cosmetics
$39 for 1.7 fl. oz.; Tarte Cosmetics

Since my skin has cleared up, I’ve been using pressed powder foundation instead of liquid full-coverage. I tested this one out, though, and it was nice. It wasn’t cakey, it lasted all day, and the color was spot-on. Definitely worth keeping in my makeup cabinet for when I need more coverage.

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.2. I’d say 2019 is off to a good start. Was January good to you as far as your beauty subscriptions were concerned? Let me know in the comments!

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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

ipsy: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10! You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

Spoil Me Sunday: Polish, Spice, and Everything Nice

Hey, y’all!

I got this mask in my January ipsy bag, and I was totally excited to try it out.

Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask

from Yensa

Photo of sample size Pumpkin Turmeric 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask from Yensa
$45 for 2.5 fl. oz.; Yensa

Turmeric is a great part of a healthy diet: it’s an excellent source of manganese, iron, fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, and Vitamin C. Did you know it can do wonders for your skin, too? Benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammation–reduces redness and calms skin conditions like eczema and rosacea
  • Antiseptic–helps to stop spread of bacteria, so it can help control acne
  • Reduces dark circles–stimulates circulation
  • Fights UV damage–improves appearance of fine lines and brown spots; improves elasticity loss caused by long-term sun exposure (that doesn’t mean you can skin on your sunscreen, though!)
  • Treats and prevents stretch marks–improves the function of skin membrane cells
  • Improves dry skin–speeds up the removal of dead skin cells and protects healthy cells from future damage

In other words, we can all afford to get a little more turmeric in our lives!

This mask is packed with great-for-you ingredients that will make your skin glow:

  • Pumpkin–boosts collagen production
  • Turmeric–(see list above)
  • Papaya–helps reduce discolorization
  • Grapefruit–brightens skin
  • Ginger–evens skin tone
  • Carrot–packed with Vitamin C and Beta-carotene, which your body converts to Vitamin A
  • Honey–anti-bacterial and soothing properties
  • Orange–more Vitamin C, plus citric acid to exfoliate

This mask had me at hello. It has a gel texture with lots of exfoliating granules (I think it’s cocoa shell powder.) I could smell the cinnamon, too, which reminded me of ExfoliKate. After washing your face, leave your skin damp, and massage a thin layer of the mask all over. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes (I did 10), then wet your fingers with warm water and massage the mask into your skin for 30 seconds before rinsing off.

My skin felt so clean, refreshed, smooth, and soft afterwards. I have a painful pimple on my upper lip right now, and I’m hoping that this mask plus my skin scrubber tonight will help me get rid of it. I would definitely recommend this mask if you’re looking for one product to address multiple skin issues.


Have you used skincare products with turmeric before? What did you think? Tell me about your favorite in the comments! Hope you 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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

ipsy: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10! You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

Spoil Me Sunday: Scrub-a-dub-dub

Hey, y’all!

First blog post of 2019! A lot of people start a new year off by hitting the gym, cleaning their home, and setting goals for the year ahead. I didn’t make any formal resolutions this year; I’m just focusing on being more consistent with healthy habits and routines I already initiated last year. I did do some cleaning around the house, but I was REALLY excited to use one of my Christmas presents to do some deep cleaning of my skin.

Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber

from Kingdom Cares

$49.99; Amazon

I’ve been wanting a skin scrubber ever since I got a facial for my birthday and the esthetician used one on me. My husband was sweet enough to give me one for Christmas. The included instructions were mildly helpful, but I found this YouTube video much more useful. After charging the device for a couple of hours, I used it on my husband first to test it out, but I couldn’t wait to use it on myself!

How Does It Work?

With a combination of ultrasonic vibration and positive ion technology, it draws impurities out of the skin. The same vibration in combination with negative ion technology helps improve skin’s absorption of your skincare products.

Step 1: Steam & Cleanse

I would recommend doing this after a hot shower, or you can put a warm wet towel on your face for a few minutes like you would for a facial. This will soften the skin and start to loosen up debris. Cleanse your face with your favorite cleanser, but don’t rinse it off. This will lubricate your skin and allow the device to glide over your skin.

Step 2: Exfoliate

Before you get started, clean the spatula with some rubbing alcohol. As you can see in the photo above, the spatula is angled. For this step, you want to make sure the angled side is pointing towards your face. You’re going to use the skin scrubber in positive ion mode to remove the cleanser. It’s important that the spatula is at a 45 degree angle. Use upward strokes in the center of your face (chin, nose, forehead); use outward strokes on your cheeks and jawline. This is exfoliating your skin and helping to bring deeper debris closer to the surface. You’ll need to wipe off the spatula between strokes; I went ahead and cleaned it with alcohol, too. When you’re finished, go ahead and rinse your face to remove any remaining residue, but don’t dry off afterwards.

Step 3: Extractions!

This is the part I was looking forward to the most–getting the deep, stubborn gunk out of my face! As you go you’ll have to keep re-wetting your skin. You’re using the same positive ion setting with the spatula pointing towards your face again. I extracted whiteheads that had been driving me crazy for weeks and blackheads that had been stubborn beyond belief. The curved edge and rounded corners of the spatula are really helpful in getting the contours of your nose. Don’t be too rough on your skin–it’s totally fine if you don’t get every single blemish in one go.

After one pass on my nose–gross but gratifying!

Step 4: Nourish

After getting all the junk out of your pores, it’s time to put some good stuff into it. I used my regular Glycolic Acid Toner for a little bonus exfoliation and my Snail Mucin Essence to hydrate. I skipped my nighttime Retinol Serum and replaced it with Rosehip Oil to hydrate, soothe, and reduce inflammation.

This time I turned the skin scrubber over so that the angle of the spatula was pointing away from me and put it into negative ion mode. This helps to get all those nutrients deeper into your skin. I refrigerate my Rosehip Oil to stop it from getting rancid, and the cool sensation feels wonderful.

Step 5: Lift

The video I watched went over this, and while I didn’t see much of a difference for myself, you might as well give it a shot. You’re still using the skin scrubber pointing away from you, but put it into “pad” mode instead. It feels like tiny little pricks of electricity (I promise it doesn’t hurt). Maybe I didn’t do it long enough to see a noticeable lifting or tightening of my skin. I finished off with some soothing moisturizer and called it a night. My skin felt so fantastically clean and invigorated.

Verdict

Long story short: I’m in love. I wouldn’t use this more than once a week, and I would only use it in the evening so that your skin has some time to recover and calm down overnight. I would absolutely recommend getting one. There are some expensive ones out there, but I honestly don’t know if there’s anything that makes them worth the extra money. Having one at home doesn’t replace getting a professional facial (which I don’t do as often as I should), but it helps with maintenance in between professional treatments.


Have you ever used a skin scrubber before? What did you think? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!

Yes, Oh Yas! December 2018

Hey, ya’ll!

Here we are on the last day of 2018, so let’s dive right into my final Yes, Oh Yas! box of the year!

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites. Retail values listed below my descriptions are what was listed by Yes, Oh Yas!

Tell Me ‘Pout It Hydrating Lip Mask

from MaskerAide

Photo of Tell Me 'Pout It Lip Mask from MaskerAide
$7 CAD; MaskerAide

I popped this mask on earlier today to make sure my lips are nice and soft for my midnight kiss. 🙂 It has a soft gel texture, similar to the lip mask I tried from Patchology. I left it on for 15 minutes and enjoyed the tingling sensation (totally normal), but I had a hard time getting it to stay adhered to my upper lip. My lips do feel hydrated and refreshed after using it, but I still prefer wash-off masks since they create less waste. You can get one of these gel masks for $7 CAD, or you can get a box of 4 for $25 CAD.

Key Ingredients:

  • Manuka Honey–hydrates skin
  • Fermented Rose–hydrates & calms
  • Grapefruit Oil–excellent source of Vitamins A & C to tone skin
  • Berry Complex–soothes skin and provides antioxidants
  • bioBRIT-3 Composite (a naturally-derived complex that includes Lechithin and Dipalmitoyl Hydroxproline)–plumps lips and has anti-aging properties

Retail Value: $10 USD

Badger Angle Blush Brush BK32

from Crown Brush

Photo of Badger Angle Brush BK32 from Crown Brush
$3.99; Crown Brush

YOY really seems to like Crown Brush because they include one of their brushes almost every month. Angled brushes like this are versatile because you can use them to apply highlighter/blush, or you can use it to contour the hollows of your cheeks. This badger bristle brush is soft, but I doubt I’ll keep it. I have so many already, so it’ll go into the giveaway bag. It has a very reasonable price point, if you want to pick one up.

Retail Value: $18

Cali Chic Eyeshadow Palette

from Beauty Creations Cosmetics

Photo of Cali Chic Palette from Beauty Creations Cosmetics
$11.99; Beauty Creations Cosmetics

Beauty Creations seems to be another YOY favorite brand. This palette is a combination of 5 matte and 4 shimmer neutral shades. Like other BC palettes I’ve received, the colors apply smoothly with a nice buildable color payoff, and they blend beautifully.

Retail Value: $28

Kissable Liquid Lipstick in “Dolled Up”

from Kokie Cosmetics

Photo of Kissable Liquid Lipstick in "Dolled Up" from Kokie Cosmetics
$6; Kokie Cosmetics

This warm pink isn’t the first shade I would have chosen, but I was surprised that I ended up liking it. I’m glad it’s more of a natural shade because after letting it dry down for a couple of minutes, I still had to blot quite a bit to prevent color transfer. I might have better luck if I apply it with a lip brush instead of the applicator.

Retail Value: $9

Pro Concealer Palette

from BelláPierre Cosmetics

Photo of Pro Concealer Palette from BellaPierre Cosmetics
$32.99; Amazon

This one was weird because I couldn’t find it anywhere on BelláPierre’s website. I understand the color theory of concealers like this: red covers blue-green (i.e. undereye circles or bruising), green covers red (i.e. acne or rosacea), and lavender covers yellow/brown (i.e. sallowness or hyperpigmentation). Applying and blending it to look natural without taking it off is another story, but hey, #beautygoals2019.

Retail Value: $21

Total Value: $86*

*If you go by the current website prices, the total comes out to $60.10 (current conversion rate for CAD to USD makes the lip mask $5.13.) For $14.99 + shipping that’s a win!


What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Leave a comment to tell me about it! I’d love to learn about some of your beauty goals are for the year, too.

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.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (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!