True Blue

Hey, y’all!

I got a sample of this mask as part of a free gift with purchase, and I was excited to try it out.

Multi-Action Blue Rescue Clay Renewal Mask

from StriVectin

Photo of deluxe sample Multi-Action Blue Rescue Clay Renewal Mask from StriVectin
$48 for 3.2 oz.; StriVectin

This mask is massage-activated, so I used my fingers instead of my mask spatula. It starts out white, and as you massage it on, the capsules of Blue Algae Extract and pigments burst, turning it a lovely light blue. The scent reminds me of your quintessential “Ocean Mist” or “Sea Breeze,” which I find soothing. You only leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off. My skin felt so soft afterwards, and the mask rinsed off fairly easily with a washcloth.

Key Ingredients:

  • Blue Algae
  • Probiotic Ferment
  • Seaweed (Red)
  • Shea Butter
  • White Clay

It truly is a multi-action mask: it’s soothing, nourishing, moisturizing, reducing signs of aging, and clarifying skin! I tend to love StriVectin products, and this mask certainly didn’t disappoint. I’d consider purchasing the full-size in the future.


What’s one of your favorite calming masks? Let me know in the comments.

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.

Key Ingredients Glossary

Hey, y’all!

This is something I’ve been meaning to create for awhile, and I’ll continue to add to it as time goes on. Whenever I include a list of key ingredients in a post, I’ll link it back to this page to include the benefits of individual ingredients. It’s in alphabetical order for easy reference.

Blue Algae:

  • Soothes & nourishes skin
  • Reduces visibility of fine lines

Honey:

  • Antibacterial properties make it great for acne treatment and prevention
  • Antioxidants slow down aging
  • Moisturizes & soothes
  • Opens up pores, making them easier to unclog

Probiotics:

Protect & nurture skin

Pumpkin:

  • Fruit enzymes + alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) increase cell turnover
  • Vitamin A & C soften, soothe, and increase collagen production
  • Zinc (found in the seeds) help with acne by controlling hormone levels and oil production, as well as helping skin to heal
  • Fatty acids and Vitamin E (also found in the seeds) help maintain skin’s natural barrier and regulate sebum

Seaweed:

  • Hydrates skin
  • Amino acids help to plump up skin, reducing fine lines
  • Omega, zinc, & magnesium help heal conditions like acne and rosacea while creating a barrier from harsh environmental conditions
  • Antioxidants include Vitamins B & C and help clear pigmentation issued caused by sun exposure

Shea Butter:

  • Source of fatty acids, antioxidants, and Vitamins A, D, E, & F
  • Moisturizes & soothes skin
  • Treats acne & blemishes
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Anti-aging
  • Anti-free radicals
  • Relieves itchy/peeling skin (including a dry, itchy scalp)
  • Restores elasticity
  • Reduces razor irritation
  • Reduces stretch marks
  • Unrefined shea butter is safe for use on babies and toddlers (excellent for use on diaper rash or eczema)
  • Great for lip care
  • Repairs damaged hair
  • Prevents hair loss
  • Treats split ends & breakage
  • Natural conditioner
  • Soothes muscle aches
  • Can alleviate Rheumatism
  • Can alleviate Arthritis
  • Can alleviate nasal inflammation & congestion
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Treats diarrhea
  • Wound & insect bite healing
  • Natural UV protection
  • Cooking alternative to coconut oil, butter, or olive oil

Turmeric

  • Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties reduce redness from blemishes and calm conditions like eczema and rosacea
  • Combats acne
  • Reduces dark circles
  • Improves fine lines & brown spots caused by sun damage, as well as preventing the loss of elasticity
  • Reduces appearance of stretch marks
  • Soothes dry skin

White Clay:

Draws out impurities without stripping skin

ipsy Glam Bag Review: March 2019

Hey, y’all!

ipsy got on the “strong women” train, and all of the products they chose this month were female-founded brands and girl boss must-haves. I’ve got to say, this bag might be one of my favorites so far. The rose gold and the empowering message were spot-on, plus there were some pretty fabulous products inside!

Hydra Veil Primer

from Illamasqua

Photo of sample size Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua
$45 for 1 fl. oz.; Illamasqua

I honestly can’t say if this worked any better than my regular primer, but I will say that it felt nice and light. The full-size comes with a little scooper, so you apply one scoop. The sample size didn’t come with one, but ipsy recommended a dime-size amount. I just eyeballed it. Illamasqua’s website suggests applying it with a foundation or highlighter brush. I just used my fingers, so I’ll have to give the brush method a try.

This product has Vitamins C and B3, which help maintain your skin’s moisture levels, while plant extracts calm and refresh.

Illamasqua is an English brand; I can’t tell you if a woman founded it, but their current Director of Artistry is a man named Pablo Rodriguez. They are very outspoken against animal cruelty, animal testing, prejudice, and intolerance, so they’re doing their part to make the world a better place. Definitely a brand worth checking out.

My Rating: 4/5

Dew Me Baked Highlighter in “Pearl”

from Estate Cosmetics

Photo of Dew Me Baked Highlighter in "Pearl" from Estate Cosmetics
$10; Estate Cosmetics

I was already familiar with this highlighter because I got “Afterglow” in my Yes, Oh Yas! box a few months back. “Pearl” is gorgeous, and I’m ore likely to use it on a regular basis. It’s not glittery, and it’s nice and buildable, which is perfect for day-to-day wear.

I’m not sure what Estate Cosmetic’s history is, but they’re based out of Montreal, and they have no patience for animal cruelty. Even if they weren’t founded by a woman or aren’t run by mostly women, they understand the importance of valuing women. Their “About Us” section ends with, “Yes, you’re a Queen. You deserve to be treated like one.” Get it!

My Rating: 5/5

Disco Kitten Illuminating Diamond Peel Off Mask

from I Dew Care

Photo of sample size Disco Kitten Illuminating Diamond Peel Off Mask from Memebox
$23 for 2.87 fl. oz.; I Dew Care

I am OBSESSED with this mask. Yes, it’s totally Insta-worthy, but more importantly, my skin looked and felt incredible after using it. It was a little tricky to use with my mask spatula (also from I Dew Care) because of how small this jar is and because the mask has the runny consistency of acrylic paint. I made it work. It took about 20 minutes for it to dry, but once I peeled it off (you know I LIVE for peel-off masks!) my skin felt so soft and was visibly more even. After I make some space in my beauty cabinet, I might have to purchase the full-size of this one!

So what’s the secret? Well, pearl powder exfoliates, diamond powder brightens, and oat extract soothes. Enjoy sparkling while you’re wearing it and glowing afterwards. 🙂

I Dew Care’s parent company is Memebox, which was founded by Hyungseok Dino Ha in 2012. His goal was to make Korean Beauty (K-Beauty) more accessible to the western world. I Dew Care’s products look cute and fun; I’m interested to try more of them.

My Rating: 5/5

I Am Adaptable Matte Liquid Lipstick

from REALHER

Photo of sample size I Am Adaptable Matte Liquid Lipstick from REALHER
$14 for full-size; REALHER

What makes you feel more badass than a classic red lip? I applied it with a lip brush and had great results. It felt pretty light, and there was no caking, drying, cracking, or bleeding. Yeah, it faded around the center of my mouth after lunch, but a quick touch-up was all I needed. It’s not transfer-proof by any means, but I still really liked it.

This particular lipstick was created in collaboration with Misty Diaz, who is a self-described “adaptive athlete.” A portion of the proceeds from this collaboration are donated to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

REALHER was founded by Bill Xiang, who was inspired by the birth of his daughter. I’m not going to try paraphrasing REALHER’s mission statement; I’m going to let you read it for yourself:

“We are a high quality, CERTIFIED CRUELTY-FREE and PARABEN FREE makeup brand featuring empowering and inspiring affirmations on our product. Our Mission is to inspire and bring out the best in the modern woman, to know her worth, to feel proud of her individuality, to love each and every one of her flaws, and to not fear who she really is. Each of our products come with a self-affirmation to remind us everyday that we are enough.”

Can we have more of this in the world, please? This is absolutely a brand I can get behind and want to check out more.

My Rating: 4/5

SS62 Short Shader Brush

from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

Photo of SS62 Short Shader Brush from SLMISSGlam Beauty

As is usually the case with SLMISSGLAM, most of their brushes can’t be bought individually. I can’t find this exact brush in this color anywhere on their site, but you can get a silver glitter version as part of their Silver Glitter Eye Set. (At the time of posting, it’s currently on sale for $39!) This brush is perfect for adding a pop of color to your inner corner or helping you achieve that perfect smoky eye. As always, SLMISSGLAM’s brushes are 100% cruelty-free.

Stephanie Lewis founded SLMISSGLAM Beauty in 2014, and she’s all about creating beauty tools that are as pretty as the products they’re applying.

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.6. I believe that might be my highest rated bag yet!

I’m curious to know what makes you feel empowered. Is it a bold red lip or a fierce cat eye? Maybe it’s your favorite pair of boss lady heels or being able to bench more than your body weight. I really want to know. Tell me 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.

Yes, Oh Yas! March 2019

Hey, ya’ll!

March is National Women’s History Month, so this month’s YoY theme was “Girl Power!”

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites at the time of posting. Yes, Oh Yas! stopped listing the dollar value of the box and just provided the total savings, based on the information they received from the individual partner companies.

Lash Allure Mascara in “Black”

from Bella Terra Mineral Cosmetics

Mascara in "Pitch Black" from Bella Terra Cosmetics
$19.99; Bella Terra Cosmetics

The packaging is different than on the website, which threw me a little, but I digress. I’m not a mascara girl. It was my least favorite part of doing stage makeup for ballet performances as a little girl, and I still avoid at all costs as an adult. I was going to put this mascara in my giveaway bag, but then I was getting ready for a wedding and needed some mascara to prep my lashes for putting on my falsies. I’m not really a mascara connoisseur, but this one doesn’t appear to be waterproof, so I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for myself. It came off fairly easily at the end of the night, so at least there’s that.

Ultra Precision Eyeliner in “Black”

from Doucce Cosmetics

Ultra Precision Eyeliner in "Black" from Doucce Cosmetics
$22; Doucce

I love, love, love this liner for my waterline. It goes on so smoothly with great pigmentation, and because it’s waterproof, it lasts all day. Two thumbs up, for sure.

Semisweet Eye Crayon

from Mirabella Beauty

Semisweet Eye Crayon from Mirabella Cosmetics
$20; Mirabella Beauty

I’m not a fan of the smudgy eyeliner look (probably because I’m not good at it–or maybe I’m not good at it because I don’t like it…hm.) Anyway, this pencil is waterproof and works great on my waterline instead. It goes on smooth as butter and creates a bit of a softer look than black.

Peachy Blush Cheek to Cheek Palette

from IBY Beauty

Photo of Peachy Blush Cheek to Cheek Palette from IBY Cosmetics
$16; IBY Beauty

The palette is cute, and these shades will flatter any complexion. These blushes blend like a dream and pack some serious pigmentation–a little bit of product goes a loooooong way. The website describes “Jive” as a Coral Peach and “Cha-Cha” as an Orange Marmalade. There’s also a Rosy Blush palette, which is what I probably would have gravitated towards. It contains “West Coast Swing” (Burnt Hibiscus) and “Foxtrot” (Rose Taupe.) This peachy palette will be gorgeous for spring/summer.

PS: these blushes contain Rosehip Seed Oil, which is great for your skin, and this product is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. 🙂

Lush Matte Cream in “Butter Cake”

from Moira Beauty

Photo of Lush Matte Cream Liquid Lipstick in "Butter Cake" from Moira Beauty
$7; Moira Beauty

I love trying new brands, and this was one I’d never even heard of before! I liked how well it set without being sticky or drying, and the color is a really flattering nude. My only complaint was that it started to break up over the course of the day, and it didn’t touch up well. At such a reasonable price point, though, you don’t have much to lose by trying it out. You’ve got 22 shades to choose from!

Total Value: $84.99

For $14.99 means I saved 82% on retail! What are you waiting for?


What made you feel empowered this month? Share in a comment!

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: February 2019

Hey, y’all!

Sorry I’m a little behind with this one, but February flew by, and with it came a cute lipstick print cosmetic bag filled with some fabulous goodies!

Glowstarter™ Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in “Nude Glow”

from GlamGlow

Photo of sample size Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in "Nude Glow" from GlamGlow
$49 for 1.7 fl. oz.; GlamGlow

A dewy finish isn’t really my thing (I tend to go more matte), but I went ahead and gave this a whirl anyway. The sweet citrusy scent was a little strong, but I used a small enough amount that it wasn’t overwhelming. I used the moisturizer like I would a highlighter (mainly on my cheekbones and the tip of my chin) before I put on primer. Let’s call it a “pre-highlighter” for when I’m feeling a little extra. I definitely had to wash my hands afterwards. It comes in 2 other colors: “Pearl Glow” and “Sun Glow;” “Nude Glow” was pretty and seems like it’d be pretty universally flattering. Do I think I’d purchase the full-size, though? Probably not. It’s just not my cup of tea. *shrug*

My Rating: 2/5

Fierce and Fine Graphic Pen in “Black”

from Doucce

Photo of Fierce and Fine Graphic Pen in "Black" from Doucce Cosmetics
$21; Doucce Cosmetics

I’m not as big a fan of felt tip liners because they sometimes skip a little, but this one goes on fairly smoothly. The only issue is the tip is so fine that I have to go over the same area multiple times. It’s waterproof and lasted all day without flaking or budging, but it still doesn’t top my $7.50 NYX Liquid Matte. What can I say? A higher price doesn’t always mean you’ll like it better.

My Rating: 4/5

Pressed Eyeshadow in “Taupe”

from Meech n Mia

Photo of Pressed Eyeshadow in "Taupe" from Meech N Mia
$11.50; Meech N Mia

This color is perfect for work when I’m short on time and just want a subtle wash of color on my lids. This mauve-pink shade is really flattering, and I can wear it alone, or use it to add a little depth to my eye look. The pan size is pretty generous, so this might become a workday staple. It went on velvety smooth and had no fallout and minimal kick-up.

My Rating: 5/5

Powder Brush 50F

from F.A.R.A.H. Brushes

Photo of Powder Brush 50F from F.A.R.A.H. Brushes

It’s so fluffy! I find it odd that I can’t find this exact brush anywhere on the F.A.R.A.H. website, but you can get one from their rose gold collection for $15, so I assume this one would be roughly the same price. The bristles aren’t quite as dense as my IT Cosmetics Luxe LBD Powder Brush #307, so it doesn’t pick up quite as much product. (Sometimes that’s a good thing.) Not to mention, this one is about 1/3 of the price, plus it’s 100% vegan and cruelty-free. According to ipsy, it’s versatile enough that you can use it for setting powder, bronzer, or blush. You know I love multi-use tools and products. 🙂

My Rating: 5/5

Studio Fix Powder Foundation in “NC30”

from MAC

Photo of sample size Studio Fix Powder Foundation in "NC30'" from MAC Cosmetics
$30 for .52 oz.; MAC Cosmetics

I started out not loving this foundation, but I warmed up to it. I hated it when I used the sponge applicator because it left my skin feeling kind of cakey and dry. It also ended up breaking up over the course of the day, even with makeup refreshing spray. I gave it another shot using a foundation brush. That was more successful, but given how small the pan is, it was somewhat inefficient, and I was paranoid that I wasn’t getting even coverage. It did hold up better over the course of the day, though, and it seems that the coverage is buildable. Maybe with a larger pan I’d have an easier time, but I’m also still a fan of the color-correcting properties of my Laura Geller pressed powder foundation.

My Rating: 3/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. How did your beauty subscriptions treat you in February? Tell me 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.

Yes, Oh Yas! February 2019

Hey, ya’ll!

Sorry I’m a little late on this one. Between February being a short month and celebrating our wedding anniversary last weekend, I’m a little behind on my posts. This month’s YOY box had 7 items! Check ’em out.

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites at the time of posting. This month Yes, Oh Yas! stopped listing individual item prices and just provided the total suggested MSRP, based on the information they received from the individual partner companies.

Waterproof Velvet Smooth Eyeliner in “525 Royal Blue”

from Kokie Cosmetics

Photo of Waterproof Velvet Smooth Eyeliner in 525 Royal Blue from Kokie Cosmetics
$6; Kokie Cosmetics

Ok, truth time: as soon as I saw this blue eyeliner, I was really hesitant to give it a try. Other than the occasional deep plum or olive, I tend to shy away from bold colors. After reading some tips online, I went for it…and I ended up loving the finished look! This liner glided on like a dream, and I was able to smudge it beautifully. It made my hazel eyes pop without looking over-the-top. It’s good to push yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then, even in little ways. 🙂

Emerald Eyeshadow Palette

from Beauty Creations

Photo of Emerald Palette from Beauty Creations
$11.99: Beauty Creations

First off, I’m confused about the actual name of this palette. Clearly it says “Emerald” but on the Beauty Creations website it’s called “Esmeralda.” Huh?

Anyway, as far as the palette itself, I love how many mattes it has. I feel like the tones are more autumn than spring, but at least most of the colors are subdued enough to use for work. With all of the palettes I’ve been getting, I need to have a de-potting party soon!

Lip Crayon in “Dangerous”

from Bang Beauty

$18; Bang Beauty

This was another product I was hesitant to try because the color was outside of my normal palette. I was brave, but as soon as I applied it, I regretted everything. I didn’t feel like I could pull it off at full intensity (this was too far out of my comfort zone.) I blotted it (quite a few times), so it ended up being more sheer, which I didn’t mind one bit. I ended up using it as more of a lip stain, which worked out okay. I’m not sure how often I’ll wear it, though, because even after blotting it’s still so. dang. bright.

Crease Brush, Angled Brush, & Small Concealer Brush

from Inmo Cosmetics

Photo of Crease Brush, Angled Brush, and Small Concealer Brush from Inmo Cosmetics

You can’t buy any of these individually, but they come as part of the 12-piece “Essentials” set.

  • Crease Brush (top): I got one of these from ipsy recently, so this new one is going in my giveaway bag.
  • Angled Brush (middle): Unlike my other angled brushes, this one has shorter bristles, so it helps me apply shadow on the outer corner of my eyes with a little more control.
  • Concealer Brush (bottom): I don’t see myself using this very often for concealer because it’s pretty small, but it could come in handy for highlighting the inner corners of my eyes.

Wholly Addiction Eyeliner in “Shimmer Bronze”

from J.Cat Beauty

Photo of Wholly Addiction Pro Define Eyeliner in "Shimmer Bronze" from J.Cat Beauty
$2.99; J.cat Beauty

I’m reeeeeeally not a fan of regular wooden pencil eyeliners. They tug and skip, and I love a clean defined line. I just swatched this one, and then added it to the giveaway bag. Meh. Reasonable price point, at least.

Total Value: $93*

*If you go by the current website prices, the total comes out to $50.23 (I took the brush set and divided by 12 to estimate each brush’s value.) For $14.99 + shipping, those are some great savings!


Any new favorite products in February? Leave a comment, and do tell!

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: 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!