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


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Spoil Me Sunday: Scrub-a-dub-dub

Hey, y’all!

First blog post of 2019! A lot of people start a new year off by hitting the gym, cleaning their home, and setting goals for the year ahead. I didn’t make any formal resolutions this year; I’m just focusing on being more consistent with healthy habits and routines I already initiated last year. I did do some cleaning around the house, but I was REALLY excited to use one of my Christmas presents to do some deep cleaning of my skin.

Ultrasonic Skin Scrubber

from Kingdom Cares

$49.99; Amazon

I’ve been wanting a skin scrubber ever since I got a facial for my birthday and the esthetician used one on me. My husband was sweet enough to give me one for Christmas. The included instructions were mildly helpful, but I found this YouTube video much more useful. After charging the device for a couple of hours, I used it on my husband first to test it out, but I couldn’t wait to use it on myself!

How Does It Work?

With a combination of ultrasonic vibration and positive ion technology, it draws impurities out of the skin. The same vibration in combination with negative ion technology helps improve skin’s absorption of your skincare products.

Step 1: Steam & Cleanse

I would recommend doing this after a hot shower, or you can put a warm wet towel on your face for a few minutes like you would for a facial. This will soften the skin and start to loosen up debris. Cleanse your face with your favorite cleanser, but don’t rinse it off. This will lubricate your skin and allow the device to glide over your skin.

Step 2: Exfoliate

Before you get started, clean the spatula with some rubbing alcohol. As you can see in the photo above, the spatula is angled. For this step, you want to make sure the angled side is pointing towards your face. You’re going to use the skin scrubber in positive ion mode to remove the cleanser. It’s important that the spatula is at a 45 degree angle. Use upward strokes in the center of your face (chin, nose, forehead); use outward strokes on your cheeks and jawline. This is exfoliating your skin and helping to bring deeper debris closer to the surface. You’ll need to wipe off the spatula between strokes; I went ahead and cleaned it with alcohol, too. When you’re finished, go ahead and rinse your face to remove any remaining residue, but don’t dry off afterwards.

Step 3: Extractions!

This is the part I was looking forward to the most–getting the deep, stubborn gunk out of my face! As you go you’ll have to keep re-wetting your skin. You’re using the same positive ion setting with the spatula pointing towards your face again. I extracted whiteheads that had been driving me crazy for weeks and blackheads that had been stubborn beyond belief. The curved edge and rounded corners of the spatula are really helpful in getting the contours of your nose. Don’t be too rough on your skin–it’s totally fine if you don’t get every single blemish in one go.

After one pass on my nose–gross but gratifying!

Step 4: Nourish

After getting all the junk out of your pores, it’s time to put some good stuff into it. I used my regular Glycolic Acid Toner for a little bonus exfoliation and my Snail Mucin Essence to hydrate. I skipped my nighttime Retinol Serum and replaced it with Rosehip Oil to hydrate, soothe, and reduce inflammation.

This time I turned the skin scrubber over so that the angle of the spatula was pointing away from me and put it into negative ion mode. This helps to get all those nutrients deeper into your skin. I refrigerate my Rosehip Oil to stop it from getting rancid, and the cool sensation feels wonderful.

Step 5: Lift

The video I watched went over this, and while I didn’t see much of a difference for myself, you might as well give it a shot. You’re still using the skin scrubber pointing away from you, but put it into “pad” mode instead. It feels like tiny little pricks of electricity (I promise it doesn’t hurt). Maybe I didn’t do it long enough to see a noticeable lifting or tightening of my skin. I finished off with some soothing moisturizer and called it a night. My skin felt so fantastically clean and invigorated.

Verdict

Long story short: I’m in love. I wouldn’t use this more than once a week, and I would only use it in the evening so that your skin has some time to recover and calm down overnight. I would absolutely recommend getting one. There are some expensive ones out there, but I honestly don’t know if there’s anything that makes them worth the extra money. Having one at home doesn’t replace getting a professional facial (which I don’t do as often as I should), but it helps with maintenance in between professional treatments.


Have you ever used a skin scrubber before? What did you think? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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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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Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

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Ireland-Bound Pt. 3: Gorgeous & Photo-Ready

Hey, y’all!

Part 3 of this travel-prepping series: skincare and makeup. I work too hard on my skin to slack off on my regimen just because I’m on vacation. We’ll be taking lots of photos, after all! When you have to worry about luggage weight, liquid limits, and just plain efficiency, how do you pack for a trip? Read on to find out my plan!

PS: any items marked with an asterisk (*) were part of my September Ulta Beauty Haul.

In My Carry-on

When I’m planning on checking a bag, I pack my beauty/personal items with the mentality that if my bag is lost when I arrive at my destination, what do I need with me to comfortably get through a night (or two) without it? I also factor in any items that I don’t want to subject to air pressure changes, as well as my pricier products that I want to make sure are handled with care.

The Liquids

DSC01402

I’m able to fit A LOT into this quart-size bag from the Container Store:

I’ll also be adding the hand cream and rollerball perfume that I keep in my purse, plus my travel size hydrating mist from Juice Beauty. I’m choosing to keep my makeup look on the more natural side, so I’m not planning on bringing any liquid lipsticks, just tinted lip balm.

The Non-Liquids

DSC01401

This cute bag was a nifty bridesmaid gift from a wedding I was in this year. In it I’ll be packing all the non-liquid items that I don’t want to leave my side:

  • A little mesh carrying case for my makeup sponges so they have a chance to dry between uses
  • Body and Face Mineral Sunscreens (in stick form)*
  • My small Z Palette for my eyeshadows (sticking with neutrals that I can mix and match)
  • Lip scrub
  • Silicone face scrubber (I’m leaving my Clearsonic at home)
  • Deodorant
  • Highlighter pencil
  • Brow pencil*
  • Eye Brightening Powder
  • Sample size translucent powder
  • My dome ZPalette that has my blushes, highlighters, pressed powder foundation (if I want to use it instead), and medium-sized Z Palette Travel Jars for my CC Cream so I don’t have to bring the whole tube

The Z Palette Travel Jars will be easy to pop out of the Z Palette and into my liquids bag to go through airport security. I’ll also be packing my epilator and its charger in my non-liquids bag before I leave.

Makeup Brushes

DSC01404

I’m certainly not bringing every brush I own, but it’s a decent collection of everyday essentials:

  • Spoolie
  • Angled brow brush
  • Small powder brush for setting my eyeshadow primer
  • A few different eyeshadow brushes
  • Harley Quinn blending brush
  • Concealer brush
  • Small blending brush for applying eye brightening powder
  • Angled blush brush
  • Buffing brush for blending
  • Highlighting brush
  • Foundation buffing brush for pressed powder foundation
  • Large fan brush
  • Stippling brush
  • Large powder brush

In My Checked Bag

DSC01403

I reserve the folding toiletry bag for the items I’m not super worried about getting lost or damaged. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. are all items you can expect to find in most hotel rooms. Do I prefer my own? Of course, but I can’t fit my entire bathroom into a quart-sized bag. 🙂

  • Travel-size hair primer*
  • Travel-size hairspray
  • Travel-size dry shampoo
  • Hair balm (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Micellar water (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Shampoo (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Conditioner (transferred to a travel bottle)
  • Body wash (transferred to a travel bottle)

I’m sure there are things I’ll remember at the last minute and toss in, but I’d say my beauty regimen is all set for a belated honeymoon in Ireland! Any recommendations for things to see and do while we’re there?

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


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: 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!