Spoil Me Sunday: I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Hey, y’all!

I’m a total boss at skincare when it comes to my face. Below the neck I’m not nearly as disciplined. (Hey, no one’s perfect.) It’s hard with my hands and feet because doing aerial silks, I need them to have traction, but at the same time, a girl wants to be able to wear strappy heels and sandals without feeling self-conscious, and no one actually wants their hands to feel like sandpaper.

I can pumice my feet into submission, but hands are a little more delicate. That’s where this miracle worker comes in:

Limited-Edition Blissful Pomegranate Satin Hands Pampering Set

from Mary Kay

Photo of Limited Edition Blissful Pomegranate Satin Hands Pampering Set from Mary Kay
$36; Mary Kay

This set was an unexpected gift from my mom when she and my dad came to visit recently. 🙂 I used to use the original Satin Hands set a lot in high school. It smelled like roses, and it left my hands feeling ridiculously soft. The fresh, subtle pomegranate scent of this set smells really good, too. It’s a 3-step process that’s super easy.

Step 1: Protect

The unscented Satin Hands Protecting Softener is pretty self explanatory–it protects the skin and seals in moisture to prepare it for Step 2. Make sure you get every square inch, including between your fingers, and don’t wash it off before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Exfoliate

I’m obsessed with exfoliating, so here’s where things get really good! The Satin Smoothie Refining Shea Scrub gently exfoliates your hands, while the Shea Butter in it helps to soften them even more. After a thorough scrubbing (I’d recommend about 30 seconds), rinse it off and pat your hands dry.

Step 3: Soothe

Now that you’ve gotten all the dead skin, dirt, and nastiness off your hands, it’s time to moisturize so you can keep your hands feeling soft. The Satin Hands Nourishing Shea Cream has more Shea Butter to up the moisture factor even more. It claims to moisturize your hands for 24 hours, but I wash my hands a LOT, so I’m skeptical about that part. I like the fact that it doesn’t leave your hands feeling greasy, just soft and smooth.

You can also use the Shea Cream by itself as a hand cream, but I’m terrible about remembering to use hand cream, and it would make it harder to do silks.


I’ll usually use this about once a week so that it doesn’t interfere with silks.

What’s your favorite hand product? Leave a comment so I can check it out!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Spoil Me Sunday: Feeling Fresh for the First Day Back

Hey, y’all!

We’re back from our honeymoon in Ireland, and tomorrow it’s back to work, the gym, and all those other real world things. (sigh) I’ll be posting about our trip soon, but there are about 850 photos to go through.

We got back on Wednesday and took the rest of the week off from work, so we had time to get over the jet lag, do our grocery shopping, etc. Now it’s feeling like the night before the first day of school all over again. We’ve only been gone for 2 weeks, but it feels like a lot longer.

I don’t know about you, but when I was in middle school and high school, I always liked to do a mini home spa day the day before the first day of school. I’d give myself a facial, do my nails, and all that jazz. I didn’t have the energy to do the full shebang this time, but I tried out one of the items from my October ipsy bag:

Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask

from Aphrodite

Photo of sample size Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask from Aphrodite
$16.99* for 2.53 oz.; Aphrodite

I’ve got to say, Ireland agrees with my skin. My complexion cleared up noticeably (I think not using cleansing conditioner and getting more sleep both helped), and my skin felt healthy and moisturized throughout the trip. The one exception to that feeling was when we were flying. A total of 10 hours on planes each way dried my skin out like crazy. I brought some refreshing spray to mitigate it, but that could only do so much. Needless to say I was very excited to get this mask in my ipsy bag this month!

To start off with, I liked the fact that this mask has a very subtle scent that doesn’t smell artificial. Its thin texture meant that it applied easily, dried quickly, and washed off easily. After washing it off, I splashed cold water on my face to close up my pores. My skin feels so soft and fresh! I followed up with my normal nighttime skincare regimen, but I skipped the toner this time.

Key Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil: fabulous for your skin because it’s chock full of Vitamins A & E plus antioxidants that protect your skin
  • Witch Hazel: reduces inflammation
  • Aloe Vera: soothes skin
  • Spirulina Extract: draws out toxins from your skin
  • Chamomile: soothes skin
  • White Lotus: source of vitamin C, B complex, antioxidants, and several minerals that nourish and brighten your complexion. It can also help control sebum production, hydrate, improve elasticity, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. (Wow, that’s like a superfood for your skin!)

Once I get through the sizable collection of masks I have, I would definitely consider buying this one!

* At the time of writing this post, this mask is currently on sale for $10.99 on the Aphrodite website.


Do you incorporate olive oil into your beauty regimen in any way? How about lotus? Tell me about some of your favorite products in the comments below!

Hope you have a great week. Stay tuned for my monthly ipsy post, as well as posts about Ireland!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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Spoil Me Sunday: Bronze Goddess

Hey, y’all!

Despite the title, this post has nothing to do with tanning. Behold the peel off mask that made me look like a female version of Xerxes from the movie 300 (minus all the bling).

“Take Away the Drama” Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask

from Hey Honey

Photo of sample size "Take Away the Drama" Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask from Hey Honey
$49 for 2 fl. oz.; Hey Honey

This peel off mask came in my August ipsy bag, and it’s so pretty! It comes out of the tube totally metallic, almost like a copper paint. The ingredients list says there’s fragrance in it, but I didn’t notice it.

Key ingredients:

  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis (Tea) Leaf Extract, & Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter: provide moisture to the skin
  • Honey: antibacterial properties, full of antioxidants to combat aging, moisturizes, soothes, and clarifies skin–it’s a skincare powerhouse!
  • Lactic Acid: exfoliates
  • Copper Gluconate: copper peptides reduce signs of aging by increasing collagen and elastin production, helping to nourish skin and increase its elasticity
  • Zinc Gluconate: boosts skin’s healing process and can help fight acne

The mask went on pretty smoothly, but I had some trouble getting it off. I think I applied too thin of a layer, but with it being a fairly small sample, I was afraid to use too much. So many good-for-you ingredients, and my skin looked great afterwards, but I don’t know if I care to splurge on the full-size.


What are some of your favorite honey skincare products? Any DIY recipes you swear by? I’d love to hear about them!

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: Full Strength

Hey, y’all!

I managed to get a sample of this peel that I’ve been wanting, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it. Let’s jump right in!

Green Apple Peel Full Strength Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of Green Apple Peel Full Strength sample from Juice Beauty
$48 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

I tried the sensitive peel a few weeks ago, and while it worked fine, I wondered if the full strength would do more. When I was first introduced to Juice Beauty, the rep told me about how uncomfortable she found the full strength to be the first time. I was curious to try it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive.

Key Ingredients:

  • Lemon Juice & Apple Juice: source of fruit acids that smooth skin and even skin tone
  • Aloe Juice: moisturizes skin
  • Lactic & Glycolic Acids: alpha hydroxy acids that chemically exfoliate the skin
  • Grape Seed Oil & Grape Seed Extract: source of antioxidants
  • Vitamin A: reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin C & E: nourish skin
  • Willow Bark Extract: beta hydroxy acid that exfoliates, moisturizes, and works both on the surface and within your pores; it BHAs also have skin calming properties

I didn’t really feel any tingling, but I did experience some flushing after I rinsed it off (it went away after 10 minutes or so.) I followed up with some Nutrient Moisturizer that I got in my Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit, which felt nice. My skin felt smoother and looked noticeably brighter afterwards. I’m curious how much effect this could have on my skin long-term, but I’m on the fence because of the price point. We’ll see!


What are you up to this lazy Sunday? Trying anything new?

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: Soak It In

Hey, y’all!

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not a soak in the tub kind of girl. I feel like I’m wasting my time, it wastes water, and it kinda grosses me out if I overthink it. Sometimes you just have to suck it up, though. My muscles, especially in my back, are still a little angry with me after that flexibility workshop last week. The heating pad and ice packs are helping, but it was time to up my recovery game and do an Epsom Salt soak.

Comfort & Calm Pure Epsom Salt Soak with Chamomile

from Dr Teal’s

Photo of Comfort & Calm Epsom Salt Soaking Solution with Chamomile from Dr Teal's
$20.40 for 6 lbs; Amazon

This stuff smells so good! I’ve used it before to help my hands heal faster after Lyra class rips them up, but I usually don’t take the time to soak my whole body in it. The healing properties of the Epsom Salt plus the increased blood flow induced by the warm water help fast-track you to feeling less pain after soaking for 12-20 minutes. The essential oils leave a bit of a residue on my skin, but a quick shower afterwards fixes that.

So how does it work? Well, Magnesium Sulfate aka Epsom Salt is a naturally occurring mineral compound with multiple healing properties. When the Magnesium is absorbed into the skin, it can reduce the brain’s pain responses, but it also helps control other body proteins, increasing overall performance. Sulfate, a combination of sulfur and oxygen, flushes out toxins and forms proteins that improve joint and tissue performance. The essential oils in this particular Epsom Salt soak also provide an aromatherapy component that helps you to further relax.

You can get this on Amazon (link in photo caption), or you can find it at most drug stores. PS: this product isn’t tested on animals. 🙂


How do you recover after an intense workout? Any tips or tricks? I’d love to hear them!

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: Stretching My Limits

Hey, y’all!

I tried something different today because, as cheesy as it sounds, beauty does come from within. As I’ve mentioned before, I work out at an aerial gym, Elevated Fitness, 6 days a week. Normally Sunday is my rest day, but since I took Friday off of work, Friday was my rest day this week. Every few months, Duo Rose will come to town and teach some trapeze workshops at the gym. I still don’t feel like I have the arm strength to do trapeze (goals), but I was interested in the Flexibility and Contortion Workshop taught by Sylvia. I’m pretty flexible thanks to my years of dance training, but my car accident a couple of years ago caused me to lose some of the flexibility in my spine, particularly my thoracic spine. My shoulders have also been tight and a little tender from doing aerial, but I figured, why not see what my body can do?

We started out doing stretches to prep for our splits. It weirded me out that we didn’t do any cardio or anything to get the blood flowing, so imagine my surprise that even though my muscles didn’t feel particularly warm, I was able to go straight into my splits afterwards. Some of the stretches were new to me, some were variations on old favorites. It’s always nice to expand my repertoire!

After splits, it was time to work on shoulders and forearms–mine are always in need of some good stretching. Being able to stretch both at once with a single stretch? Yes, please! We also did shoulder stretches on the wall that help you open up your upper back.

Then it was time for back bends–the part I was most nervous about and yet the most interested to try. I can’t do them from standing, so I worked on being able to press up and shift my weight around between my arms and my legs. Eventually I was able to go down to my elbows (with some assistance.)

img_1508_facetune_22-07-2018-15-27-06

Then we practiced being able to kick over:

img_1503_facetune_22-07-2018-15-37-49
That’s Ute, one of my aerial instructors, in the background. I could tell her proverbial wheels were turning with ideas for our next flexibility class…

By the end of it, my back felt exhausted. I might have pushed a little too hard…oops. I have good and bad back days, but I refuse to let it limit me–I just have to listen to my body. I’ll be on my heating pad for the rest of the afternoon. 🙂


How often do you stretch? Leave a comment and tell me about the last time you pushed your limits–physical, mental, you name it!

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: So A-peel-ing!

Hey, y’all!

As you read from my June Ulta Beauty Haul post, I picked up the Daily Hydrating Solutions Kit from Juice Beauty. One of the items in the kit was this this peel, and I was eager to try it out. Keep reading to see how it went!

Green Apple Peel Sensitive Exfoliating Mask

from Juice Beauty

Photo of sample size Green Apple Peel Sensitive from Juice Beauty
$42 for 2 oz.; Juice Beauty

On one of my trips to Ulta, I got to talking with the Juice Beauty rep, and she was telling me about how she tried the full strength peel first and almost instantly regretted it because it was so intense. She recommended starting with the sensitive first, so I heeded her advice.

Key ingredients include:

  • Organic Apple Juice: the source of malic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin
  • Organic Lemon Juice: additional source of fruit AHAs
  • Organic Aloe Juice: soothes and moisturizes skin
  • Glycolic Acid: another AHA
  • Lactic Acid: another AHA, milder than glycolic acid, that’s used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, etc.
  • Vitamins A&C: reduce appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Vitamin E: moisturizes and nourishes skin

As soon as you squeeze it out of the tube, you can smell the apple, and it pretty much has the consistency of apple butter–no complaints here. I spread it all over my face, set a timer for 10 minutes, and braced myself for the tingling and flushing (totally normal side effects). …Not much happened. I felt some minor tingling around a couple of blemishes, but other than that, nada. Don’t get me wrong, after I rinsed it off, my skin felt clean, refreshed, and invigorated. I skipped toner afterwards, and just used my regular regimen of essence, serum, eye creams, and moisturizers.

Maybe I didn’t put on a thick enough layer? Maybe my skin isn’t as sensitive as I thought? I kind of want to try the full-strength to see if I get more noticeable results. I’d probably be less hesitant if I could get my hands on a sample size, rather than shelling out the $48 just to find out that my skin can’t handle it. Have you tried it before? How intense was it?


Well, I tried my first at-home facial peel, and I didn’t get any disastrous results. Whew! What’s your favorite at-home peel?

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.)

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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!