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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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


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Spoil Me Sunday: Out with the Old

Hey, y’all!

I’m slowly using up my sheet mask stash. Next up is…

Daily Wonders Breakup with Your Ex-Skin Cells Sheet Mask

from Leaders Cosmetics USA

Photo of Breakup with Your Ex-Skin Cells Sheet Mask from Leaders USA Cosmetics
$5 ea. or $48 for a 10-pack; Leaders Cosmetics USA

This cotton sheet mask has Witch Hazel and Alpine Willow Herb extracts to help get rid of dead skin cells, combat acne, and reduce redness. The fit was ok, but it tented on the sides of my nose. The nose area was a little wide, so I had to stretch the upper lip a bit to get it to lay flat. After I took it off, my skin looked brighter and felt plump and moisturized. (A full night’s sleep last night certainly didn’t hurt.) I’d buy more sheet masks if they were more environmentally-friendly. Here’s hoping for some new skincare innovations in the near future!


How often do you use sheet masks? What’s your preferred kind of skin treat?

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.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: Pretty in Pink

Hey, y’all!

Do you ever have those weekends where you don’t feel like doing anything at all? That’s where I’m at this weekend. I’m down to just chill, but it doesn’t seem my skin is on the same page. I’ve been breaking out, which is unusual for me, other than right before my period. I haven’t been able to figure out the cause, but I picked up this new mask a few weeks ago and finally decided to try it out. It’s more than I’ve ever spent on a face mask before, but it was on sale (still is) and I considered it my birthday present for myself. I think I might end up in love. 🙂

Complete Skincare Pack

from Alya Skin

Photo of Complete Skincare Pack from Alya Skin
$69.99; Alya Skin

I had been seeing this Pink Perfect Australian Pink Clay Mask popping up on my Instagram feed over and over, and when I finally decided to check it out, it was 40% off and includes free worldwide shipping. (The site said the deal was ending that day, but weeks later it’s still going…sneaky.) Anyway, I spent the extra $10 to get the Complete Skincare Pack, so the 4.23oz mask came with a pink bamboo face wash towel, too. There were countless reviews about how it brightens skin, tightens pores, reduces redness, helps get rid of breakouts….sign me up!

So what are the active ingredients?

  • Kaolin (pink clay): detoxifies skin, helps remove pigmentation clusters from the surface, and stimulates skin cell regeneration
  • Aloe Vera + Pomegranate: reduce inflammation, assist in removing eczema and acne, tighten pores, smooth skin, and give you a nice little antioxidant boost
  • Witch Hazel: anti-aging, tones the skin, speeds up healing of pimples, and detoxifies skin

I love that this mask is safe for sensitive skin, plus it’s vegan and cruelty-free! It has a floral scent that was a little strong at first, but I got used to it. I just put the mask on for 10 minutes and then gently removed it with the bamboo cloth afterwards. Obviously nothing is going to fix all of my skin’s problems in 10 minutes, but my skin did look brighter, a lot of the redness I had was gone, and it felt so smooth. Because the mask is so gentle, you can use it up to 3 times a week, so I’m excited to see the results after regular use! It’s pricey compared to masks I usually buy, but if it works, it just might be worth it.

If you live in Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, there are tons of places you can buy this mask in person. There’s a store locator on their website; according to it, there’s a place in New Jersey, and that seems to be it for the US. It’s confusing because there are some other US pins on the map, but when you click on them, they show New Zealand addresses. *shrug* Take advantage of the 40% sale online and pick some up for yourself!


Have you tried this pink clay mask? How did you like 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.)

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!

Spoil Me Sunday: Make Your Unicorn Dreams Come True

Hey, y’all!

I’ve gotten a few new masks lately, and this week I decided to try the sheet mask I got in my June ipsy bag.

#Unicornglow Perfect Radiance Tencel Facial Mask

from Biobelle Cosmetics

Photo of #Unicornglow Perfect Radiance Sheet Mask from Biobelle Cosmetics
$4.99; Biobelle

I’ve been avoiding buying sheet masks in an effort to be more eco-conscious, so I had changed my preferences on my ipsy profile to not include sheet masks in future bags. They included one this month, which made me roll my eyes a little. After reading up on it a bit, though, I learned that this mask is made of a fiber called Tencel, which comes from the pulp of wood from entirely sustainable forests. It also means that the mask is biodegradable. That doesn’t solve the issue of the packaging, but at least it didn’t have plastic backing on the mask itself, so I’ll take back half of the eye rolling I did. 🙂

First off, I was a little disappointed the mask didn’t have any cute shapes on it like the last Biobelle mask I got or like the photo shows on the website, but I’ll live. It straight up smells like chocolate, which I can’t complain about. The chocolate and mulberry help to smooth out uneven skin tone, and honey hydrates. The website claims it adheres perfectly to the contours of your skin, which I didn’t find to be true; I still got some tenting on the sides of my nose.

My skin did feel hydrated afterwards, but not enough to want to re-purchase. I do appreciate that this mask is not tested on animals, is anti-pollution, paraben-free, and sulfate-free. It just didn’t “wow” me enough to want to end my break with sheet masks.


Have you tried this mask before? What did you think? How much does eco-friendliness factor into your beauty purchases?

Glow on, you gorgeous unicorn!

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: Sea Salt and Vinegar

Hey, y’all!

Nope, I’m not talking about potato chip flavors, I’m talking about haircare–Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Apple Cider Vinegar, to be exact. I got this sample a couple of weeks ago and was curious to try it out.

Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub

from dpHUE

Photo of Apple Cider Vinegar Scalp Scrub sample from dpHUE
$38 for 9 oz.; dpHUE

This scrub has 4 simple ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Avocado Oil
  • Aloe Vera

Just rub 1-2 tablespoons between your hands and then work it into your scalp, starting from your hairline to the middle of your head and then from the bottom up. This scrub gets rid of dead skin cells and product buildup without stripping your scalp of its natural sebum. Your hair can only be as healthy as your scalp. I don’t dye my hair, but if you do, this product also helps balance your hair’s pH after color treatment and helps the color last.

I was afraid it would leave my hair smelling like vinegar, but the smell rinsed away completely and left my scalp feeling incredibly clean. I used it after shampooing and conditioning, but the instructions didn’t specify whether to do it before or after. The only drawback for me was that the price point seems a little steep for just those 4 ingredients. I found a somewhat similar recipe for a DIY scrub here that I’m going to try out. I don’t mind a little DIY to save at least $30! Happy scalp, happy wallet, happy Sarah. 🙂


Do you have a favorite scalp scrub product or recipe? Do tell!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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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.)

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Spoil Me Sunday: The Answer is in the Tea Leaves

Hey, y’all!

It’s been raining a lot for the past week here in Orlando, and in addition to making my old back injury hurt, this weather makes me sleepy and a little lazy. I was excited to try out the mask I got in my ipsy bag this month while I was hanging around the house.

Centella 65 Green Tea Pack

from PureHeals by Nature Village

Photo of sample size Centella 65 Green Tea Pack Calming Mask from Pure Heals by Nature Village
$32 for 4.58 oz.; Ulta

My skin is healing from some hormonal breakouts, so I was all about a calming mask. I’m a huge fan of green tea when it comes to drinking it, as well as in my skincare products. The antioxidants are so good for your skin, and their anti-aging benefits are nothing to sneeze at. Some of the active ingredients include:

  • 65% pure Centella Asiatica extract–helps to reduce redness
  • Kaolin Clay–balances oil production without drying
  • Green Tea Leaves–tighten skin and soften fine lines thanks to antioxidants
  • Salicylic Acid–fades blemishes, exfoliates skin, reduces inflammation
  • Glycolic Acid–exfoliates skin, anti-aging benefits

When I opened the sample pod, all I smelled was green tea. No perfumes, no artificial fragrances–it was perfect. I used my mask spatula to apply it evenly all over my face and then let it sit for about 15 minutes. It felt really refreshing and left my skin feeling hydrated after I washed it off. The tea leaves did make it a little tricky to rinse off, so I used a washcloth.

When I was looking up where I can buy the full-size product, I was glad to see that it’s available online from Ulta and that it comes in a jar that I assume is recyclable. I can’t find any concrete information on whether or not this brand is cruelty-free, so that’s still a question I have.


Have you tried any products from PureHeals before? I’d love to hear about it 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.)

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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!