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!

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: 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


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: 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.)

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: Green Tea

Hey, y’all!

This week left me exhausted to the point where I slept for 15 hours last night. I had planned to give myself a pedicure and do a mini spa day, but waking up at 2pm didn’t give me much time, so I tried out a new mask instead.

7th Heaven Green Tea Peel-Off Mask

from Montagne Jeunesse

Photo of 7th Heaven Green Tea Peel-Off Mask from Montagne Jeunesse
$1.99; Ulta

Some of the key ingredients in this mask include:

  • Ginger–anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antibacterial properties
  • Lemon–antibacterial and antiseptic properties, plus brightens skin
  • Green Tea–antioxidants to protect skin from free radicals

Thanks to these ingredients, the mask had a very clean scent and left my skin feeling refreshed after I took it off. My one complaint about it is that the consistency is very runny for a peel-off mask. It got drippy around my jawline, and it ended up running into my eyebrows. Considering all of the other peel masks I’ve tried and liked, I don’t think I’d repurchase this one. I’ve liked the other masks I’ve tried from this brand, the 2-in-1 being my favorite. This one just didn’t quite do it for me.


Do you like peel-off masks? What’s your favorite?

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah


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: Bubbles!

Hey, y’all!

How are you? It’s been another busy week, and the weather here is getting hotter by the day. I may hail from Central Texas, but that doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the heat. Anyway, I wanted to give my skin a boost, and I was eager to try out a new mask today!

Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask

from H20+ Beauty

Photo of Rapids Soothing Probiotic Bubble Mask from H20+ Beauty
$6 for 1 fl. oz.; H20+ Beauty

I had heard about bubble masks but had never tried one. I had also never tried anything from H20+ Beauty before, either. I picked this mask up on a whim during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, and I thought I’d give it a whirl. According to the website, active ingredients and their benefits include:

  • Champagne Extract–promotes an even complexion
  • Oat Derived Active–reduces signs of irritation and leaves skin feeling soft
  • Yuzu Extract–rich in Flavonoids and Vitamin C = radiance
  • Probiotics–promote water and nutrient retention for improved suppleness

Apply to clean skin–the package says a thick layer, the website says a dime-sized amount…who knows how much? You do you. You massage the gel into your skin, and it starts foaming almost instantly. It had a nice fresh, somewhat floral, scent to it. Sit back and relax for 10-12 minutes (website says up to 15) while the bubbles fizz away. It was a fun sensation, even though it tickled my nose. I got my husband to do it with me, and he described it as “Pop Rocks for your face.” hahaha I personally think Pop Rocks are more intense than this; I would describe it as what it would be like to stick your face in a glass of champagne.

By the end, all of the bubbles are gone, and you’re just left with the gel texture. You massage the gel into your skin for 30 seconds before rinsing it off with warm water. My skin felt so soft and healthy afterwards; I absolutely loved it! Recommended use is 2-3 times per week. After 2 weeks of use, you should see reduced occurrences of blackheads. Judging by how much I have left, I think you could easily get 2 or 3 uses out of a single 1 oz. packet, possibly 4. I would definitely recommend this for when your skin needs a calming boost!


Have you tried a bubble mask before? What did you think? Let me know if there’s one you think I should try!

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: Detox

Hey, y’all!

Just got back from a super fun wedding weekend in Tampa. I was part of the bridal party, and we all did our fair share of eating delicious foods, drinking too much, and having a blast. Like the rest of my body, my face could use a good detox right about now.

Daily Wonders Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Mask

from Leaders Cosmetics USA

Photo of Detox and Chill Charcoal Purifying Mask from Leaders Cosmetics USA
$9 for 2; Ulta

I’m thinking next weekend will be perfect for head to toe pampering, but with the unpacking and laundry and such, I just wanted a quick boost for my skin today. I figured I’d give this sheet mask a whirl. It’s black (not too surprising), but the serum on it is still clear. The activated charcoal and volcanic ash work to draw out impurities, while the green tea extract and chlorella hydrate the skin. The active ingredients also help remove dead skin cells. I do prefer the gel sheet masks over the fabric ones, but this did leave my skin feeling a little fresher when I took it off. I got a 2-pack for half price, so I’ll use the other one at some point, but I probably won’t repurchase.


How do you like to reset after overindulging? Leave me some ideas 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!

Spoil Me Sunday: What the Heck is in This??

Hey y’all!

I wasn’t feeling up to a super involved Spoil Me Sunday this week. I’ve been really busy, so what my body needed this week instead of a lengthy spa day was a good workout and then a chance to veg and recharge. (This blog is called Balanced Life Beauty, after all!) Last week, my skin was looking fantastic, and this week I’m breaking out all over the place (hooray for hormones!), so I used a couple of clay masks to detoxify, unclog, and soothe my skin. Sorry for not including pictures this week–these were samples I had received from Ulta, and I had used them before, so the top part of the packets had already been cut off.

Pure-Clay Masks

from L’Oréal Paris

Both of the masks I used were from this line. The first one was the Detox & Brighten Charcoal Clay Face Mask ($12.99 from L’Oréal Paris). It was definitely the heavier of the two and dried down more than the other one. It felt like your typical yawn-and-your-face-cracks type of clay mask. My skin did feel cleaner afterwards, but I didn’t notice any significant increase in brightness.

The second one I used was the Exfoliate & Refining Pure-Clay Red Algae Face Mask ($12.99 from L’Oréal Paris). This one felt lighter on my skin, and I’m hoping it will help clear out my pores to get rid of this breakout. It never completely dried down, so it didn’t crack when I moved my face; I almost forgot that I had it on. This mask was also noticeably easier to remove. (Side commentary: the red color reminded me of that episode from BBC’s Planet Earth where the elephants were covering themselves in red clay to cool down. My husband cracked up when I pointed that out.)

My main issue with these masks and the reason I don’t plan to purchase the full-size versions is what’s in them: propylene glycol (can cause skin irritation), perlite polysorbate 20 (can be contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane), triethanolamine (can be contaminated with carcinogenic nitrosamines), phenoxyethanol (can cause skin irritation), and parfum/fragrance, among other things. The fragrance is what got me looking at the ingredients list in the first place because the scent was so strong. I prefer my skincare products to be unscented because sometimes my skin doesn’t react well to it, and oftentimes it just smells too strongly for my personal taste anyway. These definitely smelled way too strong for me. I’m going to be looking a lot more closely at ingredients lists to see what else is hiding in my skincare products. I had been thinking of writing a series of posts to act as a sort of glossary of ingredients in beauty products (what they are, what they’re for, etc.) but I’m not sure how I want to format that yet.


I’m hoping that some R&R today will give me the energy I need for the week ahead. I need to work on getting more sleep during the week. How do you like to recharge? Leave a comment below!

Have a great week!

–Sarah xoxo

Spoil Me Sunday: Spice Up Your Life

Hey y’all!

For this week’s Spoil Me Sunday, there ended up being an unintentional theme: spices! I’m absolutely in love with these products, so let’s jump right in:

ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment from Kate Somerville

Photo of ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment
$75 for 1.7 fl. oz.; katesomerville.com or $85 for 2 fl. oz.; Sephora

Full disclosure: I didn’t buy this. My friend Jessi gave it to me because she had received it (I think in a subscription box) and wasn’t going to get around to using it. Boy, did I luck out! This stuff is incredible. I didn’t want to like it because of the price tag, but I couldn’t help it. Per the suggestion on the insert that came in the box, I used it in the shower so my pores would be more open. It’s green, which I wasn’t expecting, but the smell is what really caught me off-guard. It contains both Cinnamal and Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, so it smells very strongly of cinnamon, which is one of my favorite spices. It was like someone had turned Big Red chewing gum or Hot Tamales candies into a skincare product, and I was putting it all over my face. 🙂 Anyway, you just spread a thin layer on your face in a circular motion, let it sit for up to 2 minutes, and then rinse off. Skin tingling and some minor flushing is normal (mine definitely tingled, but since I was in the shower, I can’t tell  you if it flushed.)

Some of the active ingredients:

  • Lactic Acid: “chemically” exfoliates your skin
  • Silica: physically exfoliates your skin
  • Fruit enzymes: enhance exfoliation
  • Salicylic Acid: dissolves debris that clogs pores
  • Aloe Vera & Honey: soothe and condition skin
  • Vitamins A, C, & E: antioxidants
  • Soy-Lipid: repairs your skin’s natural barrier

 

My skin looked brighter and felt softer and smoother after just one use. You should only use it twice a week max, so this tube will hopefully last me a while. Will I repurchase? I would seriously consider making this a regular skincare splurge. I look at skincare as an investment (and hopefully a way to avoid the temptation of plastic surgery later on), so I’m not ruling this one out.

Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask from Andalou Naturals

Photo of Anadalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask
$14.95 for 1.7 fl. oz.; andalounaturals.com

I’ve used this one before, and I’ve loved it since Day 1. I bought it back in the fall, and it was perfect for the season. Between the pumpkin purée, the clove flower extract, the nutmeg kernel powder, and the cinnamon bark extract, it smells like autumn in a jar. That means that basically I can enjoy a little piece of autumn year-round, which is heavenly! It has some ingredient overlap with the ExfoliKate, but some different ones, as well.

Some of the active ingredients:

 

  • Pumpkin purée: good for your skin in multiple ways
    • Fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that smooth and brighten your skin.
    • Vitamins A & C that soothe skin and boost collagen production
    • Small molecular structure, so it can penetrate deeper into the skin for greater effectiveness
  • Aloe Leaf Juice & Honey: soothe & condition skin
  • Glycol Acid: another AHA that chemically exfoliates the skin
  • Fruit Stem Cells: anti-aging properties
  • Fruit Extracts: brighten your skin thanks to the naturally occurring AHAs

 

Applying this makes me think of putting a thinner-consistency pumpkin pie filling on my face, which is funny to imagine. You just apply, leave it on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse off. I like to use it every few weeks or so, just because I have so many masks in rotation. This one won’t be leaving the rotation any time soon!

It’s important to note that while you should wear sunscreen every single day, it’s especially important when using products that contain AHAs because your skin is more sensitive to sun exposure. If you don’t wear sunscreen regularly, you’re just going to undo all of the anti-aging work you’ve put in!

Rose Gel Restore Mask from Trader Joe’s

I talked about this mask here, so I won’t go into it again, but it was a nice way to soothe my skin after the more intensive products that preceded it.


What are some of your favorite beauty products that contain food ingredients? Share in a comment below!

I hope you have a fabulous week!

–Sarah xoxo

Spoil Me Sunday Product Reviews: Masks

For this week’s Spoil Me Sunday, I just did two face masks because I’m also taking some time to test out at-home dermaplaning. I’ll post about that later in the week when I can give a full review on how my skin felt the next day. In the meantime, let’s jump right in!

My 7th Heaven Passion Peel-Off Mask

from Montagne Jeunesse

Photo of Montagne Jeunesse 7th Heaven Passion Peel-Off Mask
$1.99 at Ulta

The active ingredients they call out for this mask are Passion Flower, Pomegranate, and Raspberry, which explains the fruity scent and bright pink color. (Once you have the mask on, the color makes it look like your entire face is sunburned, but I digress.) As you would expect with a peel-off mask, it has a gel consistency, but this one seemed runnier than I’m used to, so it got a little messy when I was applying it with my silicone pack brush. They say the drying time is 20-25 minutes, but it took closer to 45 minutes for it to dry completely on my face. It peeled off fairly easily and didn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dry, just nice and exfoliated. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of one-use masks for multiple reasons, so I probably wouldn’t re-purchase, but it was a pleasant experience overall.

Refresh Clay Detox Mask

from Trader Joe’s

img_0803

This is another one from the mask trio I mentioned in last Sunday’s post. It was a limited-time offer at Trader Joe’s, but who knows? Maybe they’ll bring it back at some point. This is a traditional clay mask that also claims to cleanse the skin. It has a mild citrus scent that honestly reminds me of Froot Loops, but there are worse things. It’s not too thick, so it spreads nicely, and it’s easy to get a fairly even distribution. It took about 30 minutes for it to dry completely, and it came off pretty easily with a wet washcloth. It left my skin feeling clean and refreshed but a little tight. Not sure if I’d repurchase because I have so many other masks to go through, but I wouldn’t rule it out.


My skin feels clean and prepped to try dermaplaning now–stay tuned to see how that experience goes. Wish me luck!

Have a great week!

–Sarah xoxo