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


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 Glam Bag Review: July 2018

Hey, y’all!

Summer isn’t over yet, and this month’s super cute shimmery aqua bag is perfect for taking to the pool. The theme around this month’s products was all about keeping your skin and hair healthy and happy, in spite of all the sun, sand, salt, and chlorine. I loved that there were so many waterproof products you could get in your bag. Look at what I got!

Studio Skin Concealer in “Light”

from Smashbox Cosmetics

Photo of Studio Skin 24 Hour Waterproof Concealer in "Light" from Smashbox Cosmetics
$25 for .08 fl. oz.; Smashbox Cosmetics

It’s waterproof, hydrating, cruelty-free, oil-free, and has a matte finish. What’s not to love? It does a great job of staying put all day, even through a sweaty gym session. Not to mention, hooray for getting a full-size item! My only complaint is that it doesn’t have full enough coverage to completely conceal the dark circles under my eyes, so I’m still using my Shape Tape for that.

My Rating: 4/5

City Chic Eyeshadow in “Skinny Latte”

from City Color Cosmetics

Photo of City Chic Eye Shadow in "Skinny Latte" from City Color Cosmetics
$3.99; City Color Cosmetics

I’ve gotten City Color Cosmetics eyeshadows from ipsy before, and I love them! The formula has a smooth application with no fallout, plus there’s the great pigmentation, huge pan size, and really affordable price point. This color caught me by surprise because I thought it would be a shimmery light taupe that I could use as an all-over color when I’m low on time. It ended up coming out a LOT lighter and WAY more shimmery than I anticipated. I can basically only use it as a highlighting shade without looking like I just walked out of an early 2000s music video. Lesson learned.

My Rating: 4/5

Pure Skin Face Cleanser

from First Aid Beauty

Photo of sample size Pure Skin Face Cleanser from First Aid Beauty
$10 for 2 oz.; First Aid Beauty

I got this cleanser in my glam bag a few months ago and liked it. It’s got antioxidants to protect my skin, it’s fragrance-free, and it’s pH balanced to maintain skin’s natural acidity. Most importantly, it doesn’t leave my skin feeling tight and dry after I use it. This is perfect to have in my travel bag!

My Rating: 4/5

Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream

from H2O+ Beauty

Photo of sample size Oasis Ultra Hydrating Cream from H2O+ Beauty
$42 for 1.7 fl. oz.; H2O+ Beauty

This water-gel cream moisturizer feels sooooo nice–I wish the sample was bigger! It has water lily extract to condition my skin and illuminating pigments to give it a subtle glow. I can feel a difference in my skin’s moisture level after using this. I love this product, but I probably won’t spring for a full-size jar.

My Rating: 5/5

I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in “Whiskey”

from Beauty For Real

Photo of I-Line 24-7 Eyeliner in "Whiskey" from Beaty for Real
$14; Beauty For Real

This is a brand I’d never heard of before, so I was interested to try this gel eyeliner out. It’s waterproof, made with Vitamin E, and cruelty-free! The fact that it’s retractable makes it convenient, but it also means you can’t get a super tight, defined line. The formula is fine for sensitive skin, if that’s a concern, and this shade is a lovely warm brown with a subtle shimmer. It’s nice to be able to change it up from black to something else that I can still wear to work. 🙂

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.2–the highest one of 2018 so far! How many of these products have you tried?

Any new favs in your July beauty subscription(s)? Tell me all about ’em!

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!

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


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! July 2018

Hey, y’all!

This month’s theme was “Summer in the Desert,” and I got 5 full-size products. I don’t know about where you live, but here in Florida it’s more like a rainforest than a desert–super humid and hot, hot, hot. Anyway, these products totally scream summer. Let’s jump in!

*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!

Perfect Performance Lip Colour in “Bliss”

from Sormé Cosmetics

Perfect Performance Lip Colour in "Bliss" from Sorme Treatment Cosmetics
$16; Skincare Makeup Shop

I’m not typically a bullet lipstick kind of gal. I tend to prefer matte liquid, so I’m not sure if I’m going to keep and use this (so far I’ve only swatched it). The color was much sheerer than I expected, but I don’t really like shimmery lipsticks. It’s infused with Vitamin E to moisturize and protect your lips, but I’m dubious about its staying power.

Retail Value: $22*

*Sormé doesn’t sell directly from their own website. They have authorized online retailers as well as brick and mortar retailers. Maybe this retailer has better deals?

Desert Vibes Eyeshadow Palette

from IBY Beauty

Photo of Desert Vibes Eyeshadow Palette from IBY Beauty
$20; IBY Beauty

IBY stands for “Inspired By You” (in case you were wondering). This 12-shade palette, inspired by California desert sunsets, is an absolutely gorgeous mix of matte and shimmer shades. They apply very smoothly with no fallout, and they blend effortlessly. They’re infused with Rosehip Seed Oil to protect your skin, and with the intense pigmentation, the looks you can create are endless! The arrangement of the colors within the palette from light to dark make it easier to create smooth transitions, and it’s cruelty-free. Gotta love that!

Retail Value: $25*

*A noticeable difference from the website–not sure why…

Perse Professional Smearproof Lip Liner in “Nudist P21”

from Sormé Cosmetics (?)

8fc0d1f9-de20-4f55-917e-29eaf2c88fbd

This one frustrates me. I can’t for the life of me find this specific lip liner online in this color. It says Sormé Company on the back, but this color is nowhere on the Sormé website, or the authorized online retailers. Whatever it is and wherever it’s from, it applies smoothly and is a nice color. I’ll have to test out the longevity to let you know for sure, but I’ve been needing a nude lip liner, so this is perfect.

Retail Value: $23

Lemongrass Exfoliating Face Wash

from Jivi

Photo of Exfoliating Face Wash in Lemongrass from Jivi
$12 for 1.7 fl. oz.; Jivi

I had never heard of this brand before, but they seem to hold themselves to some pretty high standards, which is impressive. This is from their website:

All of our products are:

  • Edible and 100% natural
  • Safe and non-toxic
  • Tear-free, hypoallergenic, and pH balanced
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Made without petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, dyes…you get the point
  • Cruelty-free, and made without animal products
  • Gluten-free
  • Free of synthetic preservatives. We use vitamin E and rosemary along with our German-engineered airless bottles to give our products a 12-month shelf life
  • Designed and manufactured in Apex, NC

Pretty cool. This face wash caught me off-guard when I first used it because it’s an exfoliating face wash, but there’s no grittiness to it. It turns out the exfoliation comes from the pineapple and papaya enzymes that remove dead skin cells. The smell was a little weird at first, but I got used to it. It’s better than having perfumes in it! I probably would have liked the Eucalyptus Mint better, but oh well. I like that this leaves my face feeling clean but not totally dried out and stripped. I’m not used to being able to pronounce and identify every single ingredient in a face wash (or most beauty products, for that matter), so that was refreshing. 🙂 I’m definitely curious to check out some of their other products!

Retail Value: $18*

*This is a noticeable difference from the $12 value listed on the website. There’s no indication that it’s currently on sale or anything, so I don’t really know what to make of that.

Insanely Intense Tattooed Eyeliner in “Plum”

from Skone Cosmetics

Photo of Insanely Intense Tattooed Eyeliner from Skone Cosmetics
$15 for .07 oz.; Skone Cosmetics

I got this eyeliner in “Jet Black” in one of my first ipsy bags, and I remember liking it. I was glad to get it in “Plum” this time because it’s a nice subtle alternative to black, and I’ve been meaning to get one. The color is nice and intense, and the felt tip applicator comes to a nice fine point, so you can draw your line as thin or thick as your little heart desires. I encounter a little bit of skipping, but I’ll fully admit that that could just be user error. 🙂 Waterproof, smudge-proof, cruelty-free, and a decent price point. What’s not to love?

Retail Value: $19*

*Again with the price differences. What’s going on this month?

Total Package Value: $107*

*If you go off of the website prices, it’s $86 (assuming the lip liner price is accurate since I can’t find anything to suggest otherwise), but for $14.99, I’ll take it!


I’ve been seeing spoilers on Instagram for next month’s box, and I’m already getting excited! My July box came later in the month than usual, but at least it came! Hopefully things go back to normal in August.

What goodies did you get in your beauty subscription(s) this month? Anything you recommend?

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!

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


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!

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.)

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: 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.)

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!